Immigration | Media Matters for America

Immigration

Issues ››› Immigration
  • Omarosa's coverage by cable news drowned out other stories

    Cable news spent 34 hours covering the former White House aide over a 7-day period

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    For a week now, Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former reality show star turned White House staffer turned ex-White House staffer, has been one of the main stories on cable news. Over a seven-day period, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News spent a combined 34 hours and 28 minutes covering Manigault Newman and news generated by her. And while some of the allegations she has put forth are certainly newsworthy, the extent to which the obsessive Manigault Newman coverage drowned out major stories of national interest is staggering.

    Coverage of Manigault Newman started to kick into high gear last week when it was reported that she might have tapes from her time in President Donald Trump’s White House. What started as a slow trickle of coverage on Thursday by both CNN and MSNBC turned into a monsoon of coverage by all three cable networks as Manigault Newman began sitting down for interviews to promote her new book and made public some tapes to back up allegations made in her book. During the same time period, stories of arguably more importance received significantly less coverage.

    Media Matters tracked the amount of time devoted to coverage of Manigault Newman between August 9 through August 15. Additionally, we tracked the coverage of four other stories throughout that time period: reporting that three of President Donald Trump’s "Mar-a-Lago buddies are secretly running the V.A.”; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s attempt to roll back an Obama-era rule aimed at curbing housing segregation; any reporting about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearings have been scheduled even though many of his records are still not public; and the ongoing family separation crisis in which the most recent numbers show that over 500 immigrant children are still separated from their families.

    From August 9 through August 15, Manigault Newman received over 34 hours of coverage on the three cable news networks combined. MSNBC, which got a package deal of interviews with the former White House staffer, had the most coverage, spending nearly 16 hours discussing or interviewing her. CNN was next, with 13 hours of coverage, and Fox News devoted just over five and a half hours of programming to discussing Manigault Newman.


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    While the three cable networks covered Manigault Newman for over 34 hours in total, the four other stories combined received just three hours of coverage.

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Discussions about Kavanaugh, the nominee for the Supreme Court, amassed under two hours of coverage across the cable networks between August 9 through August 15. Fox News had the most coverage, with nearly an hour devoted to Kavanaugh. MSNBC spent nearly 40 minutes on Kavanaugh while CNN covered Kavanaugh for just over 10 minutes. This Supreme Court vacancy will have dramatic and lasting impacts on America, but it was barely able to break through the coverage of Manigault Newman.

    The ongoing family separation crisis received just over one hour of coverage in the same time period. MSNBC devoted 45 minutes of coverage to the crisis, CNN spent 18 minutes discussing the separated children, and Fox News gave just five minutes to family separation.

    New reports that were just coming out about the goings-on of the Trump administration and cronyism were almost completely lost in the Manigault Newman news. The story about three of Trump’s buddies from Mar-a-Lago (Bruce Moskowitz, a doctor; Ike Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment; and Marc Sherman, an attorney) essentially dictating policy for the Department of Veterans Affairs received just seven minutes of coverage between CNN and MSNBC combined. Fox News didn’t even mention it. Even worse, the story about HUD trying to roll back policy that aims to prevent housing segregation received only 23 seconds of coverage across the three cable networks.

    Here’s how the coverage of the stories broke down on each network:

    Tyler Monroe, Sanam Malik, Grace Bennett, Gabby Miller, Shelby Jamerson, and Zach Pleat contributed to this research.

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched the Snapstream video database from August 9, 2018, to August 15, 2018, looking at  the three major cable news networks -- CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC -- for five competitive stories that broke or had significant updates at the beginning of the period studied:

    1. Omarosa Manigault Newman’s new book and secret-tape revelations about President Donald Trump
    2. Announcement of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings
    3. The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy of separating parents and children at the southern border
    4. The Trump administration’s intent to change the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule that fights segregation in housing
    5. The revelations that three Mar-a-Lago club members are effectively directing policy at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the first story, Media Matters searched for mentions of “Omarosa,” including misspellings. For the second story, we searched for “Kavanaugh” (including misspellings) or “Supreme Court” within close proximity to “nominate,” “nominated,” “nominee,” or “justice.” For the third story, we searched for variations of “immigration,” “immigrant,” “children,” “family,” “parents,” “kids,” or “border” within proximity to variations of “reunited,” “reunify,” and “separate.” For the fourth story, we searched for “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” “Fair Housing Act,” “Housing and Urban Development,” “HUD,” “Carson,” or “housing” within close proximity to “segregation.” For the final story, we searched for “Moskowitz” within close proximity to “Bruce” or “doctor,” “Perlmutter” within close proximity to “Ike” or “Marvel,” “Sherman” within close proximity to “Marc” or “lawyer,” “President” within close proximity to “club,” “Veteran’s Affairs,” or  variations of “V.A.”

