- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

Media: Caravans Are Safe; Trump Should Stand Down

Those three caravans of migrants heading toward the U.S. border pose no threat, carry no weapons, include no criminals or ISIS infiltrators and should draw no extra response from the U.S. government, according to the mainstream media.

Salon’s Heather Digby Parton wrote a piece [1] Wednesday under the headline, “Donald Trump’s last-minute midterms gambit: Will he finally pay the price for bigotry and division?” with a subhead that drove the point home: “After ignoring hurricane victims, Trump is wasting billions sending troops to the border. Will voters punish him?” Trump was especially annoyed about the massacre in Pittsburgh because it detracted from the mission.

“He was angry that his superfan, alleged MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc Jr., along with the Pittsburgh killer inspired by his rhetoric about the caravan, Robert Bowers, had disrupted his ‘strategy.’ He was anxious to get back to it.”

That strategy “is to gin up hatred and paranoia about a ragged band of Central American refugees, most of them women and children, who are walking through Mexico to seek asylum in America. They are several hundred miles from the U.S. border, but Trump is sending more than 5,000 troops down there to protect us from these dangerous invaders to the border.”

The Washington Post’s strategy has been to highlight children [2] in the caravan. In its story, “In the migrant caravan, a teen traveling without his parents faces an agonizing choice,” it focuses on two boys, one 12 and the other 16, who sneaked away from their homes in Honduras to join the march.

“I’ve never thought of turning back,” the 12-year-old told the Post. The 16-year-old is reported to have learned his mother fell ill after finding out he hadn’t gone to play soccer, as he claimed, but had gone to join the march. “Now his family wanted him to come home.”

The vignettes portray the caravan as posing a small threat, making President Trump’s plan to send 5,200 American troops to the border to keep it from being overrun seem like an overreach.

“The caravan has drawn the ire of President Trump, who has alleged without evidence that it includes terrorists and gang members and constitutes a potential ‘invasion,’” the Post’s Michael Miller wrote [2].

There are 2,300 minors in the 9,300-member caravan that entered Mexico on Oct. 9, the piece said.

“These children are the most vulnerable of asylum seekers: some as young as a few months, many swaddled in blankets or asleep in strollers whose wheels were coming after two weeks on the road. Others are traveling alone or with siblings.”

Another Post story explained [3] why the president is so hard-hearted regarding these children seeking “asylum from gang violence in their own country.”

In “Migrant caravan: Military show of force is political for Trump, but it reflects a nightmare scenario for Homeland Security,” Nick Miroff wrote [3]: “The president’s political calculation here is impossible to ignore. He seems determined to make the caravan appear as dangerous and threatening as possible – and to cast himself as a kind of border sheriff.

“He has claimed, without evidence, that “Middle Easterners” have infiltrated the group. Administration officials insist that the caravan is full of gang members and criminals, again without proof, because, well, odds are that bad people are mixed in.”

If the president is trying to make the caravan seem dangerous, the Post and others are trying to make it seem utterly sympathetic.

Under a subhead that reads: “So who really is in the caravan?” Miroff writes [3]: “The main caravan, which DHS says numbers about 3,500 people, and a second caravan that entered Mexico on Monday with about 3,000, includes a lot of destitute families seeking a better life in the United States.

“Others are deportees trying to return to the lives they lost after they were arrested – some for committing crimes – and sent back to Central America.”

He did not say why the U.S. should let those arrested and deported back in.