Let's Compare Coverage of Biden's and Trump's Border Crises

March 23rd, 2021 7:59 AM

TV journalists spent the past week running cover for President Biden as his administration struggled to manage the migrant surge at the border, frequently reminding viewers that the border posed a “difficult” and “complex problem.” Some even repeated the Democrat talking point that Biden had “inherited” the crisis from the previous administration.

Contrast that with the news media’s endless venom about “kids in cages” during the Trump administration — not to mention their comparisons of U.S. immigration policy to the Holocaust. Needless to say, such overblown rhetoric is noticeably absent now that a Democrat is President.

To see just how differently television news networks treated similar crisis under Trump and Biden, watch the video below:



To the media, the crisis is not that thousands of illegal immigrants are showing up at the border, but rather that they might not be receiving adequate amenities. Thus these journalists are conveniently absolved of having to ponder whether Biden’s lax immigration policies could be partially driving for the spike in crossings.

Instead, some journalists are blaming the surge on the previous administration. During the March 15 edition of MSNBC’s MTP Daily, fill-in host Kasie Hunt argued: “Obviously, this is a problem that the Biden administration inherited from the Trump administration.”

That same evening, CNN foreign correspondent Lucy Kafanov reminded viewers that the Biden administration was doing its best, but that the deck was stacked against them: “There’s no denying that this is an incredibly complex humanitarian issue that’s of course, made even more difficult by the fact that we’re dealing with this in the midst of a pandemic.”

To others, the surge was an inconvenient distraction from all the wonderful things Biden was getting done. During the March 17 edition of CBS This Morning, senior White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe lamented that this whole border thing was really putting a damper on Biden’s COVID stimulus victory lap: “That situation at the border is becoming a big political problem for the Biden administration and is, in some ways, distracting from the focus that they’re trying to keep this week and next week on the American Rescue Plan.”

All of this is a very far cry from the activism that journalists engaged in during the Trump presidency. Back then, the practice of detaining minors, rather than simply turning them loose into the U.S. without processing them, became known as “putting kids in cages.”  Some twisted that phrasing into even more hyperbolic descriptions, like “babies in jail.” This artful characterization was used by the likes of MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace and Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell, among others.

And let’s not forget the Holocaust references. Back in 2018, former RNC chair-turned-MSNBC-contributor Michael Steele remarked of the detention facilities: “I call this a concentration camp for kids.”

When reporters are allowed access into these border facilities, we may see the coverage become somewhat harsher. But don’t expect to hear anything even close to what the same reporters were saying during the last administration.