Blinken knocked for avoiding questions after Afghan withdrawal speech: Must be heading 'back to the Hamptons'

Media top headlines August 30

In media news today, Obama’s former education secretary gets slammed for likening anti-maskers to Kabul suicide bombers, Disney faces internal pressure to conduct an outside probe of ABC News’ handling of sexual harassment claims, and ABC’s Jon Karl says Biden admin calling Afghanistan a success is not based in ‘reality’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized on Monday for not taking questions from reporters following his speech commemorating the military withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

During his address, Blinken touted the ending of troop presence in Afghanistan following 20 years of war. He expressed optimism in pursuing a diplomatic path with the Taliban as the terror group has taken control of the country. The secretary of state did acknowledge, however, that a “small number of Americans- under 200” are still in Afghanistan and want to leave. 

At the conclusion of his speech, several reporters attempted to shout their questions at Blinken, who ignored them as he walked away from the podium. 

Critics slammed the Biden appointee for avoiding the press following his address. 

“You gotta answer reporter questions after a speech and a moment like this,” CNN anchor Jim Sciutto reacted. 

“How perfect. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after confirming hundreds of Americans have been left behind in Afghanistan, turns and walks away. No questions,” editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich tweeted.

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe knocked Blinken for offering “one-way communication with the American people” following his “long speech.” 

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck blasted the nation’s top diplomat as “weak,” writing, “Turning your back and walking away — the symbol of defeat for this administration.”

“Blinken takes no question after 15 min remark delayed over an hour. Guess he doesn’t want to keep the Hamptons waiting much longer,” The Floridian reporter Mona Salama quipped.

“Wow no questions for Blinken. The plane back to the Hamptons must be waiting,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock similarly wrote.

“Blinken took no questions. Nothing to see here, everyone move along,” political satirist Tim Young tweeted.

Blinken’s boss, President Biden, has repeatedly been criticized for not taking questions about the turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

When he did take questions, he raised eyebrows when he admitted that he was “instructed” to rely on a list of pre-approved reporters to call on. He ultimately went off-script and called on reporters not approved by his staff, including Fox News’ White House correspondent Peter Doocy. 

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