    For each transcript found, we timed only the relevant speech for each story. We included all mentions, teases, segments, panels, and interviews that fully or partially touched on any of these five stories, including during shows that were being reaired.

  • Here are 52 examples of Laura Ingraham’s racism

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox News’ Laura Ingraham has drawn widespread rebuke following a racist anti-immigrant rant on the August 8 edition of her Fox show. During her far-from-subtle diatribe, Ingraham bemoaned “massive demographic changes, … changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like,” and complained, “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore.” Later in the program, she questioned whether “Black-on-Black” crime is a larger issue for the Black community than the racism that infects the criminal justice system. Her comments are a nearly perfect parallel of the rhetoric used by white supremacists and were embraced and commended by former KKK leader David Duke. Outside of white supremacist circles, however, politicians, activist groups, and other media figures widely condemned the rant.  

    Following the criticism, Ingraham defended her comments, arguing that the goal of her monologue was “to point out that the rule of law, meaning secure borders, is something that used to bind our country together.” Ingraham’s deflection, however, is disingenuous and undermined by her history of racist commentary and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Her Fox News show, The Ingraham Angle, is less than a year old, but Ingraham has already turned it into a racist, extremist cesspool.

    It isn’t difficult to find examples of Ingraham’s boundless hostility toward immigrants and her obvious apathy towards non-white communities. Here are just a few highlights from over the years (seriously, there are many more):  

    Ingraham has spent years demonizing and mocking immigrants.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she dismissed asylum claims from Hondurans fleeing violence because, according to her, “it’s not our problem.”

    • She claimed that children torn from their parents as a result of the Trump administration policies and who were not yet reunited with their families were being protected by the administration because, “due to domestic or drug abuse, many of these parents are now deemed unfit to care for their children or dangerous for their children.”

    • Ingraham said, “Most people believe that if you come into the country illegally, it's sad when your family gets separated, no one wants to see that, but it's your responsibility.”

    • She hosted John Lott, president of the conservative Crime Prevention Research Center, to defend his debunked report alleging that undocumented immigrants in Arizona commit more crimes -- and more dangerous crimes -- than other Arizonans.

    • During a 2015 appearance on Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, Ingraham urged then-presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Scott Walker to support ending birthright citizenship to “throw something to the conservatives on immigration.”

    • During a 2013 appearance on the now-defunct Fox show The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham claimed that a lot of recent immigrants “have wreaked havoc upon communities.”

    • Ingraham suggested that the United States should shoot deported immigrants who attempt to re-enter the country: “Why don't we ship [imprisoned undocumented immigrants] back home and say you come again, you'll be shot crossing the border?”

    • Ingraham defended then-candidate Donald Trump’s claim that Mexico is “sending rapists” to the United States and argued that Mexicans “have come here to murder and rape our people.”

    • She mocked children detained by U.S. officials after being separated from their families, calling the detention centers “essentially summer camps,” comparing them to “play spaces,” and saying that people’s outrage over children being held in cages is “hilarious.”

    • She claimed that immigration from Mexico would make the U.S. a “hellhole.”

    • She smeared the American children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor fetuses.”

    • Ingraham compared DACA protestors to “wild dogs” and attacked DACA recipients who serve in the U.S. military, saying, “This is the American military. This is not the military of mercenary illegal immigrants!"

    • She once claimed, “Nobody has a right to be here except the people who are born here.”

    • Ingraham blamed Muslim and Latino immigrants for Republicans losing elections in Virginia and added, “It will become increasingly difficult, for sure, for Republicans to win if Republicans don't get a handle on immigration.”

    • Ingraham contended that the middle class is frustrated that “everybody has to bow down to the new immigrant class.”

    • Ingraham celebrated her radio show’s role in blocking comprehensive immigration reform, commenting to viewers, “Guess who helped stop it? You’re listening to one of the reasons it was stopped.”

    • In 2014, she argued that the Hispanic Caucus should be called the “open borders caucus.”

    • She bemoaned that an “all-immigrant population have come and moved into Northern Virginia,” claimed that “we have a mass influx of illegal immigrants in Virginia,” and called immigrant communities “rabid fanatics.”  

    • Ingraham used a drug-related arrest of one man to besmirch immigrants as “trash.”

    • She argued that one way to “enforce our immigration laws” would be to “end birthright citizenship.”

    • In 2014, she derided Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to attract skilled immigrants to work and live in bankrupt Detroit, saying "we can then wall off Detroit" to keep those immigrants from moving to other parts of the country.

    • Later that year, she referred to the thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing from violence in Central America as “an invasion facilitated by our own government."

    Ingraham has demonstrated particular vitriol for Muslim people, especially immigrants and refugees.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she questioned White House chief of staff John Kelly about why Trump is bringing in so many "Islamic" refugees.

