How the Media Covered Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech

By Steven Klett, Epoch Times
August 16, 2016 Updated: August 16, 2016

Republican nominee Donald Trump laid out his plans to fight and defeat ISIS in a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, on Aug. 15, providing a more in-depth look into how his proposed ban on immigrants from certain countries would work.

Following a recent standoff between the New York Times and the candidate—subsequently followed by Trump alleging he would be beating Hillary Clinton by “20 percent” if not for the bias of the media—Epoch Times decided to look at the different ways that the media has framed the coverage of the speech.

Here are eight major media sources that reported on his speech, ranging from conservative and Trump-friendly, to critical and liberally slanted.

Breitbart “Trump’s Foreign Policy Ends ‘Era of Nation Building,’ Time to ‘Chart a New Course'”

Breitbart is an American news and opinion website founded in 2007 by conservative commentator and entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart (1969–2012), the website is considered a pro-Trump publication.

For the speech, the website focused on the isolationist aspects of Trump, and how they distinguish Trump’s course from the globalist agenda of President Barack Obama and Clinton. 

“Donald Trump set himself apart from Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s foreign policy approach during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio on Monday where he laid out his foreign policy approach to deal with the Islamic State (ISIS) and radical Islam in more detail than he has in the past while on the campaign trail.” 

In what appears to be (but wasn’t labeled as) an opinion article published by the website, “Extreme Vetting’: Donald Trump’s Proposal on Homeland Security Harkens Back to Past Victories,” James Pinkerton champions Trump’s proposals to vet immigrants entering America, and draws partisan lines. 

“Today’s Democrats, and their handmaidens in the Main Stream Media, just hate it when Republicans emphasize getting tough on lawlessness and terror. Indeed, liberals shudder when they hear the words, ‘law and order.'”

Fox News – “Trump changes tone on NATO, vows to work with alliance to defeat ISIS

Conservative news channel Fox News is part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, and until recently, was headed by former Republican media consultant Roger Ailes.

In their coverage, Fox News notes Trump’s change in attitude towards NATO, which he previously called “obsolete.”    

“Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in what was billed as a major foreign policy address, on Monday backed off past threats to withdraw from the NATO alliance—saying that if he’s elected, the U.S. will work with the 28-member bloc to defeat the Islamic State.”

Wall Street Journal – “Donald Trump Calls for a New War on Terror

A longtime institution in American media since 1889, the Wall Street Journal has a focus on the the national and world markets. Politically, the paper has been labeled “center-right,” and has a long history of providing influential conservative perspectives in its editorial pages and columns.

Since it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch in 2009, some employees have said that the publications has taken a turn towards a more conservative political bent.

“Donald Trump, expanding on the provocative immigration ideas that have propelled his presidential candidacy, proposed an ideological test that would limit admission to the U.S. to “those who share our values and respect our people,” reads the lead of the article.

In their opinion section the editorial board praised Trump in an article titled “Trump’s Anti-Terror Strategy” for staying on message, but gave the speech mixed reviews. 

“Donald Trump made another pivot back to the issues on Monday, this time laying out his strategy to fight radical Islam. As usual it included some good ideas and some bad, but if we’re lucky he’ll stick with the subject long enough to force Hillary Clinton to debate something other than his temperament.”

Washington Post – “The claims Trump made in his ‘major’ speech on the Islamic State

Another American media institution set up first in 1877, the Post focuses on political news in Washington D.C. and its political stance wavers between liberal and conservative focus.

Since 9/11 and the President George W. Bush presidency, the paper has generally leaned right on most issues, supporting Bush’s invasion of Iraq and endorsing Republican congressional and senate members. 

However, the Post endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama for president in 2008 and again in 2012. In the 2014 midterm elections it endorsed 44 Democratic candidates versus only 3 Republican candidates.

