Even before President Trump uttered the first syllable of his Oval Office address, the media was in full attack mode berating the public that whatever Trump said would be an utter lie. Not confident that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would adequately rebuff Trump, left-wing members of the media created a narrative that Trump was lying and there’s no crisis at the border.
The New York Daily News insisted that Trump’s speech was “ fact-challenged,” writing that illegal immigration is down compared to 2004. “[Trump] repeatedly claiming there’s a ‘crisis’ on the southern border even though illegal crossings have plummeted over the past two decades,” wrote Denis Slattery and Chris Sommerfeldt in the Daily News. That’s like saying we shouldn’t worry about a crime wave today because crime levels were even higher two decades ago.
This is the basis of the Democrats’ argument. In 2018, the number of illegal aliens who attempted to cross our border was equivalent to the population of Fresno, Calif., and is expected to rise to the population of Denver, but don’t worry because 15 years ago it was the same size as Dallas.
Trump is correct in saying illegal border crossings are on the rise. They increased by more than 25 percent from 2017 (415,517) to 2018 (521,090) and are expected to reach a decade high in 2019.
The Washington Post also bashed Trump for his facts, claiming Trump’s numbers on illegal aliens being arrested were “right but misleading” because Trump included all offenses. The Washington Post’s Salvador Rizzo admits that there were 266,000 illegal aliens charged and convicted in the U.S. over the last two years, but 16 percent of those were strictly immigration offenses, which are still crimes but apparently, they shouldn’t count.
It’s a mind-numbing accusation against Trump. It’s like when Republicans say Trump would have won the popular vote without California and New York, even though they count as states just like immigration offenses count as crimes.
Peter Baker wrote in The New York Times in an article initially titled “Trump cites misleading statistics of crisis and crimes along the border” but failed to mention any misleading statistics from the speech. At one point in the article, they referenced terrorism, though Trump never mentioned it in speech. The only area of criticism was that a wall wouldn’t stop most drugs that enter the U.S. because a majority come through the ports of entry, referencing a study done by the Department of Justice.
During his speech, Trump never claimed that a wall would stop all of the drugs coming into the U.S., but some of the deadliest. According to USA Today’s Arizona affiliate AZCentral.com, border agents seized 332 pounds of opioids during the same period that customs officers at the ports of entry confiscated 1,357 pounds of opioids. If opioids taken into custody by border patrol agents were laced with fentanyl, they would contain enough lethal doses to kill 75 million people. So yes, it’s a minority, but still could wipe out the population of Texas, Florida, New York, and Arizona combined. Apparently, there’s a threshold in the number of deaths that warrant concern, and 75 million doesn’t meet Baker’s standard.
CBS was the only mainstream outlet to note that one of Trump’s statistics were false. During the speech, Trump claimed that “one-in-three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico.” The number is 60 to 80 percent of women are sexually assaulted while trying to illegally migrate to the U.S. The one time Trump misquoted a statistic on Tuesday, it was actually underplaying the crisis at the border. For whatever reason, CBS has since deleted that fact check from their website.
The media insisted on underplaying any concern of the situation of the border. Things aren’t so bad if you compare them to 15 years ago instead of last year, the amount of Americans killed by illegal aliens isn’t so high if you consider not all illegals kill Americans, and the 4,000 migrants who have died or gone missing over the last four years is a mere statistic while the two migrant children who died in CBP custody are a tragedy.
In the wake of Trump’s address, the media has chosen to narrate Democratic talking points instead of providing basic facts about the border crisis.
Ryan Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is a writer based in New York.