It’s Not Déjà Vu, Just Biased Reporting



Like old dogs, the biased media cannot learn new tricks. But they do like to use their old tricks, particularly using headlines to establish a narrative – even if it is false. And that is what is going on with the current coverage of unaccompanied minors in the immigration system.

This scandal du jour is, according to a Sept. 19 CNN wire story , is that the “Trump Administration Again Admits to Losing Track of Nearly 1,500 Immigrant Children Separated From Their Parents.”

A reader of the headline might believe that administration not only “admitted” to “losing” a thousand-plus children, but that those kids had been separated from their parents.

If you dig down a few paragraphs, readers would learn that “the undocumented children in question mostly arrived in the US by themselves.”

It’s a shame the headline writers or editors did not read that far. Maybe they meant “separated” from their parents before they illegally crossed the border.

Most other outlets parroted the simpler “lost” narrative:

CBS News tweeted that “Feds say they lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children — for the second time in less than a year.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) contended that 1,500 was the “number of migrant children they’ve lost track of today.”

The claim of children being lost, however, has not gotten more truthful with age.

An April headline in the New York Times asserted that agencies “lost track” of nearly 1,500 migrant children who had been placed with sponsors. Were the children lost then? The Washington Post Fact-Checker answered simply: “In a word, no.”

As Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement, “The assertion that unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are ‘lost’ is completely false.”

Despite the media’s attempt to portray the situation as one of incompetence, it is the sponsors and the children who are hiding from the government.

As Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) noted in a hearing this week, “We tend to ‘lose children’ when they go and are placed in the home of someone who already is not legally present, who has been living under the radar for years, and we are surprised when they both disappear. This should not surprise us,” he said.

Nor is it surprising the media will use any trick up its sleeve when the goal is to deceive.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    It’s CNN, aka Clinton News Network. Some may think that hyperbole, but it was their network who provided pre-debate questions to Hillary and those questions were asked at the debates. And the media insists that Trump is responsible for 3000 deaths in Puerto Rico, but that is just some estimate and not an actual count of anything. Is it likely that people in poor health to begin with might die due to stress afterwards? A perfectly logical conclusion but not Trump’s fault. Puerto Rico’s third world electric system was held together with tape and glue before the storm. Trump told some guy in North Carolina that he had gotten a “free boat” because it landed in his yard. Naturally the media was “stunned” by the “callousness” of what was clearly a joke.

    And every weather event is passed off as proof of global warming. Florence was a category 1 storm. The big damage was because it stalled in place and rained. The storm with highest winds to hit that state was cat 4 Hazel in 1954. In the first week of this month, several cities in northern Minnesota broke low temp records by several degrees. If you go state by state the largest group of highest temps recorded are from the 30s. The strongest hurricane to make land in this country hit the Keys in 1935. CO2 may increase warming but it is nothing compared to solar activity. What else explains the “little ice age” from 1645 to 1715.