In what was more than a wry commentary on Fox News reporting, Slate magazine published Saturday a piece headlined “Fox News Had to Interrupt Its Border Scaremongering to Report the El Paso Shooting.”
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It’s not a stretch to think that Fox’s barrage of anti-immigrant, Trump-fawning reporting is inspiring white supremacists armed to the teeth to take out the people they’re told to fear.
From Slate’s Matthew Dessem:
Until news of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, broke on Saturday afternoon, it was a normal day at Fox News, which meant the network’s reporters, anchors, and guests were taking every opportunity to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment. They got started bright and early on Fox & Friends Saturday, with an early morning segment featuring former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan. On YouTube, the clip is headlined “1.1 million migrants expected to cross US border illegally in 2019,” although no one takes the time to discuss that figure during the segment or, indeed, mentions it at all. But they did have time to play sped-up security footage of smugglers dismantling an anti-vehicle barrier near El Centro, California. In fact, they found time to loop it over and over again.
The show reused clips from Homan’s interview all morning, interspersed with live reporting from El Paso, Texas, with correspondent Garrett Tenney. Tenney was ostensibly in El Paso to report on a congressional delegation’s visit to the border internment camps, but in his first appearance that morning, he was mostly there to stand in front of a deserted port of entry and lament the fact that a federal judge had blocked Trump’s latest plan to deny asylum to refugees. Then the anchors discussed Tenney’s reporting over a full-screen loop of the same Customs and Border Protection* footage they used during the Homan segment, which, again, depicted smugglers in California, not asylum-seekers in Texas. At 10, Fox & Friends mercifully went off the air, but Tenney didn’t: Neil Cavuto had him on for more of the same during Cavuto Live. …
Unfortunately, at that very moment, Fox was forced to cut away from the reporter they’d sent to El Paso, Texas, to make the case that the United States was facing an unsustainable influx of immigrants to report the breaking story that a young man had concluded that the United States was facing an unsustainable influx of immigrants and traveled to El Paso, Texas, to take matters into his own hands.
Slate then included the news video from Fox, in which Tenney’s lament that Democrats weren’t going to do anything about the hundreds of thousands of people from south of the border trying to get into the U.S. being interrupted by the breaking news report on the shooter in El Paso who took the lives of 20 people.
UPDATE: Now the death toll is 21.