ABC’s evening news show World News Tonight, and NBC’s evening news show NBC Nightly News both failed to report on the bombshell Washington Post series detailing systematic lies told by the U.S. military and government officials during the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
On December 9, Craig Whitlock published new reporting based on documents obtained from a federal project examining the root failures of the war in Afghanistan. The project involved interviews with “more than 400 insiders,” some of whom described “explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public” across multiple administrations since the war’s beginning in 2001. The documents the Post obtained also reveal an unclear and ineffective strategy and a “mindless rush to spend” more than $900 billion in funds from the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and State Department. Meanwhile, officials failed to accomplish the United States' goals to “curtail runaway corruption, build a competent Afghan army and police force, and put a dent in Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade.”
Media Matters looked at the broadcast networks' evening newscasts on December 9 and 10 and found that neither ABC’s World News Tonight nor NBC’s Nightly News covered the report. CBS Evening News covered the story with a segment on December 9.
Networks cannot continue to ignore this vital story about an ongoing war that has killed approximately 2,400 U.S. service members and at least 43,000 Afghan civilians and cost American taxpayers over $2 trillion.
Update (12/12/19): ABC and NBC both failed to cover the story on their December 11 nightly news broadcasts. CBS did not return to the story.
Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for any mention of any variation of the root word “Afghan” on ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News on December 9 and 10, 2019.