SHAME: One Year of the Networks Burying Biden’s Border Crisis

The crisis at the border with Mexico has gotten worse over the past year. It is now growing to new heights every month. Violence and deaths have occurred at the border. States are overwhelmed. Cities across America have seen illegal immigrants released. 

From July of 2021 through June of 2022, ABC’s World News TonightIt is the CBS Evening NewsThe NBC Nightly NewsOnly 146 minutes were allowed to cover the border crisis. Three separate months they did not allow any time. The ABC, CBS, and NBC newscasts were able to provide coverage for ten minutes in five months. 

Here’s the last year of evening newscast coverage: 

 

 

There was another record, with 239,416 arrests in May. However, coverage of that event lasted just seven minutes and 58 second in May. There were 191,898 arrests in June. Coverage is excellent with coverage lasting 15 minutes and 36 second. 

It’s not as though shocking anecdotal examples weren’t available. The Texas heat was so hot that 53 migrants had to be left behind in Texas, where they were forced to live out their last days. This is the most horrific human smuggling case in American history. It was covered by the evening newscasts of only 13 minutes and 5 seconds. Of that, only 48 seconds hinted at any blame for the President’s policies. They dropped the whole thing.  

May and June’s coverage fell off from a 2022 high of 27 minutes in April. But, this is a trend: Short spurts of coverage are followed by long periods of inactivity from networks. In September 2021, there was a peak of 54 minutes of interest from the networks. However, the difference was only 32 minutes between October 2021 and March 2022. 

The pattern was established shortly after Biden became president. The border was covered for 113 minutes in March 2021. In May 2021, it was just 26 minutes. 

In the months November, January, and February of this year the network newscasts totally ignored the border crisis. But here’s some of the real world things happening while ABC, CBS and NBC boycotted the story: 

February 20, 2222A North California illegal immigrant fired 17 shots at a church, killing three of his daughters and one other person.

January 2022U.S. Border Patrol captured a child predator who was crossing the southern border. Fox News was the only news outlet that covered illegal immigrants being detained in New York. This shocked local authorities. 

Fox’s Bill Melugin said on January 26 that “[a] source within ICE tells me that the agency has in fact been releasing some illegal immigrants who have misdemeanor criminal record, some things like assault, or drunk driving.” 

November 2021Texas Border Protection officers confiscated more than $50,000,000 worth of meth to be smuggled into America. 

The border situation has deteriorated dangerously over the past year. Anecdotal and numerical evidence both point to a totally uncontrolled situation. But the networks don’t care about Joe Biden being investigated or held accountable. The President’s polling numbers are falling, despite the best efforts of ABC, CBS and NBC to protect Biden from facing the reality of the situation he’s made much worse.

In just 15 weeks, the midterm election is almost upon us. If journalists want to do their jobs — and not be partisans protecting the Democratic Party — they should cover this dangerous situation..

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