Fox News’ propagandists were eager to spoil President Joe Biden’s inauguration with the prospect of a caravan of Honduran migrants barreling toward the U.S. border. But that caravan was broken up shortly after crossing into Guatemala on Tuesday, more than 1,400 miles and multiple international borders away from U.S. territory. So the network pivoted to featuring some old b-roll of the migrants in a series of Thursday segments attacking Biden’s immigration plan.
Fox hosts and anchors have been playing the hits all week long as the network desperately tried to rebuild its flagging viewership as Biden took office. They’ve been stoking the audience’s fears that Democrats aim to “exterminate” them, ranting about “cancel culture” on college campuses and social media platforms, denouncing trans people, talking up the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and lashing out at the press.
Part of that push involved running dozens of segments in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration fearmongering about the migrant caravan. The coverage recalled the network’s fixation on such caravans in late 2018 and early 2019 as then-President Trump tried to use them to help Republicans triumph in midterm elections and then bolster his case for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. But on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Guatemalan authorities had dispersed the caravan, with the bulk of the migrants returning to Honduras. Guatemalan authorities have repeatedly broken up such caravans over the last year, fortifying its border with Honduras to prevent them from crossing.
Biden began rolling out his immigration policy following his inauguration on Wednesday. He signed an executive order protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, while the Department of Homeland Security announced it was pausing deportations of some noncitizens and suspending the “remain in Mexico” program under which asylum-seekers are required to wait in that country for hearings. Biden also sent his immigration reform bill to Congress. The legislation includes an eight-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were in the United States on January 1. It also seeks to prevent the formation of future caravans through $4 billion in funding for an “inter-agency plan to address the underlying causes of migration in the region, including by increasing assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.”
Fox responded to this flurry with fury on Thursday. Tucker Carlson warned that Biden is protecting “criminals, rapists, murderers, other people who are dangerous to you and me” and that “every poor person in the world” will now try to “sneak into America.” The chyron on Laura Ingraham’s show screamed, “New Biden Immigration Plans Invite Violence.”
And Fox “news” and “opinions” programs punctuated their coverage of Biden’s plan all day long with b-roll featuring faceless brown masses headed for the U.S. border -- the migrant caravan that had already been stopped.
Ten different Fox programs featured video or photos from the caravan that was dispersed in Guatemala on Tuesday during their Thursday coverage of Biden’s immigration plan. Carlson, as usual the most dishonest of the lot, did not even bother to use onscreen text indicating the imagery was old. No Fox program covered Biden’s immigration without featuring caravan imagery.
Fox & Friends First:
America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino:
The Faulkner Focus:
America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith:
The Story with Martha MacCallum:
Special Report with Bret Baier:
Tucker Carlson Tonight:
The Ingraham Angle:
Fox News @ Night, the final live show of the evening, moved on to reports of a new caravan “poised to depart Honduras on Monday” -- while using b-roll from the dispersed one: