President Trump should learn to respect tough media reporting and opinion. But sometimes, fake news is for real.
On Monday, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz tweeted out his recent video interview with the millennial-focused cellphone-reader-based platform NowThis, which is known for producing high-quality news videos which present liberal theory as objective fact.
Moniz's video offered three especially fake claims about the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
1) The deal enforces a "roll back" of Iranian missile development
At the 34 second mark, as Moniz claims that the nuclear agreement forced Iran to "roll back" its nuclear program, NowThis decides to show various Iranian missiles. The implication is clear: the Iran deal restricted Iranian missile research and development.
Of course, the actual truth is that the deal ignored Iran's missile development. This is of concern in that once Iran retains a credible ballistic missile capability, it can recommence nuclear enrichment, build a bomb and hold the Middle East hostage, to say nothing of Europe and one day (just ask North Korea) the United States.
Watching NowThis, however, viewers would believe the Iran deal resolved the ballistic threat once and for all. That's fake news.
2) The deal's verification measures are "unprecedented, not just for Iran but for any country in the world."
Moniz claims that the agreement's inspections and enforcement mechanisms are unparalleled. It isn't so.
First off, the deal gives Iran a very nice cutout arrangement that allows Iran's regime to hide prohibited research activities on military bases. While inspectors are supposed to be able to access military sites of nuclear concern, Iran can delay their arrival for up to 24 days. This lunatic caveat gives Iranian officials the time and space to move weaponization research activities ahead of any possible inspection.
Yet Moniz actually claims that this "fixed period" time window is a good thing. He says it with such warmth and comforting professorial dignity that we want to believe him. But we shouldn't. Just read about what's going on in Germany Germany and over Saudi Arabia.
3) There's "no good alternative" other than supporting the deal as it stands
Were the U.S. to pull out from the Iran deal, Moniz claims, "We lose the economic impact that we had with sanctions on Iran. If you think about it, there's no good alternative. It's lose-lose if we are the ones to walk away from this agreement."
This is simply untrue. President Trump is attempting to strengthen the deal's inspections enforcement (see point 2) and missile development (see point one) protocols, and we hope by ensuring more of the deal's economic dividends flow to suffering Iranians and less to the regime's terrorism operations. This is the right approach.
But it need not be the only alternative approach. Because if the European Union doesn't want to play ball in supporting Trump's constructive reforms, the U.S. can always impose sanctions on European, Chinese, and Russian multinational corporations doing business in Iran. If those companies want to retain access to the far more lucrative U.S. market, they'll have to shut up shop in Tehran. The CEOs in Europe and the leaders in Tehran know this truth, and it scares them.
This harder edged diplomatic tool is Trump's best "good alternative."
NowThis veiled its formative untruths under Moniz's comforting voice and a sea of snazzy images. Whether out of ignorance or malice, the publication is steering its users away from the truth, not toward it.