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Compare and contrast: Media shows bias in migrant caravan coverage

The national mainstream media are once again flaunting their liberal bias. It’s obvious in the way the press has framed the attempted illegal border crossings by some in the migrant caravan.

On Sunday, hundreds of migrants tried to break into the United States in a “violent manner,” according to Mexico’s Interior Ministry. A Border Patrol spokesperson said there were “multiple instances of persons throwing projectiles” at border agents. That’s confirmed by video evidence. Border agents then used tear gas to disperse the mob, which included some women and children.

A similar incident took place in 2013, when Barack Obama was president. A crowd of around 100 people gathered on the Mexican side of the border and threw rocks and bottles at border agents. The agents used pepper spray to disperse the group, which included women and children.

“Border Patrol agents pelted with rocks, bottles during standoff,” the Los Angeles Times’ headline read. A caption called the crowd “unruly.” Notice how the reporter described the crowd.

“Among the throng of mostly young men were women and children,” the article reads. “Agents could be seen converging in all-terrain vehicles, a helicopter and jeeps. People stung by the pepper spray retreated, rubbing their eyes. Many yelled expletives.”

That’s straightforward coverage. But most outlets didn’t even bother covering the incident. Searches of The New York Times’ online archives for the terms “border patrol” and “pepper spray” show no articles on the event the week it occurred. That’s understandable, because border agents routinely used pepper spray and tear gas during the Obama administration.

But what was routine under Obama is now headline news under President Donald Trump.

The New York Times featured at least nine stories on Sunday’s events after it ignored the analogous 2013 event. Its current stories aren’t focused on U.S. agents being attacked, either.

“Migrants in Tijuana run to U.S. border, but fall back in face of tear gas,” one headline reads.

In both 2013 and 2018, the crowds consisted mostly of men. The LA Times gave the presence of women and children a single line. Now that Trump is president, the media are fixated on the women and children.

“A mother and her girls tried to reach the US border. Then they got tear-gassed.” a CNN headline blared. A photo of a mother and her children running away from a canister of tear gas spread like wildfire.

Democrat politicians and liberal groups know what to do with coverage like that — pounce. “Firing tear gas into crowds of women and children is cruel,” Rep. Jacky Rosen, Nevada’s newly elected senator, tweeted. Rep. Ruben Kihuen called the Trump administration “hateful.”

“Tear-gassing children is outrageous and inhumane,” the ACLU tweeted.

Funny. When Trump is president, tear-gassing children is cruel, hateful, inhumane and the biggest story of the week. When Obama was president, it wasn’t even news.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 9 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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