NEWS AND OPINION:
Though the origins of the expanding Honduran caravan advancing on the U.S. border remain somewhat mysterious, broadcasters hostile to President Trump and his administration have already crafted the political narrative as a “humanitarian crisis” and are off on a march of their own. The tone and content of the coverage is so clear and unified that even The Associated Press — which officially sets style and grammar use for most news organizations — was criticized for referring to the caravan participants as “a ragtag army of the poor.”
The AP publicly apologized and purged the story of the description.
Another type of coverage is favored, though. The “Big Three” broadcast networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — have set the pace.
“The networks are offering a heroic portrayal of the caravan of thousands of illegal immigrants heading to the U.S. border from Central America. Anchors and correspondents were particularly thrilled by the group ‘defying’ President Trump’s demand that they turn back, and for being ‘undeterred’ from ‘their mission to get to America,’” writes Kyle Drennen, an analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.
He cited multiple examples, including NBC “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie, who focused on migrant defiance and then declared that “the political battle is reaching a boiling point.”
On ABC, descriptions of grueling conditions and “blistering heat” were many, the situation itself now a “growing humanitarian crisis.” CBS also reported on such things as rainy “wet chaos” and a “rushing river of migrants.”
The networks, Mr. Drennan said, “cheer the migrants.”
And from talk radio host Michael Savage comes one more question about the outcome of the caravan, and the narrative.
“Trump’s Alamo or Trump’s Waterloo? The president is now facing an existential moment in his presidency,” he says, adding that the coverage and endless political posturing “is an attempt by the Democrats to create mass hysteria against the president, against Republicans and against people who support them.”
THE QUESTIONS TO ASK
Federation for American Immigration Reform points out that as the aforementioned caravan moves forward, the apprehensions of Central Americans adults with children is already at an all-time high. In September, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 41,400 people who crossed the border illegally, an increase from 37,544 in August. The number of adults traveling with children on their own also surged to record levels in September.
“What are the questions Americans should be asking?” asks the 1.9 million-member public interest organization.
“Who is politically motivated to first create, and then facilitate a humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border as the nation approaches one of the most significant midterm elections in recent history? Has the open borders rhetoric of the left, along with the explosion of sanctuary cities across the U.S. actually incentivized this crisis?” the group says.
“Will President Trump be able to put enough political pressure on Mexico and the United Nations to gain control of this situation at Mexico’s southern border? Why hasn’t our Congress closed the asylum loopholes that permit the exploitation of U.S. asylum policy while fueling this ongoing border crisis?”
MR. PEREZ HAS A REMINDER
The Democratic motto which begins “When they go low … ” has been through several incarnations, including its original version, which emerged in a speech by first lady Michelle Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention as she spoke of aggressive political opponents.
She advised Democrats, “When they go low, we go high.”
More recently, former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. offered, “When they go low, we kick them.”
Now Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has his own version as the midterm elections draw nigh: “When they go low, we go vote,” he told MSNBC.
Prudent Republican strategists also should heed his comment, particularly as election clock ticks, and the unprecedented surge of early voting continues nationwide.
AGREE TO DISAGREE, OR SOMETHING
“Americans are divided over everything — except division itself,” reports a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll which revealed that 90 percent of voters say the stark division between Republicans and Democrats is a “serious problem.”
The survey of registered U.S. voters found that 80 percent believe that the United States itself is now divided. That includes 85 percent of Democrats, 85 percent of Clinton voters, 73 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Trump voters, 83 percent of rural residents, 80 percent of suburban dwellers and 78 percent of respondents living in urban America.
‘THE REAL REASON THEY HATE TRUMP’
Wall Street Journal columnist David Gelernter offers a noteworthy summation of why the ire among President Trump‘s rivals is so intense.
“The real reason they hate Trump: He’s the average American in exaggerated form — blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals,” writes Mr. Gelernter, who suggests that Democrats face a barren political marketplace.
“The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared,” he says.
“The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says ‘Empty.’ The left is beaten,” the columnist continues. “The left’s only issue is ‘We hate Trump.’ This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 87 percent of U.S. auto dealers predict a growth in “ride hailing” like Uber.
• 82 percent say “car subscriptions” and “car sharing” will increase.
• 81 percent say use of autonomous vehicles will increase.
• 47 percent say consumers will own or lease fewer vehicles because of these new “mobility options.”
• 45 percent say these mobility options present a new revenue stream for them.
Source: A Cox Automotive “Evolution of Mobility” survey of 430 franchise and independent U.S. auto dealers conducted throughout July and released Monday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin