WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Americans would be better off if the media did not cover terrorism “quite as much,” and that “would do us all a service.”
Speaking to the press Monday during an appearance in Bangladesh, Kerry detailed his reasons for promoting the notion that when it comes to terrorism, ignorance may be bliss.
“It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.”
Reaction to Kerry’s comments was quick and scathing.
“Par for the course,” Sebastian Gorka told WND.
“Nothing must endanger the ‘Narrative.’ Especially the truth,” added the anti-terrorism expert, frequent Fox News guest analyst and professor at the Institute of World Politics.
Former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy also ridiculed Kerry’s observations, telling WND they are “A reminder that for years we’ve been governed by people who are willfully blind to the fundamentalist Islamic doctrine that instigates jihadist terror, the devotional motivation behind it.”
“Secretary Kerry has been a key policymaker for four years and a Washington fixture for decades; yet to this day, he thinks the decision to become a terrorist (I guess I should say a ‘violent extremist’) is similar to trying out for ‘American Idol’ — they do it because they want to be on TV, so if it weren’t for TV it wouldn’t happen. Perfect,” he added.
The senior adviser for national security to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took a somber tone, echoing McCarthy’s observation that the Obama administration is engaged in willful blindness, and now encouraging the media to follow its lead.
Victoria Coates told WND, “Secretary Kerry has once again inadvertently revealed the truth of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policy. It’s not enough that they have willfully put on the blinders that prevent them from seeing the enemy for what it is: radical Islamic terrorism. Now they want the press to put those same blinders on the American people so they won’t, in the secretary’s phrase, ‘know what’s going on.'”
She warned that Kerry’s words could have serious consequences, adding, “ISIS, al Qaida, and whatever the al-Nusra Front are calling themselves this week have all no doubt taken heed of Secretary Kerry’s words and will continue to exploit their weakness. We desperately need to implement a foreign policy that is based on common sense defense of America’s interests, and is designed to counter the very real danger that we face.”
Rep. Louie Gohemert, R-Texas, was sarcastically wry, telling WND, “In a rare moment of honesty, John Kerry messaged that the media would do Democrats all a great service if the media covered up how badly things are going under his, Clinton’s, and Obama’s disastrous governance.”
He added, “Violent crime is rising, though not quite as fast as radical Islamic power. Fortunately for the Democrats, most of the mainstream media follows Obama administration directives.”
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who served for four years on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and devoted herself to the issue of keeping the country safe from terrorists, told WND, “Isn’t that the Clinton/Obama pattern?”
Bachmann detailed a list of ways in which she said the administration has tried to keep the public in the dark:
- “Hillary destroyed public records verifying the seamless pay for access scheme perfected by the Clinton foundation.”
- “It was deny, deny, deny by the White House until they were forced to confirm ransom payments to Iran.”
- “The White House refused to explain $1.3 billion in 13 illegally structured payments to Iran. The 13 payments were such an obvious lie, Obama said the administration wouldn’t answer the press’ questions, due to ‘confidentiality.'”
- “Both Hillary and Obama shamefully and brazenly devalued American lives under fire by terrorists, while fantastically reconfiguring a fictional storyline of an actual terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed an ambassador and three others.”
- “The White House refused to disclose where Obama was or explain to the press why he checked out for the night while innocent Americans were under fire for 13 hours in Benghazi.”
- “Obama and Hillary continue to brag that Obamacare is a rousing success while it is imploding and impoverishing normal Americans. Neither Hillary nor Obama have created either wealth or jobs. What they do for a living is take by force what others create, and destroy U.S. society in the process.”
In his remarks, Kerry indicated that because terrorists seek to “divide” people, they are best ignored.
Referring to an attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh in July, Kerry called it “an outrage clearly designed to divide Bangladesh, designed to try to cut off this welcoming society from the outside world.”
“Dozens of smaller-scale attacks have been carried out during the past several years, often directed at members of religious minorities, foreigners, bloggers, and security officials, and the reason for this is obviously they want to divide you. They want to push people apart. They want to create internal strife,” he said.
At the same time, he insisted the West is winning the war against terrorism, claiming, “We are defeating Daesh (ISIS), and we will defeat Daesh. We will defeat al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, and we are on the road to achieving that now.”
Kerry blamed the popularity of terrorist groups on the lack of opportunity and jobs.
“And if we have too many young people who can’t go to school, or too many young people who are frustrated, or they can’t find a job – if we leave those minds out there for extremists to recruit, then it will continue, and none of us would be doing our jobs if we allowed that to happen.”
While in Bangladesh, Kerry also reiterated what he thinks is the real threat to civilization: climate change.
He tweeted: “By 2050, 15 million Bangladeshis could be displaced by #climatechange. US & Bangladesh committed to resiliency and clean energy future.”
National Review‘s Jim Geraghty scorched the secretary of state for his suggestion the media should ignore terrorism, quipping, “Even by John Kerry standards, this is pretty bad.”
“You can’t write satire about this administration anymore; it’s become too inherently contradictory and absurd,” he added.
Geraghty then tweeted, “AP ignores John Kerry’s advice, reports on 72 mass graves with 5,200 to 15,000 ISIS victims.”
Former U.N. Ambassador Jon Bolton tweeted, “Wow. #Kerry wants media to cover terror less. If this admin did a better job to stop #ISIS, media wouldn’t have so much to report!”
Fox News’ Todd Starnes: “Well, we already have a de-facto state-run media,” and, “Because sticking our heads in the sand always makes us safer.”
Security analyst and former Reagan administration Pentagon official KT McFarland: “Stop complaining about the media doing its job.”
Twitchy: “In other words, if only ‘the media’ would help blame terrorism on air conditioning and a lack of job opportunities, the Left’s agenda would be forwarded a little easier than it already is.”
Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Magazine: “This is the sort of thing that gets said by the leaders of a failing regime who realize that their campaign to suppress reality is failing. So they insist that the media no longer just spin, but not report what is happening.”
American Thinker’s Rick Moran: “Kerry wants everyone else to stick his head in the sand about terrorism, too. We would do well to ignore him.”
Political analyst Karl Rove, “Thought an informed citizenry was critical to our republic’s existence. Apparently not Kerry’s view.”