Mornings Nets Bemoan ‘Dramatic’ Border Attack, Fret ‘Desperation’ by Illegal Immigrants

March 22nd, 2024 2:56 PM

After showing no interest on Thursday’s CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, Friday’s CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today chose to cover the disturbing, viral video from our friend Jennie Taer at the New York Post showing a mob of illegal immigrants storming and tearing down a fence just over the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.

Having had time to marinate on this story, the networks all got their ducks in a row with CBS in particular bemoaning Taer’s video as “likely to add fuel to the political showdown over immigration and border security” and illustrative of how illegal immigrants are driven by “a tragic combination of a broken system and desperation” to pour into the U.S.



“A chaotic scene in El Paso as migrants storm a fence at the border briefly overwhelming the National Guard,” announced co-host Nate Burleson in the show’s “Eye Opener”, which was followed by a soundbite of Taer telling El Paso’s ABC affiliate KVIA she heard “yelling” and “banging” and she “didn’t know what was happening to those guardsmen.”

All three networks included a graphic crediting the Post, but co-host Tony Dokoupil was the only journalist on any of the networks to credit them out loud, saying it was “taken by a New York Post journalist shows a group of migrants pulling razor wire fencing aside and then pushing past members of the Texas National Guard.”

Dokoupil, however, lamented that the “dramatic video from the southern border” was “likely to add fuel to the political showdown over immigration and border security.”

Far-left CBS News immigration reporter Camilio Montoya-Galvez first griped the “images clearly illustrate the humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border that, by every measure, is unprecedented in nature” before giving a brief description of the video.

Montoya-Galvez clearly wanted to convey to viewers this wasn’t a time to be angry or horrified about this mob scene, but feel sadness for illegal immigrants showing “desperation” and that they were deprived of their rights to be “process[ed] and vet[ted]” by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (i.e. that they can be released into the U.S. and disappear):

[T]he Texas National Guard is setting up razor wire and barriers to not only deter migrants from crossing the Rio Grande illegally but to block them from accessing federal border patrol agents, which are legally required to process and vet migrants who are physically on American soil and also to refer them to asylum judges and immigration — asylum officers when there is an arrival of a migrant on U.S. soil and the international boundary in Texas is actually in the middle of the Rio Grande, so these migrants were already on American soil. They had to be processed, Tony, under federal law. Bottom line, Tony, is that these images clearly show that there’s a tragic combination of a broken system and desperation at the border.

ABC’s Good Morning America also had a tease and full report. Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos had the former: “Caught on camera. Migrants storm across the southern border, overwhelming Texas guards. What do we know and the reaction this morning.”

Co-host Michael Strahan tossed to correspondent Mireya Villarreal by describing the story as “dramatic video showing a group of migrants breaching a barbed wire fence, overwhelming Texas National Guard troops.”

Villarreal first provided a description of the “dramatic” and “tense” scene that unfolded after actually “several hours of...back and forth” and seemed to suggest Taer’s work was misleading:

But the incident shown from another angle tells a different story, appearing to show National Guard troops apprehending a handful of migrants. Sources tell ABC News U.S. Border Patrol agents took them into custody for processing. U.S. Customs and Border Protection issuing a statement after the incident, assuring ABC News that “all migrants from this group have been moved from the site. Additional personnel have been deployed to the scene”[.]

In the first comments on one of NBC’s flagship newscasts, Today co-host Craig Melvin teased a segment on the “[c]lash at the border” with “[d]ramatic new video of a tense struggle in Texas, dozens of migrants pushing through a security barrier” that’s become “the newest flashpoint in the battle over immigration.”

Correspondent Priscilla Thompson had the full report on the “dramatic” and “chaotic scene”, but also rehashed the court fight over Texas bill SB4 and touted Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro (D) bragging about not sending Pennsylvania National Guard members to Texas because it’d only contribute to a “political squabble.”

To see the relevant transcripts from March 22, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).