Accuracy in Media

CBS News portrayed human smugglers as helpful humanitarians, downplaying the reality that human smugglers often exploit migrants for their own gain and subject them to horrific violence and sexual abuse.

“Helping migrants cross the border is not an easy job, but this man has helped about 2,000 people from different backgrounds – and isn’t stopping. Stream the new CBSN Originals documentary, ‘Border Business: Inside Immigration’ now,” CBS News posted on Twitter and Facebook, with a link to its reporting, diminishing the horrific reality that migrants are often killed, raped, left behind to die, or kept in unspeakable conditions by human smugglers.

CBS’ portrayal of smugglers as harmless social do-gooders, who are just “helping migrant,” who “don’t only do it for the money” and offer discounts for those who can’t afford their price. CBS closed with a quote from one of the smugglers rejecting the idea that they “are bad.”

“Most people think we (smugglers) are bad,’ Gonzalez Jimenez said,” in the CBS report. “‘But if a person needs to go from there to here, and can’t do it… and they tell me, ‘I’m going to pay you five, 10, 20 dollars… to take me to whatever location.’ And if I didn’t have a job at the time… to me, that’s good.”

CBS News’ positioning breezes past findings of Doctors Without Borders survey of migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. border found 68 percent had become victims of violence and 31 percent had been sexually abused.

“Maybe later episodes will grapple with the brutal reality of human smuggling, but don’t hold your breath,” wrote The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson. “Among liberal activists and their allies in the mainstream media, there’s a reluctance to acknowledge the darker side of the migrant crisis—or even admit that it’s a crisis at all.”

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