So Tillerson just got nominated. And this is what you know: 1. The left decries him as an absolute demoralization of a most revered political position. 2. The right doesn’t really know what to do with him, but it seems like someone mixed up some potent Kool-Aid and here we are, February 1st, 2017. Rex Tillerson was sworn in as the Secretary of State.
I, as a 21 year-old sometimes moderate, largely conservative female with minimal foreknowledge of the matter, am going to read and interpret 3 articles from the front page of Google after a search of “Rex Tillerson” for you. The end goal is both for you, my dear reader, and I, to come to a more full understanding of what it might mean now that Mr. Tillerson is our Secretary of State. I also think it will be enlightening as a sort of social experiment to see how each news outlet reports today’s events.
Our first article is by the New York Times, titled “Rex Tillerson is Confirmed as Secretary of State Amid Record Opposition”, and written by Gardiner Harris. Mr. Harris paints a bleak picture for Rex Tillerson, talking about how President Trump has set many obstacles in front of his incoming Secretary of State in the form of deteriorating relations with Mexico, Muslim countries, and European allies angered by his recent executive orders. I mean, Gardiner’s not lying. Rex has his work cut out for him. Tempered with this dismal outlook was a relatively positive description of Tillerson’s credentials.
On to the next one- a piece by Alana Abramson of ABC News called “Rex Tillerson: Everything You Need to Know About the New Secretary of State.” More like everything ABC thinks you need to know. Unlike it’s predecessor, this article brings up and details with a heavy hand Tillerson’s ties to Vladimir Putin and Exxon Mobile’s controversies over renewable energy. This article dialed into Tillerson’s shortcomings, not offering much in the way of context in worldwide affairs.
Our last article, “Tillerson sworn in as secretary of state” is published by CNN and written by Nicole Gaouette. This article heavily focuses on his hearing and the controversy that surrounded his nomination, including several quotes from various senators on either side of the aisle. This is certainly something that I feel needs to be brought up in any discussion of Rex Tillerson’s confirmation- the record number of negative votes cannot be swept under the rug. He will need to work extremely hard before Democrats give him any sort of respect.
Looking at these three articles in whole, you can see that these are publications frequently labeled as biased or left-wing. After reading them, I can detect a slight bias, but also feel that I was fairly informed of the circumstances surrounding his swearing-in. Rex Tillerson, while a well-versed global powerhouse, leaves me feeling uneasy. I am surprised and disappointed that all of the Republican senators voted positively for his confirmation, especially after considering his extensive connections with Vladimir Putin and unwillingness to denounce his actions. I can only hope that after further questioning in private, all of their worries were resolved and they were able to vote for him with a clear conscience. Only time will tell what sort of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be.