Mainstream networks ABC and CBS nighly newscasts skip left-behind Americans in Afghanistan

Media top headlines September 2

In media news today, Chris Hayes downplays Biden’s phone call with ex-Afghanistan president Ghani, ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather gets crushed for tweet comparing pro-lifers to the Taliban, and an MSNBC analyst likens the Texas abortion law to slavery

Mainstream networks ABC and CBS appeared to have moved on from covering the potentially hundreds of Americans left behind in Afghanistan just one day following the withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from the now Taliban-controlled country. 

According to Grabien transcripts, and first reported by NewsBusters, during their respective Wednesday nightly news reports CBS failed to mention Afghanistan once, while ABC discussed the withdrawal’s effects on soldiers who served there, but made no mention of the left-behind Americans. 

The networks still provide nightly news coverage of the ongoing saga later in the week. They each gave ample coverage to the Texas abortion law that took effect Wednesday and has alarmed advocates of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. 

The U.S. ended its mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 31, nearly 20 years following its launch on October 7, 2001. The chaotic winding down of military operations within the country, however, led to sharp criticism of the Biden administration’s decision-making surrounding the withdrawal. 

As the Taliban gained ground across the country and captured the capital city of Kabul faster than the administration expected, scores of Afghans, Americans, and others crowded at the airport in an attempt to escape. 

Around 120,000 people were extracted from the country following two weeks of evacuation operations, but Biden appeared to break his promise not to leave until all Americans were evacuated, as the U.S. military ended its mission with possibly hundreds remaining on the ground.

The administration has said they are dedicated to extracting the remaining Americans through diplomatic means, although the exact number of those remaining hasn’t been made clear. 

Amid the chaos of the evacuation and the administration’s handling of the crisis, Biden’s job approval ratings are underwater for the first time in his presidency. The RealClear Politics average, as of Thursday, has Biden with a 45.8% approval rating and a 49.2% disapproval rating.

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