Establishment Media’s Illusion of Debate Supports US Strikes against Islamic State

by Vins
Published: Updated:

A new study authored by Peter Hart at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) found that in the lead up to the decision to increase military action against ISIL, there were very few anti-war voices in the television and the media in general. The FAIR study found that during a crucial two-week period in September 2014, only six out of the 205 interviewed sources opposed the U.S. intervening to stop the advance of ISIL. On well-known Sunday talk shows only 1 out of 89 guests was against the US going to war to stop ISIL. On television, there were many debates involving the advance of ISIL and the position of the United States. All of the debates revolved around the mechanics of the war, such as drone strikes and how many troops to send, rather than questioning the wisdom or morality of expanded US military involvement.. In defense of the media, after several beheadings, public opinion turned positive toward US involvement.

True democracy requires a strong and independent media to expose corruption and government manipulation of the American people. As it has for decades, the US could end up in yet another war in the Middle East without Congressional approval, leaving many Americans and civilians dead for the sake of protecting private interests. As Americans witnessed in the Iraq War, starting wars is easy, but ending them and withdrawing troops—while maintaining peace—is very difficult. The issue is timely because ISIL is capturing more territory and killing more people across Syria and Iraq


Peter Hart, “Debating How–Not Whether–to Launch a New War,” Extra! (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), November 14, 2014,

“No Debate: Antiwar Voices Absent from Corporate TV News Ahead of U.S. Attacks on Iraq & Syria,” Democracy Now!, November 18, 2014,

Thom Harman, “Why the MSM Is Gung-Ho On War & Silencing Anti-War Voices,” Thom Hartman Program, November 17, 2014, – sthash.Xqyjp20c.dpuf.

“Legendary Talk Show Host Phil Donahue on the Silencing of Antiwar Voices in U.S. Media,” Democracy Now!, November 11, 2014,

Student Researchers: Mackenzie Donahue and Christina Madden (Beaver Country Day School)

Faculty Evaluator: Kader Adjout (Beaver Country Day School)