Oops! The Media Got the Caravan Wrong - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Oops! The Media Got the Caravan Wrong

Over there at Breitbart and also at the New York PostJohn Nolte and Rich Lowry have nailed it exactly.

To wit: the media got the caravan thunderously, embarrassingly wrong.

Nolte points out the following.

Fox’s Shepard Smith assured: “There is no invasion,” he said. “There’s nothing at all to worry about.” Nolte links to this ITV report — and there are the migrants storming the U.S. border, as here.

Then there was, famously, CNN’s Jim Acosta at that showdown in the East Room with the President. Acosta lecturing the President that “As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion…. Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on, but they’re not going to be doing that.” Nolte links to this video put together by the Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson, in which Benny overlays the tape of Acosta insisting on all of this while showing the caravan members — yes indeed — storming the U.S. border and throwing rocks.

Rich Lowry headlined the same story this way in the Post:

Trump’s critics were dead wrong about the caravan after all

Rich wrote in part:

It’s been about three weeks since CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly told President Trump at a news conference that the migrant caravan is “hundreds and hundreds of miles away” and “not an invasion.” Acosta strenuously objected to a Trump ad that showed migrants climbing border walls: “They’re not going to be doing that.”

Now, thousands of migrants from the caravan have arrived in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. Over the weekend, hundreds of them stormed a border crossing, climbing the fence and throwing rocks. US border agents used tear gas to repel the mob. If the throng was too small to constitute an invasion, it certainly wasn’t a rules-bound group of asylum seekers.

Lowry too included a link in his story, included above, which takes viewers to this headline in the Post:

US agents fire tear gas at migrants in start of border clashes with Mexico

That Post story begins:

US Border Patrol agents fired tear gas to repel rock-throwing migrants who tried to storm through a border fence separating California and Mexico on Sunday.

Some of the migrants, part of the caravan that traveled to the border from Central America, threw “projectiles” at border agents as they approached the fence, officials said. Video appeared to show rocks being thrown.

US Customs and Border Protection later tweeted that several agents were struck and tear gas was used “to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety.”

The question, then, is why? How on earth could anyone watching what has been going on with this caravan of people storming across borders, knocking down the gates separating Guatemala from Mexico — and possibly think this was not going to happen when these same people reached the U.S. border?

Fox’s Brit Hume tweeted out the obvious answer: “TDS makes for bad politics and bad journalism.”

“TDS,” of course, is “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” And Hume, Nolte, and Lowry all got it exactly right.

The fact that what was coming in terms of migrants storming the border — violently — was so starkly obvious, only to see smart journalists (and Smith and Acosta were far from alone on this) close their eyes and stoutly insist it would never happen is breathtaking in its wrongheadedness.

Yes, yes. I understand they don’t like President Trump. But there’s a huge difference between honest political differences with a President (or anyone else), and being so overcome with a foaming rage at the man that it blinds to a reality that should be obvious to your average five-year-old.

Weeks ago the President, with a totally clear-eyed understanding of what was coming, started preparing — something Presidents are paid to do. Troops were dispatched to protect the border. Barbed wire barriers were installed to protect the border. Tear gas was at the ready.

And when the tear gas was used against the mob of border storming, rock throwing invaders? Ohhhh the horror! Trump critics were furious. But there was something curious about the overwrought reaction from the likes of the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and others.

It seems that, well, President Obama did exactly the same thing. Here’s the headline from the Washington Times:

Tear gas used once a month at border under Obama

DHS data shows deployments dating back years

This story begins:

The same tear-gas agent that the Trump administration is taking heat for deploying against a border mob this weekend is actually used fairly frequently — including more than once a month during the later years of President Barack Obama’s administration, according to Homeland Security data.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has used 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, or CS, since 2010, and deployed it 26 times in fiscal 2012 and 27 times in 2013. The use dropped after that, but was still deployed three times in 2016, Mr. Obama’s final full year in office.

And where were the Trump critics then? Silent as church mice. Which is to say, it was OK for Obama — but not for Trump.

Yet again this is Trump Derangement Syndrome in action. And, one suspects, the only people to have their credibility damaged are those who let TDS so cloud their judgment that it blinds them to blatantly obvious reality.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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