- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

That was quick. A hefty coalition of progressive groups already has organized a “massive mobilization against the Trump administration’s family separation policy” which involves 100 protests around the nation, plus a jumbo rally to be staged outside the White House later this month.

The 42 host organizations include MoveOn.org, the American Civil Liberties Union, Greenpeace, NARAL, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Education Association, Pantsuit Nation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Voto Latino, the YWCA and the Women’s March.

Things have evolved in a hurry. The organizers cite an initial call for a grassroots demonstration made by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat, during an appearance Monday on MSNBC. Within 24 hours, there’s already a motto (“Families Belong Together,”) a website (FamiliesBelongTogether.org), a public petition to be delivered to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a colorful logo, and much social media activity with input from such celebrities as Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes. Some 46,000 people are interested in the rally scheduled for the nation’s capital, at least according to the event Facebook page. All the activities are scheduled for the last Saturday in June, fueled by ire and strong emotions, though President Trump has expressed his own personal dismay with the family separation factor.

“This policy is wrong and it is inhumane, and it must end immediately, without holding these children hostage to other extremist anti-immigrant policies. On June 30, politicians across the country will hear the outrage of the American people towards these policies,” predicts Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action.

“There is a human rights disaster of epic proportions happening at our border,” says Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy at the ACLU.

THE IMMIGRATION CRISIS, 2014 STYLE

Negative coverage of the “immigration crisis” has intensified, with ABC, CBS and NBC offering 94 minutes of anti-Trump fare on Monday alone, according to Newsbusters.org which cited “outraged anchors and correspondents” in attack mode. The conservative press watchdog also found that CNN and MSNBC compared the border policy to concentration camps and slavery 22 times.

Some insist such coverage is just another component in the ongoing campaign against the Trump administration as the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election loom.

“Again, we are smack-dab in the middle of yet another manufactured media crisis about the supposed Donald Trump policy that purposely, wantonly separates young families who are simply seeking a better life by crossing the border of the United States illegally. Remember, it used to be Stormy Daniels,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh pointed out to his 14 million listeners Tuesday.

Also remember that a 2014 photo of “caged children” was used by multiple news organizations in recent days to illustrate the current “crisis.” It is also helpful to remember that sympathetic news coverage in 2014 tended to be straightforward and factual, revealing the dire circumstances of young illegal immigrants without blaming the Obama administration.

“A lot of the kids tear up, they start crying when they’re questioned. And these border officers, they’re fathers and it tears their hearts out to see this. In terms of illness, there have been reports of diseases like chickenpox and measles. But what the agents are saying is most common is scabies, and a few agents have caught the microscopic bugs,” NPR correspondent John Burnett reported on June 11, 2014.

“The migrants do get a medical check when they arrive, so there’s lots of antibiotics that are being administered for respiratory problems. Overcrowding is a real problem for the spread of these sorts of conditions. Just to give you an idea, there were more than 1,000 immigrants crowded in the McAllen border patrol station a couple of weeks ago,” Mr. Burnett said in his on-air account almost exactly three years ago, adding that “the government is paying for nonprofit groups” to open shelters as fast as possible.

“U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 and 80,000 children without parents will cross the border this year alone,” a CNN story noted in late June, 2014.

“3,103 unaccompanied children from 11 countries were in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody along that border, the majority being from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala. The federal government does not have the processing capabilities to handle this kind of influx of illegal human traffic. But the Obama administration has now coordinated a government wide response to the crisis,” CNN advised.

FOR THE LEXICON

“The politics of hysteria.”

This is a handy new term coined by the aforementioned Rush Limbaugh to describe media attacks on the Trump administration which combine images, video footage and other distractions.

“We end up with a battle of images, and pretty soon everything descends into hysteria. So the politics of hysteria ends up determining what people think, and all of it is done on purpose,” Mr. Limbaugh said Tuesday.

FOXIFIED

For the 23rd consecutive week, Fox News Channel is the most watched network across the entire cable realm according to Nielsen Media Research, airing 17 of the top 25 cable telecasts last week. With an audience of 5.9 million, “Hannity” drew the largest audience for the North Korea summit, whether on cable networks or broadcasters such as CBS and NBC. As it has for over 16 years, Fox News is the top cable news network, drawing 2.9 million viewers compared to 1.7 million for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN.

Fox Business Network continues to trounce rival CNBC, according to Nielsen — with a particular victory following the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates and the North Korean summit. The network saw a 28 percent advantage over CNBC.

POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of Americans would like the Trump administration to maintain their traditional relationships with allies in Western Europe and Canada; 48 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent of Americans overall say that when President Trump criticizes other western leaders, “he really disrespects them”; 17 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall say Mr. Trump criticizes as a “negotiating tactic”; 73 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent overall say the U.S. should re-evaluate and change relationships with western allies; 43 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted June 14-17.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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