While the broadcast networks spent the early days of the Biden administration praising him for ‘unraveling’ the legacy of former President Trump with executive orders, particularly on immigration, they were suddenly silent Tuesday after news broke he was putting migrant children back in cages. A blatant double standard in how the liberal media apply outrage.
Despite The Washington Post breaking the story overnight Monday, none of the morning or evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC shared a word about Biden’s kiddie kennels with their viewers. But it was just last Thursday that all three networks boasted about Biden’s push for an immigration overhaul and a “pathway to citizenship.”
Luckily, Fox News Channel’s Special Report wasn’t going to hide the facts from their viewers. Anchor Bret Baier took things a step further and called out The Post for their pro-Biden spin with defining the cages:
There’s an optics issue tonight for the Biden administration over the housing of children traveling without their parents across the border from Mexico into the United States. The Washington Post is characterizing the camp as a “migrant facility.” However, during the Trump years, the headlines decried such placement as the caging of children. The Biden team is rejecting the comparison.
“There has been such a surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border this year that the government is running out of places to house them,” Fox News chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt reported. “Hence, the Biden administering’s decision to reopen an emergency facility used during the Trump era. One that attracted a good deal of criticism from immigration advocates.”
Instead of reporting on Biden’s kiddie kennels, CBS and NBC gawked at the wife of Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo appearing in court on charges related to allegedly running her husband’s cartel. And all three of them spent part of their morning newscasts gushing over Biden’s candlelight vigil for COVID victims.
The abdication of their duty to report the story was particularly harmful to CBS, because White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe had asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the facilities during the briefing earlier in the day.
As NewsBusters’ Curtis Houck reported, O’Keefe pressed Psaki following questions from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy about the cages. O’Keefe even threw the opposition from then-candidate Biden back at the White House (Click “expand”):
O’KEEFE: But data we obtained said that there were at least 179 kids who spent more than three days in those kinds of facilities in January, despite an internal policy dictating all minors should get out in three days. Immigration attorneys, attorneys that work with these kids, advocates have seen all of this and are saying this isn’t that much better than what’s going on before. In regards to the HHS — the use of the HHS facility, they say it’s a step backwards. So, there’s the criticism that was made by candidates Biden and Harris and then there’s the criticism from some of these attorneys now who work with and represent these children who say this isn’t much different than what the Trump administration was doing. What say you?
“And I asked you a few weeks ago, when you guys announced the outlines of the immigration executive orders, what is the message to people in Central America who are thinking of making this trip? You gave an answer then. I guess I’d ask you, is the administration, is the U.S. government doing enough to make clear to that part of the world it’s not worth making this kind of a trip,” he added in a follow-up.
As for The Post, they were roundly ridiculed on social media were their new definition of migrant holding facilities.
The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:
Fox News Channel’s Special Report
February 23, 2021
6:44:03 p.m. Eastern
BRET BAIER: There’s an optics issue tonight for the Biden administration over the housing of children traveling without their parents across the border from Mexico into the United States. The Washington Post is characterizing the camp as a “migrant facility.” However, during the Trump years, the headlines decried such placement as the caging of children. The Biden team is rejecting the comparison. Chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt reports tonight from Los Angeles.[Cuts to video]
JONATHAN HUNT: There has been such a surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border this year that the government is running out of places to house them. Hence, the Biden administering’s decision to reopen an emergency facility used during the Trump era. One that attracted a good deal of criticism from immigration advocates.
The camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas is designed to hold 700 children between the ages of 13 and 17. And yesterday, dozens were taken there in vans. The reopening of the camp prompting the Children’s Defense Fund to tweak, quite, “it’s as true today as it was in 2019. Children do not belong in detention.”
The White House insisted today President Biden is not replicating Trump-era policies.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SEC. JEN PSAKI: This is not kids being kept in cages.
HUNT: Nearly 6,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended crossing the border in January. Housing them has become more difficult because COVID-19 restrictions. And as of last Thursday, around 6,800 children were in the custody with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Back in 2019, when the controversial site was used under Trump, HHS spokesman Mark Webber said the emergency facility was essentially the best of bad options.
MARK WEBER (HHS spokesman): The reason for Carrizo Springs, and the reason why we stood this up is, again, not to allow children to stay in Border Patrol stations any longer than they need to.[Cuts back to live]
HUNT: And Mr. Weber, still an HSS spokesman, told us via email today the camp remains a better holding facility than a Border Patrol station. And he emphasized that in his view, the children received good care at this facility during the Trump administration and receive good care there today. Bret.
BAIER: Jonathan, thank you.