Jens Stoltenberg is the Secretary General of NATO. On Wednesday, he addressed Congress. As I was perusing news headlines, I could not help but notice how diametrically opposed news agencies came away from Stoltenberg’s address with completely different takes on what happened and what he said.
First, here is the headline and first few paragraphs of CNN’s report on Stoltenberg’s address:
“NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg delivered a pointed and robust defense of the trans-Atlantic alliance to Congress on Wednesday, stressing the need for unity in the face of deep global shifts and ‘unforeseen’ challenges ahead.”
“Stoltenberg indirectly addressed President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO and his push for an ‘America First’ unilateral approach to the world throughout the speech and touched on trade and economic relations, another point of tension between the Trump administration and Europe.”
“‘When we stand together, we are stronger than any potential challenger — economically, politically and militarily,’ said Stoltenberg, the first NATO chief to address a joint meeting of Congress.” …
Second, is Bloomberg, which reported:
“A $100 billion increase makes for a nice headline, but the breakdown suggests Trump’s threats aren’t working.”
“President Donald Trump has helped prod his North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to increase military spending by $100 billion since he came to power, or so Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says. But a look beyond the headline number suggests the president’s demands have resulted in cunning Trump-pleasing tactics rather than stronger defenses.”
“It’s undeniable that NATO defense expenditure increased in the two years since 2016, rising by a total of $101.7 billion, according to data collected by the organization. That, however, includes U.S. and Canadian spending.”
“Look deeper, and it becomes clear that Trump’s threats to pull the U.S. out of the alliance haven’t resulted in a disproportionate increase in Europe’s defense outlay.” …
At one point it was reported that the mainstream media (I prefer to refer to it as the sewagestream media for obvious reasons) reported negatively on President Trump over 80% of the time. Is it any wonder CNN’s ratings are plummeting and why so many in America have no clue of what is really happening?
Then you have how the other side reported on the same event:
Here is how Fox News reported on the same Stoltenberg address to Congress:
“NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in a historic address to Congress, declared Wednesday that President Trump’s push for NATO allies to increase their defense spending has ‘had an impact’ and made the alliance stronger.”
“‘Allies must spend more on defense. This has been the clear message from President Trump,’ he said. ‘And this message is having a real impact’.”
“NATO does not have a defense budget, but members commit to spending a minimum of 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Products on defense. Trump, however, has repeatedly called out members that do not meet that commitment, even as this campaign has caused friction with longtime U.S. allies. The United States spends 3.5 percent of its GDP on defense, and Trump has long called for fellow NATO members to put up their share.” …
And here is how the Washington Examiner reported it:
“Addressing Congress on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg skillfully articulated why NATO is a uniquely special alliance: it matches the sovereign authority of democratic governments to mutual efforts in common interest.”
“Stoltenberg explained that NATO isn’t about the submission of national authority to a global construct. Rather it is an alliance of ‘sovereign nations united by democracy.’ Here we see the divergence of NATO from other organizations such as the European Union or the International Court of Justice. Where NATO respects its member populations, other international organizations tend to subordinate democratic sovereign power to their own bureaucratic interests. Explaining that ‘NATO lasts because it is in the national interest of each of our nations,’ Stoltenberg offered a rationale for how positive nationalism and international alliances can co-exist. Preserving a mutually beneficial peace, NATO creates space for our mutually beneficial prosperity.” …
The same type of reporting on the same events happens all the time. Need I say more?
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