I assume that when Gonzalez Gonzales implored me to “get my news from other sources,” he meant I should ignore “CNN, ABC, CBS and all the other traitors” in favor of… Fox News? Breitbart? I don’t know, Infowars?
Breitbart and Infowars: hard pass. But I do make a habit of reading Fox News, often in split-screen with other newspapers as a way to see how they frame the same stories in different language.
Take, for instance, the Border Patrol story that I quoted a couple days ago. Their original, bare-bones media release was picked up and reported on by the El Paso Times—which makes sense since Sunland Park, New Mexico, is only about eight miles west of El Paso, Texas, so it constituted local news. From there, the El Paso Times story was picked up and rehashed by Fox News host Sean Hannity’s staff for his website—they don’t appear to have done any further reporting, just quoted a few lines from the El Paso article between their own summary.
Let’s see how the story evolved along the way…
Almost 200 apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico
Border Patrol Media Release
Date: February 27, 2019
SUNLAND PARK, N.M. – U.S. Border Patrol agents working near Sunland Park apprehend 180 illegal aliens in the early morning hours of February 26. This group, like many others before, is comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles.
Border Patrol detains 180 Central American migrants in Sunland Park, NM
El Paso Times
Published 3:25 p.m. MT Feb. 27, 2019
The U.S. Border Patrol detained a group of 180 undocumented immigrants who crossed the border early Tuesday morning in Sunland Park, N.M.
The apprehension was the second in Sunland Park involving a group of more than 100 migrants in the past three weeks.
The Border Patrol said that the migrants were mostly families and children from Central America.
MANUFACTURED CRISIS? Agents Arrest 180 MIGRANTS Crossing US-Mexico Border at ONE TIME
posted by Hannity Staff
March 1, 2019
The United States Border Patrol detained approximately 180 Central American migrants at a single location this week; arresting the giant group as they rushed the Mexico border into the southern US.
“The U.S. Border Patrol detained a group of 180 undocumented immigrants who crossed the border early Tuesday morning in Sunland Park, N.M.,” reports the El Paso Times. “The apprehension was the second in Sunland Park involving a group of more than 100 migrants in the past three weeks.”
A giant group? At a single location? Rushing the border? Thank heaven our brave men in the Border Patrol uniform were there to meet the invading force before their strategically concentrated onslaught allowed them to infiltrate the country, right?
Of course, the ALL CAPS headline and trumped-up language were conjured from thin air by Hannity’s right-wing spin doctors. The migrants didn’t rush the border as a mob; people gradually slipped through fencing, then deliberately turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents to begin the process of applying for asylum. But you wouldn’t know that from the Hannity retelling, which also deftly skips over the detail that most of the migrants were “families and unaccompanied juveniles” and lets readers fill in their own image of who might be in the group (criminals and terrorists, anyone?).
Long story short—we should all make a habit of getting our news from multiple sources, and keeping a close, critical eye on the language and details they each choose to use. Thank you, Mr. Gonzales, for the reminder.