According to the stellar reporting at Fox & Friends, the Huns – or somebody – is threatening at the border, and President Obama is not taking the situation very “seriously”, and it won’t be long before we’re all eating Mexican food for breakfast and that dogs and cats are living together (can’t use that line too much).
In a recent early morning gabfest, the shows happy trio repeatedly suggested that because of a joke the President made during a recent speech about immigration, he is not taking border security “seriously”. But of course what the intellectual triumvirate at Fox & Friends completely ignored were the facts deportations of illegal immigrants have increased under President Obama, and the number of border patrol agents and funding for border security projects have also increased.
But the issue here is that facts don’t matter to conservatives, it’s all about feelings. The fact the number of border guards has increased, or that the number of deportations had increased, or that there is more fence now doesn’t matter. If Steve Doocy says it isn’t so, well, then, it isn’t so.
During his 10 May speech in El Paso, Texas, about immigration reform, President Obama said, “So here’s the point. I want everybody to listen carefully to this. We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.
“You know, they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. (Laughter.) Maybe they want alligators in the moat. (Laughter.) They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.”
That’s exactly right Mr. President. It doesn’t matter what you do, because the right-wing crazies at FOX, and their viewers, are never going to say it’s enough. Case in point was just this last few weeks, the President gets Bin Laden, but the right-wingers all want to claim it was because of George Bush, or it was because of torture, or because Dick Cheney shot a friend in the face while duck hunting …
What was Doocy’s reaction to the President’s joke?
“Just days after a dozen people were massacred near the United States- Mexican border, the president made fun of the fence,” the Doocy said. “Can he keep us safe without securing the border?”
Of course what Steve failed to tell his viewers was he was referring to a raid at Falcon Lake, on the border between Texas and Mexico, conducted by Mexican officials in which – reportedly – one Mexican Marine and 12 suspected drug cartel members were killed.
So, Doocy spins the attack on a Cartel, and the killing of 12 suspected cartel members, “a massacre” on the border? Were there beheadings there too Steve? You know, like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer claims are going on all the time? This is the kind of far right-wing spin that passes for news at FOX PAC.
Not to be out done however, a few moments later, co-host Gretchen Carlson – the brains of the outfit – interviewed Rep. Ted Poe (GOTP-TX). During the “interview”, Carlson repeatedly invited Poe to criticize the Obama administration’s record on border security and like the top notch FOX PAC journalist she is did not push back against Poe’s suggestion the President has made the U.S.-Mexican border less secure.
“So in that little clip that we just played [from Obama’s May 10 speech], the president said that you guys got all the stuff that you asked for. Is that true?” Gretchen asked.
To which the man from Texas replied, “No, that’s completely not true. I have asked the president to put more National Guard troops on the board — 10,000 National Guard troops. That hasn’t happened. So the president is misinformed when he says that he is — we have — he has done everything we’ve asked him to do. The border is not secure. His own agency — inspector general says that only 44 percent of the border is secure. That means 56 percent of the border is controlled by somebody else. And that’s not Mexico, and that’s not the United States. So, I’ve been to the border numerous times, been to Arizona. And the president is incorrect when he tries to mislead the American public, especially people who aren’t on the border, that the border is secure. It is not.”
And because her role on the show is to be the pretty dumb blonde, and not to in any way be a journalist, Gretchen sets the ball up for Poe to spike at the net, “See, here’s what I don’t understand, congressman, because it would seem to me that most Americans would be in favor of securing our border. Just that fact alone. Then it gets dicey. I mean, then it gets dicey — what do you do with all the people who are already here? What do you do with the rest of the family members who still want to come? But am I missing something here? I don’t really understand who’s against securing the border?”
