July 26, 2018

Study: TV’s War Against Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Agenda

Posted by D.A. King at 1:41 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  


“Authentic news coverage would present both sides, and trust that viewers could make up their own minds. During the past 18 months, the networks’ coverage of immigration has not been news, but rather obvious advocacy — heroes vs. villains, good guys vs. bad guys — with the administration clearly wearing the black hats.”

MRC Newsbusters

Study: TV’s War Against Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Agenda

By Rich Noyes and Bill D’Agostino | July 24, 2018

On the other side, these newscasts aired 83 soundbites from law enforcement, 13 soundbites from U.S. citizens identified as border residents (three of whom were opposed to Trump’s policies), and five soundbites from friends and family members of those who died because of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. There were only four soundbites from activists associated with groups committed to enforcement of immigration laws.

There weren’t any soundbites from pro-administration protesters to balance out the 163 from anti-Trump protesters, but 15 stories included heard audible chants at Trump rallies favoring a border wall and/or Mexico paying for the wall.

Lopsided as it is, the networks’ preference for soundbites from Trump’s victims doesn’t fully account for the 92% negative news on this topic. Reporters and anchors themselves amplified the messages of “fear,” “dread,” and even “terror” among those barred from entering the U.S. or facing deportation.

On the February 11, 2017 NBC Nightly News, as the lax Obama-era policies were replaced, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez said: “families of undocumented immigrants say they’re now living in fear….An immigration attorney in Atlanta, says there is a sense of panic among her clients.” On March 3, then-CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley warned: “There is a growing sense of dread among immigrants in America.”

On September 5, 2017, when President Trump announced an end to Obama’s DACA policy, ABC’s White House correspondent Cecilia Vega highlighted how “DREAMers like Jesus Contreras are terrified,” before running a clip from Contreras: “I am disappointed that the President, as a man of God and as a man of faith, did not keep his word….It’s saddening. It’s terrible.”

On NBC that same night, correspondent Jacob Soboroff profiled a DREAMer named Pablo Garcia, who fretted the decision was “heartbreaking” and “shocking.” Over on CBS, anchor Anthony Mason mourned that “a promise kept by President Trump is a dream lost for thousands of undocumented immigrants.” Read the rest here.