Inside the Beltway: Broadcasters shield Biden from border blame

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The nation’s leading broadcast newscasts are reluctant to fault President Biden for his role in the escalating humanitarian crisis on the southern border.

Record-breaking numbers of migrants are arriving after Mr. Biden declared a 100-day moratorium on deportations and tossed the stringent immigration policies set in place by former President Donald Trump. So the hopeful migrants began arriving — and arriving and arriving.

But news organizations have responded by veiling the crisis and downsizing their border coverage, according to a study released Wednesday.

“Even as the situation remained dire, coverage on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts fell by more than 60%, from 113 minutes of airtime in March to just under 44 minutes in April. And our analysis shows the minuscule news coverage isn’t the only favor the liberal networks are doing for the White House,” wrote Rich Noyes, senior editor of the Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

The networks are “barely blaming Biden,” he noted in the report.

“Biden and his policies were completely shielded from blame in a majority (48) of the 88 stories aired during these two months, as less than one-third (26) included any reference by the reporter that the surge had anything to do with Biden. Another 14 stories included sound bites from Republicans making this point, but without any confirmation from the correspondent,” Mr. Noyes said.

Viewers instead were told that Mr. Biden was “facing a challenge at the southern border,” according to NBC anchor Lester Holt in late March — “as if it was a hurricane or other natural phenomenon,” observed the analyst.

BIDEN’S BORDER CRISIS RAGES ON

President Biden‘s “border crisis rages on,” advises a comprehensive update on the southern border compiled by the Republican National Committee. It includes 32 examples of disarray and mismanagement, each claim backed up by federal government statistics or press coverage.

“Border apprehensions continued to rise in April, with 178,622 migrants caught trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. This is the highest one-month total in 20 years. It’s nearly a 270% increase from the average number of April apprehensions during the Trump administration,” the review said.

“Of the over 178,000 migrants taken into custody in April, 17,171 were unaccompanied minors. This is the second highest one-month total in the Border Patrol’s 96-year history,” it continued, citing numbers released Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the month of April.

“While border crossings are at a 20-year high, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportations have fallen to the lowest level on record,” the report noted.

“A majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border crisis,” the report concluded, citing an Associated Press/NORC poll of 1,842 U.S. adults conducted April 29 to May 3. The survey found that 54% of U.S. adults disapproved of the president’s methods.

ALAS, STICKER SHOCK IS EVERYWHERE

“The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the cost of a variety of consumer goods as well as housing and energy prices, has risen 4.2% from a year ago, notably higher than the estimated 3.6%. It is the largest yearly increase since September 2008,” reported Isaac Schorr, a National Review analyst.

“Even controlling for food and energy prices, the CPI was up three %, higher than the estimated 2.3%. The 0.9% CPI increase from March, again controlling for food and energy prices, is the highest since April 1982. This data comports with Americans’ everyday experiences. On Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of gas rose to $2.99, the highest figure since November 2014,” Mr. Schorr said.

It is annoying to consider that gas has now reached a high price of $4.11 a gallon in California, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks fuel trends. And even more annoying: At this time last year, the average price of a gallon of gas nationwide was $1.85.

BIG NEWS FOR TREY AND DAN

Fox News soon will launch new weekend programming featuring former Secret Service agent and talk radio star Dan Bongino, who is set to host a new program airing at 10 p.m. each Saturday, beginning June 5.

“Bongino will tackle the week’s most pressing headlines, drawing on his experiences as a former law enforcement official to discuss Americans’ top priorities: liberty, security and their families. Viewers can expect Bongino’s passionate and powerful voice on topics from policing to censorship,” Fox News said in advance production notes.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, begins hosting a live Sunday night show beginning June 6.

“Gowdy will utilize his signature mixture of wisdom, humor, historical references and insightful analysis to offer the audience a new outlook on the latest issues facing the country. Capitalizing on his experiences as a former prosecutor and Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Gowdy will break down the latest legal and political news,” Fox News advised.

Both hosts joined Fox News as contributors in 2019.

And one more thing. Mr. Bongino will continue to host Westwood One’s “The Dan Bongino Show” — now set to be streamed by Fox Nation from noon to 3 p.m. Eastern, beginning May 25.

“Bongino took over the time slot formerly held by the late conservative radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh on key Cumulus stations across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. markets,” the network said.

POLL DU JOUR

• 48% of U.S. adults say the “worst part” of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us; 58% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 45% of Democrats agree.

• 15% overall say we are currently in the worst part of the pandemic; 14% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.

• 13% overall say the pandemic is going to get worse; 13% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

• 23% are not sure; 15% of Republicans, 24% of independents and 23% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted May 8-11.

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