Politics

CNN Anchor Takes Responsibility For Aleppo Slaughter

‘New Day’ co-host John Berman suggests cable news could have done more to influence course of brutal civil war

There has been a great deal of hand-wringing since President Obama drew a “red line” with Syria in 2012 and then watched helplessly as the country’s dictator ignored it, but CNN’s “At This Hour” anchor John Berman on Thursday took it to a preposterous level.

Berman and co-host Kate Bolduan were interviewing State Department spokesman John Kirby about the slaughter of civilians taking place in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Berman played a clip of United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power on Wednesday decrying the “stain on our conscience.”

“And I have to say, honestly, as I sit here as a journalist, I can I say I regret not doing more over the last few years.”

The “searing language” inspired Berman to accept his share of responsibility for the brutality.

“And I have to say, honestly, as I sit here as a journalist, I can I say I regret not doing more over the last few years,” he said. “I regret not reporting more on what’s going on in Aleppo and Syria. I regret that all of us haven’t done more.”

If only Berman had cared more. If only CNN had aired more reports. Maybe, just maybe, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would have been shamed into calling off the dogs, Berman suggested.

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Berman asked Kirby if he, too, feels responsibility.

“As you sit here at the end of your tenure at the State Department, do you look back, John, and do you feel like you’ve done everything you can?” he asked. “Does Secretary [John] Kerry feel like he’s done everything he can to prevent this tragedy from happening in Aleppo?”

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Kirby responded that the government is doing everything it can to find a diplomatic solution.

“We all would like to see — everybody — the American people — would like to see, a better outcome there for the Syrian people,” he said. “And that’s what we all have to keep working towards.”

It is not the first time that the journalists on “At This Hour” have been moved by the events in Syria. In August, Bolduan had to stop and compose herself several times as she reported on a viral video showing five-year-old Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh covered in blood and soot while he sat in the back of an ambulance.

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