    • She was an early defender of the idea of a “Muslim ban” and suggested that Trump’s proposal “isn’t broad enough.” She claimed that she would “go further” and “do a pause on all immigration.”

    • She also said that Middle Eastern countries should be told that “we’re cutting you off,” adding, “You’re not going to come into this country and destroy what’s good about America.”  

    • Ingraham stated that the U.S. should only accept refugees that “we can verifiably say are Christians” and that Muslims should “stay in the Middle East.”

    • She has fearmongered about Muslim women, asking, “What’s under that Burqa, baby?”

    • She questioned why we even allow Muslim immigration when we “can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized.”

    • Ingraham argued that, in contrast to Muslims, Christian refugees do not “try to blow us up.”

    • She compared mosque surveillance to “body cameras on police.”

    • She questioned why "the Muslims" are "never supporting the conservatives on" anti-LGBTQ initiatives.

    Ingraham is routinely dismissive of any language that is not English and frequently demeans languages spoken by immigrants.
     

    • She has insisted that English “should be the national language of this country.”

    • She stated, “You’re only going to be here if you’re speaking our language.”

    • Ingraham argued that multilingual schools are "costing the good people, Catholics, Christians ... opportunities and money.”

    • She claimed multilingual schools make "you think you're in a foreign country."

    • She mocked MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish speaking guest.

    • Ingraham attacked a person who was protesting deportations for speaking with an accent.  

    • She compared someone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic to a “skinhead” reciting the pledge and argued that “most people who love this country love it enough to speak” English.

    Ingraham has a history of making other racist and anti-Semitic comments, as well as disparaging organizations that serve minority communities.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she said that Black NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant should “shut up and dribble.”

    • Ingraham called NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality “bratty players” who “disrespect the country.” On a separate occasion, she also stated that “a lot of these guys are punks.”

    • She said that she “would’ve prefered Madea doing political commentary” instead of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

    • On her Fox show, Ingraham praised Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as a “truly great” man, and on Fox & Friends, she decried the destruction of a Confederate statue.

    • During an appearance on Fox & Friends, she accused the NAACP of “becom[ing] a push organization for racist sentiments in many ways."

    • Again on Fox & Friends, Ingraham claimed that terrorism is “the price ... to pay for multiculturalism."

    • During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham asked, “Are we supposed to hold the bar really low for President [Barack] Obama simply because he’s half-Black?”

    • She once argued that minority voters picked Obama because he was “half-Black.”

    • Ingraham called activist group Black Lives Matter “a complete fraud” and said they didn’t care about Black-on-Black crime.

    • She contended that “affirmative action is "shafting people who are not of the appropriate color, or background, or ethnicity."

    • Ingraham once stated that she doesn’t “think of Jewish people as minorities because they’re so successful.”

    • She attacked Univision and Telemundo as “toxic," "Hispanic-centric outlets," that "revile the American experience."

    • She also accused Spanish language media as a whole of teaching undocumented immigrants “how to avoid deportation.”

    • In 2014, Ingraham claimed that the left wants “a system of racial spoils in place to level the playing field.”

  • Fox & Friends accuses Vox and ProPublica of defending MS-13 with their accurate reporting on the gang

    Fox hosts keep spreading misinformation about MS-13 even when they are presented with facts

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    On August 10, Fox News’ Fox & Friends devoted multiple segments to attacking a collaborative video by Vox and ProPublica about the gang MS-13 that addressed "the most common misunderstandings about the gang" -- many of which are propagated by President Donald Trump. 

    Fox & Friends accused Vox and ProPublica of “defend[ing] MS-13” and claiming that the gang members “are really not that violent.” Roaming correspondent Geraldo Rivera, in a later segment, even accused the two media organizations of being “almost pro-MS-13” because of their “desire to put down the president.”

    True to form, Fox’s multiple attacks on the Vox and ProPublica report contained a lot of misinformation and race-baiting:

    • Co-host Steve Doocy accused Vox and ProPublica of “ignor[ing] the reality of what is happening on the ground. This is a vicious gang.” In reality, the video did report that the gang has “committed acts of horrific violence, mostly against other immigrants in specific communities.”
    • Co-host Brian Kilmeade incorrectly claimed that Salvadoran refugees fleeing violence in their home country formed MS-13 because they were “angry” at the United States and “start[ed] wreaking havoc” in the country. In reality, the gang initially formed as a measure of self-defense “in neighborhoods dominated by Black and Mexican gangs.”
    • Kilmeade bizarrely claimed that MS-13 “oftentimes” does “not [target] immigrant communities” but instead “working class communities, many of which are Hispanic. It doesn’t mean they are immigrant communities. It means they are Hispanic Americans.” This is false; the gang specifically targets immigrant communities because it can pressure them “by carrying out threats against family members back home.”
    • Former ICE acting Director Thomas Homan, who is a regular Fox guest, misleadingly claimed that “command and control of MS-13 is in El Salvador.” In reality, “MS-13 is a decentralized organization with no clear hierarchy” and “no leader.” It is instead built around local “cliques” that are sometimes “loyal to each other,” but also sometimes have competing interests.
    • Homan also claimed that Trump’s immigration policies are “on point” for combating MS-13, which he said was a border and immigration issue. However, decades of deporting convicted immigrants only made street gangs (including MS-13) larger and more powerful, and MS-13 members accounted for just .075 percent of all irregular border crossings in fiscal year 2017. (ICE has, however, made false accusations of gang affiliation to deport immigrants.)   
    • Roaming Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera advocated the expansion of stop-and-frisk policies (also known as Terry stops) and any other “aggressive police tactics” to stop the gang, even though there’s little evidence that stop-and-frisk actually works. But aggressive policing does sow distrust in communities, making gang violence more difficult to combat.

