San Diego’s KUSI News reported Thursday that CNN asked them for a local news view on the border wall. When KUSI informed CNN that border patrol agents have uniformly told the station that the wall works, CNN lost interest.
Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if one of our reporters could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown…
We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work.
Here’s the clip and below that CNN’s response to it. CNN doesn’t deny it contacted KUSI for a local perspective but claims the decision not to use their reporter is a “non story.”
Hannity spreading B.S. about CNN again. @CNNPR's response: "We called several local stations to book someone for a show. We didn't end up booking any of them. That happens many times every single day. We did, however, book a reporter from KUSI for a story" in November… https://t.co/rtGj10QlN7
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 11, 2019
This explanation sounds reasonable and might even be true. I think the problem here is that it’s really not hard to believe CNN would decline to air a viewpoint that basically backed the president’s view of the border wall.
Just yesterday, CNN’s Jim Acosta was at the border making videos whose clear aim was to say there was nothing much happening at the border which anyone should worry about. That wasn’t true as this report from the same area by Good Morning America’s Matt Gutman demonstrated: “So many surrendering themselves, we struggled to keep up…”
Pres. Trump is set to travel to the southern border today, as he continues to make his case for building a barrier along the southern border amid an ongoing partial government shutdown: https://t.co/VWyDNCOwMv@mattgutmanABC reports live from McAllen, Texas. pic.twitter.com/RnhE18HUk0
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 10, 2019
In his on-air reporting yesterday, Acosta also emphasized about 5 times (in under a minute) that McAllen, Texas has a low crime rate. That’s true but Acosta did not mention that a Gallup poll from 2012 and 2013 rated McAllen the city in America where people felt most afraid to walk the streets alone at night:
McAllen was the only metro area in which less than half of all respondents felt safe walking home alone at night. This was despite the fact that McAllen actually had a lower violent crime rate than the United States overall in 2012, at just 319 incidents per 100,000 residents, versus 387 crimes for 100,000 residents nationally. However, violence along the border with Mexico remains a concern for many McAllen residents. The State Department warns against traveling to the neighboring city of Reynosa, Mexico, due to high levels of drug-related violence.
You can certainly argue that this fear is misplaced but my point here is that CNN’s Acosta doesn’t really seem interested in presenting a nuanced perspective on the situation at the border. Instead, as has been the case for months, he seems focused on trying to dunk on President Trump.
So while CNN can protest that the failure to use this one reporter in San Diego was just a show production decision, the fact remains that their actual reporter on the scene didn’t seem very interested in communicating the message about the border wall which that KUSI reporter was prepared to deliver to CNN’s audience. In other words, the problem isn’t this one scheduling decision, the problem is CNN’s obvious bias on this issue. Here’s an AP report from 3 years ago about ranchers along the border being threatened at gunpoint by drug traffickers. I wonder if CNN has spoken to any of these people?