The rise of Trump has seen the paper shifting their critical eye more and more onto the Republican candidate, which has led to the Post being put on Trump’s media ‘blacklist’ and banned from covering his events.   

“Donald Trump traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, to deliver what was billed as a “major” speech on how to deal with the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group, a.k.a. ISIS. For reasons known only to Trump, he continued to repeat false statements that have been repeatedly debunked in the past,” read the lead of the article that fact-checked Trump’s speech.

CNN – “Trump proposes values test for would-be immigrants in fiery ISIS speech

The first 24-hour news network started in 1980—CNN is an empire unto itself. Its political stance has been under attack lately by Donald Trump who has repeatedly called the station out—calling it the “Clinton News Network”—for its bias in favor of Clinton.

The network pushed back against accusations of bias by bringing on surrogates from both campaigns. Earlier this year the network hired former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as a paid political correspondent, although Trump surrogates are often outnumbered by Clinton surrogates.

“Donald Trump on Monday upped his call for action against radical Islam in an effort to reclaim the offensive on national security, proposing an ideological test to keep would-be immigrants with radical views out of the US,” read the lead of their article.

In an opinion article by Peter Berger, “Trump’s half-baked plans to combat ISIS,” the tone was far less flattering. 

“Trump’s Monday speech was the best foreign policy speech that he has ever given, but that’s only because the bar is so low. Yes, it did have quite a number of specific policy proposals, but many of them the Obama administration has long been doing, and the new policy ideas are poorly conceived,” Berger wrote.

MSNBC – “Trump’s ‘extreme’ plan raises more questions than answers

Celebrating it’s 20th year, the news source represents a generally liberal political agenda and commentary. The network has been generally favorable towards Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and is often critical of Trump’s agenda—particularly on their political commentary programs.

For their coverage of Trump’s ISIS speech, the website’s article seemed more perplexed, and in their perplexity, critical of the overall message. 

“Most of Donald Trump’s big speeches tend to raise questions about his competence, but yesterday’s address on foreign policy and national security was stranger than most. It left many wondering, for example, if the Republican presidential candidate is familiar with his own past opinions,” the article read.

New York Times – “Donald Trump’s Terrorism Plan Mixes Cold War Concepts and Limits on Immigrants

It would be an understatement to say that Donald Trump and the New York Times have a difficult relationship.

The paper, which has been in circulation since 1851 has been the subject of Trump’s ire since the beginning of his campaign. 

Over the weekend, the New York Times published several opinion and news articles critical of the Republican candidate, and he hit back at the paper—calling them “failing”—and threatened to revoke the newspaper’s access to his rallies, like he did with the Washington Post.

The article focused on his suggestion to deal with ISIS using policies reminiscent of the Cold War era and his suspension of immigration based on religion.

“Donald J. Trump on Monday invoked comparisons to the Cold War era in arguing that the United States must wage an unrelenting ideological fight if it is to defeat the Islamic State. He said he would temporarily suspend immigration from “the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world” and judge allies solely on their participation in America’s mission to root out Islamic terrorism.”

The article continues, noting that the speech argues “for the kind of terrorism-centric foreign policy that President George W. Bush adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

Slate – “Donald Trump Doesn’t Have Foreign Policy Ideas. He Has Moods.

Created the same year as MSNBC—1996—Slate magazine has transformed in the 21st century into a web-only news source. Their coverage is slanted to appeal to liberal political beliefs and they’ve been openly supportive of Hillary Clinton and extremely critical of Donald Trump’s candidacy. 

Their take on Trump’s foreign policy speech is no different.

“Donald Trump’s predictably demagogic national security address in Ohio on Monday was filled with disgusting asides and mean-spirited policy proposals. It functioned as a bit of a greatest-hits package of ideas he has tried out in other speeches and on the campaign trail, such as banning certain immigrants (hint: they  practice one particular religion) and getting good information from suspected terrorists (no hint necessary: he is gleeful in his approval of torture),” the lead of the article read.