    Fox’s absurdist attack on reporting by Vox and ProPublica fits the network’s growing reputation as cable news’ home for white nationalism. The network has long spread a litany of fear, misinformation, and conspiracy theories about immigrants regarding elections, crime, terrorism, and more. The network also spearheads outlandish defenses of the agencies charged with executing Trump’s racist immigration policies, which can be fairly described as a possible prelude to ethnic cleansing

    Under the Trump administration, Fox hosts’ commentary is becoming more explicitly racialized: Kilmeade defended Trump’s family separation policy simply because “these aren’t our kids,” Fox host Laura Ingraham attacked “both illegal and in some cases legal immigration” for erasing “the America that we know and love,” and Fox’s prime-time lead, Tucker Carlson Tonight, heavily focuses on themes of white nationalism and anti-feminism, receiving much adoration from bigots nationwide

    Disclosure: Hannah Dreier, the ProPublica journalist who worked on the report with Vox, is a former Media Matters researcher. 

  • Fox’s Kilmeade pushes Trump administration’s false claim that 9 in 10 ICE arrests are of criminals

    About one-third of immigrants ICE is arresting under Trump have no criminal record

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox & Friends is once again carrying water for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by fudging the agency’s record on arresting immigrants with criminal records and denying that a pizza delivery driver was arrested while doing his job.

    On the August 10 edition of the show, co-host Brian Kilmeade repeatedly claimed that “nine out of every 10” immigrants that ICE arrests “have criminal records.” When asked where he got that statistic from, he cited former ICE acting director Tom Homan.

    But that statistic from the Trump administration is misleading, as CNN explained in March. CNN reported that the administration was conflating immigrants with deportation orders with those who have actual criminal records to come up with the number Kilmeade cited:

    The Trump administration has subtly blurred the distinction between criminals and those with final orders of removal, which is a civil, not criminal charge.

    ICE has combined "ICE fugitives" -- people who have been ordered to leave the country but haven't yet -- with convicted criminals who have pending criminal charges and reinstated final orders of removal, allowing the agency to say 92% of those arrested under Trump had criminal convictions or one of the other factors -- when the number with criminal records is closer to 70%.

    As a May USA Today report showed, it was in the last two years of the Obama administration that almost nine out of 10 (87 percent) undocumented immigrants arrested had actual criminal records. But under Trump, nearly one-third of ICE arrests are of immigrants with no criminal record:

    Kilmeade also mocked Fox correspondent  Geraldo Rivera for saying that ICE officials get tempted “to go for the low-hanging fruit” and “they sweep up the poultry processing people, the meat-packing people, the pizza delivery guys.” Kilmeade scoffed at Rivera’s comment, saying, “We don't call Domino’s and then arrest the delivery guy. It’s nine out of 10 have a criminal record.” But ICE did arrest a pizza delivery person in June while he was on the job. And Fox News covered it.

    GERALDO RIVERA (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT-AT-LARGE): ICE is at least two agencies. I have spoken about this before in a limited way. But there are the ICE investigators. They are the guys that bust the cartels. They go after the transnational gangs. They go after MS-13, they go after the racketeers and the drug smugglers. And then there’s the enforcement and removal side of ICE. Those are the far more unpopular group. That’s the one who smash in the doors, and there’s Diego, he’s been here 20 years, and they take him out and deport him.

    BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Nine out of every 10 have criminal records.

    RIVERA: I don't know where you get that statistic.

    KILMEADE: [Former acting ICE Director] Tom Homan.

    RIVERA: Well, I want to see an objective review of that. I do not believe that. I think that the -- too often there is a temptation to go for the low-hanging fruit. That’s when they sweep up the poultry processing people, the meat-packing people --

    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The pizza guy.

    RIVERA: -- the pizza delivery guys.

    KILMEADE: We don't call Domino’s and then arrest the delivery guy. It’s nine out of 10 have a criminal record.