“There are different political entities who actually believe in open borders,” the Congressman replied. “We want people to come here the right way. If you can’t come here legally, don’t come. And that includes everybody. And we have to make sure that we secure that southern border, especially. Third World countries secure their borders better than we do. We protect the borders of other nations, Afghanistan, Iraq, but we don’t protect ours. It is — it is just a song and dance to try mislead folks that the border is secure. The border patrol does as best job as they can, but they need more reinforcements. Everybody knows that drug cartels cross back and forth into the United States every day. They bring people, they bring drugs. And it’s very disheartening to find Americans throughout the country who don’t live there that don’t want the borders secure.”
Later during the show, Carlson teased an upcoming segment by playing the Doocy massacre card, including a short clip of the President’s joke, “Days after a massacre on the Mexican border, President Obama made fun, then, of the fence.
Video clip of the President, “Maybe they’ll need a moat, maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied.”
“He was talking about Republicans,” Gretchen said. “So will Republicans get the last laugh? Well, Karl Rove is here next to let us know his thoughts.”
Yes, when FOX PAC wants to talk about criminals in our country, who better than a criminal to comment, and so they bring on Karl Rove. But can you see how distorted FOX plays things up? Twelve members of a cartel are killed by Mexican Marines, and it’s very nearly played as a massacre at a Church picnic by the cartel.
Now, what about the claims FOX & FRIENDS is trying to implant into the mushy grey matter of its dedicated fans?
PolitiFact has rated as “true” President Obama’s statement that “the Border Patrol has 20,000 agents — more than twice as many as there were in 2004.”
PolitiFact stated, “In a speech on immigration reform in El Paso, Texas, President Barack Obama boasted about an unprecedented number of border security agents along the U.S. border with Mexico, but he said critics probably still won’t be satisfied.
‘Under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible,” Obama said in his May 10, 2011, speech. “They wanted more agents on the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents — more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a buildup that began under President Bush and that we have continued.’
“In March 2011, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report, ‘Border Security: DHS Progress and Challenges in Securing the U.S. Southwest and Northern Borders,’ in conjunction with testimony from GAO Director Richard Stana.
“The report confirmed that personnel and other resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S.-Mexico border have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created, reorganizing several federal agencies under a single roof. That year, the agency had 10,500 agents to patrol land borders. That number now stands at nearly 21,000.
“In other words, manpower has roughly doubled since 2004, as Obama said in his speech in El Paso. Again, that trend began under President Bush, whom Obama credited, but it continued under Obama. We rate Obama’s statement True.”
A 23 June 2010, Associated Press article noted: “You wouldn’t know it from the public debate, but the U.S.-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago. Far more agents patrol it, more fences, barriers and technology protect it and taxpayers are spending billions more to reinforce it.”
Based on Department of Homeland Security data, The Arizona Republic created the following chart showing the increase in border patrol agents since 2001.
According to 13 August 2010 Reuters article, President Obama signed a $600 million border security bill to “fund some 1,500 new border patrol agents, customs inspectors and other law enforcement officials along the border, as well as two more unmanned aerial ‘drones’ to monitor border activities.”
According to data reported by USA Today in February of this year, “[w]eapons seizures rose 28% and illicit-currency seizures were up 35% in fiscal 2009 and 2010.”
According to 14 February 2011 data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), nearly 100,000 more people were deported by ICE in both 2009 and 2010 than in 2007.
As is often said, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own set of facts”. FOX PAC – and particularly the folks at FOX & FRIENDS – just doesn’t seem to care. Why mess with facts? They just get in the way. “You’re watching FOX PAC, we report what we think, you decide”. But when a so-called “news” organization deals more with opinion than journalism the line becomes so blurred its viewers can’t tell the difference. Hence you end up with a number of people dissatisfied with the President’s job approval matching the percentage of daily viewers to FOX. When the only news you ever watch isn’t news, what exactly are you basing your opinion on? That’s right, you’re basing it on what FOX thinks it should be, and that’s not called news, its called propaganda.
Truth – as in facts – is the border is far safer now than it was under BUSH & FRIENDS, and the conservatives can’t take it! They can’t take it that a progressive President got Bin Laden, and they can’t take it that a progressive President is making the borders safer either.
(thank you Media Matters for the facts shown here today)