Accuracy in Media


One CBS reporter made news recently when he witnessed people sneaking into the country, but his attempts to report objectively on that incident and the border situation as a whole often meet with resistance from his far more biased colleagues.

David Begnaud said he and his CBS crew had gone to the border near Roma, Texas, to interview people who had received letters from the Trump administration about buying their property to build a border wall.

Before he could interview any of them, he stopped at a lookout point on the U.S. side of the border. Begnaud and his crew then drove across a bridge over the Rio Grande River into Mexico, then turned right and went to a nearby park to stop and watch.

“While there, Begnaud saw a man on a raft and began filming using his phone. Two other people in the boat appeared to be wearing life jackets,” CBS News wrote.

As Begnaud recorded, a man speaking in Spanish – he would later explain this man is called a scout and was coordinating via walkie-talkie with the man in the raft – told them to leave because it wasn’t safe.

Begnaud and his crew left and drove back over the bridge into the United States. From there, he saw the man reach the U.S. side with his two passengers, discharge them, then walk the raft back over to the Mexican side in the shallow waters of the river.

The incident occurred about 100 yards from the bridge, “where dozens of Customs and Border Protection officers were stationed,” CBS News wrote. “Those officers, however, are focused on vehicles. CBS News did see two uniformed officers standing on top of the bridge, checking people as they walked onto the bridge and into the US.”

Instead of asking Begnaud about this incident, which illustrated how easily illegal immigrants can get into the US, the anchors who interviewed him for local news programs focused on the issue of children being separated from their parents.

An anchor for the local CBS affiliate in Chicago opened by asking, “Are you seeing migrants being stopped and children being separated down there?”

Begnaud answered with another fact that concerns pro-border advocates – that some of the people he saw seemed relieved, even though they were detained, because they had reached the United States. He mentioned one family with a mother and three daughters – one of whom had an infant of her own – who had come from Honduras because of what they said was political violence in the country.

“And, so for that family, that woman … does it seem likely that she will be separated from her children?” the anchor asked. “Did you see any of the children that would likely be taken somewhere else away from their parents?”

He told the anchor the Border Patrol said it was unlikely they would be separated but that another father and son – the son is 12 or 13, he said – probably would.

She then went to another left-leaning talking point. “We’ve seen images coming from the government of boys being held there. I know you and many others are questioning where are the girls, where are the toddlers?”

She closed by asking, “Any more questions that really, you know, leaves us in a state of what is going on with these children being separated from their parents and other family members?”

An anchor in Indiana asked him whether any families had been separated after Trump issued his executive order calling for an end to separations. Begnaud said no.

She then asked, “They’re taking these kids all across the country. Do we know whether these parents know where their kids are? Do we know when they might be reunited?”

At this point, Begnaud told her many of the parents did not want to be reunited … they want their children to have a chance to become U.S. citizens.




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