It’s Not Déjà Vu, Just Biased Reporting
Jennifer G. Hickey
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.
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