Bill Maher understood why Republicans were happy to see 59 cruise missiles streaking into the sky over Syria early Friday — President Trump was asserting his authority as commander in chief against a dictator who’d used chemical weapons on his own citizens.
But Maher said he was disgusted by the words of another group that seemed mesmerized by the missiles: TV journalists.
“Even the liberals were all over this last night,” he said during his opening monologue Friday night on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
“Everybody loves this f—— thing. Cable news loves it when they show footage of destroyers firing cruise missiles at night. It’s America’s money shot.”
Trump authorized the strike on a military airfield in retaliation for a chemical attack on civilians that killed at least 86 people.
The attack “ratchets up the intensity of a complicated regional conflict,” according to The Washington Post’s James Hohmann, and makes a conflict with Russia more likely.
News networks looped reel footage provided by the Pentagon of cruise missiles being launched from a ship and streaking into the night sky, complete with commentary.
Reflecting on the strike, Fareed Zakaria opined on CNN: “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night. ”
As The Post’s Derek Hawkins reported, Brian Williams seemed so dazzled by the images that he described them as “beautiful” and quoted singer Leonard Cohen: “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.”
Brian Williams refers to this Pentagon video of missiles going to kill people as "beautiful" 3 times in 30 seconds pic.twitter.com/KBb3tP8qHT
— Trevor Timm (@trevortimm) April 7, 2017
Maher wasn’t the only one appalled by the journalists’ laudatory words.
Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote that “after the strikes, praise flowed like wedding champagne — especially on cable news.”
And in a Facebook Post, Dan Rather took fellow journalists to task:
“The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” he wrote. “War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.”