May 5, 2022

Mainstream Media's War On The People 8 - Mainstream Media Is Letting White Supremacist Talking Points Dominate The Conversation About The Border And Immigrants

Related:

1. Media Uselessness Example: Corporate Media Gives Steve King A Pass On White Supremacism

2. FLASHBACK: Corporate Media Is Helping The GOP With Their Lies On Iran The Way They Did With Iraq

3. Mainstream Media's War On the People 7 - Mainstream Media Tends To Be Pro Incendiary Rhetoric & Pro-Domestic Terrorism For The Right, While Admonishing The Left To Be Polite

4. The Ultimate Proofs That Fox News Is Basically Just A Group Of White Supremacists/Nationalists/Nazis

Mainstream media has the tendency to follow and promote the talking points and viewpoints of white supremacists on the right. Since Fox News is essentially pushing white supremecism now, it makes sense that its framing the media debates and tends to get the highest ratings.

Media Matters: Right-wing media ecosystem has dominated the national immigration narrative

Border “crisis” talk was similarly driven by right-wing actors

Since the election of President Joe Biden in November, a right-wing media ecosystem of both Fox News and right-leaning Facebook pages has dominated the national conversation on immigration. CNN, MSNBC, and left-leaning pages eventually followed in the steps of these conservative actors, most notably when attention turned to the increase in migration at the southern border in late February and early March.

According to Media Matters’ internal database, although Fox has steadily misinformed about immigration since the 2020 election, the network’s immigration programming began to significantly spike near Biden’s inauguration, relentlessly increasing through March. Fox fearmongering on immigration issues has been consistently xenophobicbiased, and inaccurate, culminating in the recent whole-hearted and unapologetic embrace of the white supremacist “replacement” conspiracy theory.

CNN and MSNBC largely ignored immigration topics throughout the transition and well into the Biden administration. Rather, these two networks dedicated significant coverage to the increase in migration at the southern border only after Fox began focusing on Biden’s “crisis,” a characterization of the increase in migration CNN and MSNBC seemingly adopted. While mentions of a “crisis” at the border began to pick up on Fox throughout February, the network went all in on the term during the week of February 28. CNN and MSNBC, which largely hadn’t been using the “crisis” framing in their conversations about the border, began to do so more heavily the week after Fox News’ oversaturated coverage.

Immigration segments on weekday cable news
Mentions of "crisis" at the border on cable news

Right-leaning Facebook pages similarly dominated the online conversation about immigration with the end of the Trump administration in late 2020 through the beginning of the Biden administration in 2021. This prevalence was also notable in pages dedicated to talk about the “crisis” of the migration increase at the border, and the conversation spiked in interactions and overall quantity at roughly the same time as the cable networks pushed this narrative in late February. Right-leaning pages’ posts about immigration and the “crisis” at the border often pushed racist tropes and stereotypes and were rife with misinformation.

immigration posts on FB after the 2020 election
Border "crisis" posts on Facebook since the 2020 election

How a narrative bounces around the online echo chamber

As one example of how right-leaning posts dominate the conversation and contribute to an echo chamber of misinformation, the spread of a Daily Wire article claiming White House press secretary Jen Psaki “dodged numerous questions” about Biden’s “border crisis” during a press briefing on March 11 is illustrative. As of April 26, the Daily Wire article has received 20,700  Facebook interactions. On March 14, a translated version of the narrative was posted in Spanish to Tierra Puraa partisan “news” website that regularly disseminates content in Spanish and Portguese from media outlets related to the Epoch Media Group and has links to the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong. Tierra Pura also posted the article on its Telegram channel, which has over 30,000 subscribers, with an additional video clip pushing the “crisis” narrative, which was viewed 8,200 times. From there, the clips and articles ricocheted around right-wing Twitter.

At the same time, different xenophobic and fearmongering immigration narratives similarly spread on right-wing communities online and on fringe platforms. In another example among many Media Matters found, two separate videos spread misinformation connecting migrants to human smuggling and a common QAnon conspiracy theory -- that children (in this case, migrant children) are being harvested for adrenochrome by pedohiles and “elites” from political and entertainment circles. One video appeared on an Argentine Telegram channel, M├ędicos por la Verdad Argentina (over 35,000 subscribers) and the other was shared on Tierra Pura’s website and Telegram channel on February 27 with a combined 21,700 views on Telegram to date. The video shared by Tierra Pura was originally posted in August 2020 by kla.tv, a German right-wing news network that promotes conspiracy theories in multiple languages. This kla.tv video now has over 1 million views.
 

Following Fox News on all talking points appears to be the medias default position.

Kamala Harris recently finished her first foreign trip as vice president, visiting Guatemala and Mexico in an effort to deal with the root causes of migration from Central America. But in covering Harris’ visit, some in mainstream media are adopting Fox News’ framing that conflates her diplomatic role in Central America with the network’s demand for Harris to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. 
Harris’ trip was part of her assignment in the Biden administration to help address core humanitarian issues of the economy, crime, and political corruption in Central America. She had previously announced a set of major corporate investments in the region, aimed at improving the quality of life to decrease the need for people to migrate northward. She and the rest of the administration have also stressed that this issue involves making progress over time, rather than holding a single event.
But unfortunately, mainstream media outlets are still falling for the dominant right-wing media framing on a number of immigration-related issues. The latest example has come from NBC News anchor Lester Holt’s interview with Harris during the trip, first broadcast on June 8, and his repeated questions about whether she would visit the U.S.-Mexico border — even as Harris had spoken repeatedly about her diplomatic role with the countries farther south.

Media's War On The People

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