US-China: How the News Distracts From the News, by Ted Snider

There are sideshows and there is news. It’s easy to tell the difference: the mainstream media pays a lot of attention to the sideshows and often ignores the real news completely. From Ted Snider at

The news over the past several days has been dominated by the shooting down by the US and Canada of four objects over their airspace. Despite widespread assumptions, US officials are still trying to identify what the last three objects are. They were “not able to say who launched the objects and were seeking to figure out their origin.” The first object is claimed by the US to be a Chinese surveillance balloon.

The aggressive response by the US and Canada may be news, especially since the Department of Defense “did not assess it to be a kinetic military threat,” and has conceded that “whatever the surveillance payload is on this balloon, it does not create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit.” The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has protested that “the US insist[ence] on using force [is] obviously overreacting and seriously violat[es] international practice.” General Glen VanHerck, the head of NORAD, says “I believe this is the first time within United States or American airspace that NORAD or United States Northern Command has taken kinetic action against an airborne object.”

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