Biden’s Border Crisis Is Back on the Nets: More Coverage in April Than Past 5 Months Combined

The network evening news in April rediscovered Joe Biden’s crisis on the southern border, offering more coverage than they had in the previous five months combined. All it took to make this happen was an unprecedented high number of border crossings, making it the largest in Department of Homeland Security History. 

There were 234,088 crossings in April. This was a record number that topped the March 2022 mark of 221,303. From April 1, to April 30, NBC’s Nightly NewsThe border crisis was dealt with for 13 minutes and 30 second. CBS Evening News came in second with seven minutes and 30 seconds and ABC’s World News TonightWas last in the race with five minutes, 57 seconds. 

The total time of 26 minutes and 56 seconds was more than all five prior months. The spiraling border situation was covered in just 14 minutes and one seconds from November 1, 2021 through March 30, 2022. 



In the past five months, three (November-January and February) were not covered at all by evening newscasts.  The networks were able to provide coverage for just 4 minutes, 57 seconds in December and 9 minutes and 4 seconds for March. 

Most of the coverage in April revolved around the Biden administration’s attempt at lifting Title 42, a COVID-era health policy that allows for the immediate expulsion of illegals trying to cross the border. The news broke last Friday, stating that an federal judge was blocking the efforts. 

However, in the days leading up to Title 42 expiration, ABC and CBS rediscovered the border suddenly as a topic for conversation. 

The 1st of April World News TonightWhit Johnson, a reporter from the United States seemed not to understand how severe it is to open up another crisis over top of a crises. He parroted government talking points: 

Title 42 policy will expire May 23rd, as COVID case numbers have dropped. Alejandro Mayorkas from Homeland Security says more personnel, more resources, as well as more vaccines are available for the administration. 



The networks began to realize the severity of the disaster as the months progressed. The 6 April CBS Evening NewsManuel Bojorquez warns that not all Democrats support the move. 

Republicans have joined Democrats in warning against what they see as a hasty end to this policy. Both Arizona senators, Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, released a joint statement, Kelly calling it the “wrong decision,” and Sinema saying the move “shows a lack of understanding about the crisis at our border.” The White House, bracing for tens of thousands more migrants applying for asylum in the coming weeks, is sending additional resources to the border.

On that same show, anchor Norah O’Donnell grilled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: “When Title 42 is lifted, it could mean up to 18,000 more migrants every day. This crisis will only get worse. How is the department preparing to deal with it?” She even followed-up: “But you acknowledge you’re likely going to see a surge?” 

This was on the 18th April NBC Nightly NewsLester Holt from Anchor mentioned the awful state of March and linked it with Title 42 

Officials at the border with the south revealed that more immigrants crossed the U.S. into March than in any month since records began to be kept. Authorities are bracing for an influx of migrants after Title 42, a restriction at the border that was imposed by Biden’s administration, is lifted.  

Title 42 was the most popular topic in April, but there were other subjects such as Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s sending migrants on a bus to Washington D.C. and the arrival of Ukrainians at our southern border. 

They deserve credit for at most returning to the catastrophe at the border, after having ignored it for several months. But their renewed interest still doesn’t match the coverage from last spring. In January 2022, I wrote: 

There were 173,283 border incidents and 113 minutes coverage in March 2021. It was 44 minutes less in April than it was in May ….. [And]There was a short spike in June. It then dropped back to 54 minutes. 

Remember that there were 173,283 border crossings in March 2021, and that coverage was 113 minutes. With just over 27 minutes, April 2022 witnessed 234,088 cross-border crossings. It is becoming worse every day. It is incumbent on the networks to continue covering this crisis in regular, continuous coverage and not only when it happens. As the midterm elections approach, ABC, CBS, and NBC will likely go back to Biden protection mode.  

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