Accuracy in Media

If you want to read about the huge crowds of Central American migrants heroically marching to the United States, the mainstream media has you covered.

If you want to read about the huge crowds of Americans turning out for President Trump’s rallies, you will have to dig a little deeper.

The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe all have pictures shot from on high to illustrate the length of the convoy of migrants. None have pictures – or have run pictures recently – of the size of crowds outside President Trump’s rallies.

After President Trump’s rally on Friday in Mesa, Ariz., The East Valley Tribune’s headline read, “Overflow crowd kept peaceful at Trump rally in Mesa.” went with: “’I just love him: Thousands gather in Mesa to support President Donald Trump.”

Trump’s new campaign manager, Brad Parscale, estimated there were 7,000 people inside the arena, 2,000 in the overflow room and thousands more outside – and that Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said 92,000 people had requested tickets.

It was left to Right Side Broadcasting Network to show the overflow crowds inside and outside the president’s rally in Erie, Pa., on Oct. 10.

Montana Public Radio reported that Trump had drawn an “overflow crowd,” but wrote about protesters outside the event who tried to pick fights with Trump supporters and how one of them was the daughter of an Iranian immigrant, who told the reporter, “And it’s really weird to me that most of these people would rather my dad stayed in his country and died than come here. They’re just that angry.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Monday coverage included a story that Trump is drawing these crowds because, “Ahead of midterms, Trump avoids suburbs and goes where he’s loved” and one on the inside of the paper entitled, “’It’s time for me to go back’: Deportees join the caravan,” which chronicles several people who have been deported and now are attempting to return.

CBS issued what amounted to a press release promoting the caravan and its goals and progress.

“Thousands of Central American migrants are vowing to continue their march to the U.S. border even though President Trump wants to turn them away,” said CBS’ John Dickerson as the report began. “…Most of them say they’re fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras.”

He then threw it to Adriana Diaz, a correspondent who is following the caravan, which has reached the southern Mexican town of Tapachula.

She says she is going to speak in a whisper because “as you can see, there are people sleeping everywhere on the ground here in the main square. They are part of a caravan organized by local advocacy groups in Honduras. Caravans happen about once a year, leading people north in a large group for their safety because it is so dangerous to go alone or with smugglers.

“We saw people walking in 100-degree heat. They were sweating. They were exhausted. But they are determined to reach the U.S. border roughly 1,500 miles away.”

The New York Times took the opportunity to try to put Trump back into the box he found himself at an earlier border crisis – whether to separate families for detention. “Trump’s Plans to Deter Migrants Could Mean New ‘Voluntary’ Family Separations,” read the headline on its story by Miriam Jordan, Caitlin Dickerson and Michael D. Shear.

“A series of intense closed-door meetings among officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the White House and the State Department began not long afte a public outcry forced President Trump in June to stop separating migrant families in detention, often hundreds or thousands of miles apart, as a deterrent.”

It did not mention this policy was put in place during the Obama administration.

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