Media bias used to be between the lines, then it became the lines, and finally it became the headlines.
When the media feels the need to embed spin in its headlines, that’s pretty bad. Americans, like Chinese, Cubans, and Russians, have long since grown used to media spin for disasters that is blatantly coordinated across the entire media cartel.
Take these headlines about the Taliban’s seizure of Zaranj, the capital of the Nimruz province, and a city of 160,902 people.
Notice if you can spot an odd spin word that keeps recurring despite having no apparent place in the headline.
Taliban Capture Afghan Provincial Capital in a Symbolic Victory – New York Times
Taliban captures first provincial center in Afghanistan, a symbolic victory – CBS News
A symbolic victory in common contemporary usage is one that has no real strategic meaning or substance. Now this is symbolic.
The U.S. general leading the war in Afghanistan, Austin Miller, relinquished command at a ceremony on Monday and quietly left the country, a symbolic end to America’s longest conflict while Taliban insurgents gain momentum.
The Taliban taking a city is not symbolic, it’s all too real.
Notably, the Taliban also took the city without firing a shot.
Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary confirmed that the Taliban now controls Zaranj.
“Zaranj city becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban without a single shot being fired,” Sarwary noted on Twitter.
There are more symbolic victories to come.
Government forces are currently clinging to a cluster of buildings in the center of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, as the Taliban controls the rest of the city. The Taliban is in control of neighborhoods in Kandahar and Herat cities, and is launching frequent assaults in other capitals, such as Taluqan, Kunduz City, Ghazni City, Mitharlam, and Shiberghan.
Zaranj, which is on the border with Iran, is a major trade route and was a source of customs income for the Afghan government. The Taliban now operates four of the six major border crossings, and is collecting millions of dollars in revenue daily.
Don’t worry. It’s all symbolic.