Accuracy in Media

The New York Times’ Charlie Savage positioned his coverage of President Trump’s efforts to secure the border in sinister terms, repeatedly calling the president’s stating that he could declare a national emergency in order to secure the border as a “threat” that is “an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms” that would “establish a precedent for presidents who fail to win approval for funding a policy goal.”

The headline of the article frames President Trump’s deliberations in negative terms, “Trump’s Emergency Powers Threat Could End Shutdown Crisis, but at What Cost?”

Savage offers no consideration of the public health crisis related to the flow of drugs that are According 2017 data, an average of more than 300 Americans a week were killed in heroin-involved overdoses—and Mexico is the source of nearly 90 percent of wholesale heroin seized by law enforcement in the United States. Savage makes no mention that in FYs 2017 and 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested close to 211,000 aliens convicted of criminal offenses and an additional 55,000 aliens charged with criminal offenses. Savage also doesn’t consider new data from the Centers for Disease Control showing U.S. life expectancy is getting shorter as drug overdoses and suicides continue to rise. Savage doesn’t consider evidence from places like The American Enterprise Institute, a DC think tank, which recently reported about how “Mexican gangs play a prominent role, in both production of the finished product and distribution.”

Savage interviews multiple sources in his article–all are anti-Trump, yet he does concede that “[Elizabeth] Goitein [from New York University] and other experts who have studied emergency-powers laws have said there are serious — if not dispositive — arguments that Mr. Trump’s legal team can make that at least two such statutes could be used to erect border barriers by redirecting military construction funds that can be freed up, in a presidentially declared emergency, to build something Congress has not approved.”

But Savage then caveats: “But she and others maintain that it would be an abuse of power for Mr. Trump to proclaim that there is a national emergency along the southern border that justifies a wall.”

Savage’s lack of balance in source selection contributes to the slanted impression against President Trump’s efforts to fulfill his campaign promises that led him to the White House.

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