There is no way Biden can satisfy these people. I read that we had stopped sending unaccompanied minors back starting last November but of course the sudden increase has happened because he has made it clear that he and his administrations won’t act like hateful monsters towards desperate migrants they way that Trump and Co. did so the scope of the problem really is.

Forget about the fact that we don’t have the facilities to handle all those people because the Trump administration refused to build enough and because Trump stopped allowing people to apply for asylum at American embassies in their own countries; journalists are stamping their feet and demanding that Mommy fix this problem RIGHT NOW!! Biden must wave his magic wand and make needed facilities appear. The only other choice Biden has would be to send them back to horrendous conditions just as Trump did. If BIden chooses that he will be portrayed as a heartless monster so he loses either way. This is the kind of double bind demands that our media likes to make — but when it comes to Democrats.

The Post has also been hyping vaccine hysteria by writing articles implying there is something wrong with Astra Zeneca. If you read the article you will discover — eventually — that there is no evidence that the number of blood clots experienced by people who have received that vaccine is higher than what normally occurs in a similar population. However you have to read other media outlets to discover that the EU’s shortages are not the result of anything Astra Zeneca has done, they are largely because their governments didn’t make early deals with vaccine makers the way that the US, UK and Chile did. The EU decided to rely on the market to deliver their needed vaccines and it hasn’t worked. But why miss an opportunity to spread fear to get clicks.... In fact my sister-in-law has been so freaked out by the blood clot story she is refusing to get her second Moderna shot.

And yesterday the Post editors were once again fear mongering about inflation from deficit spending but again not calling for a repeal of the budget-busting Trump tax cuts. As in the past four or five such articles their proof is the thinking of Larry Summers and unnamed others. The editors are choosing his judgement over the judgement of Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell who had long track records of dealing successfully with economic problems. But why let objectivity get in the way of a favorite storyline, amirite?

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Eric, I knew you’d be all over this one. When I saw that WAPO headline on Twitter yesterday morning I just about lost my mind. When is the so-called MSM going to stop their Joni Mitchell-style “We’ve looked at politics from both sides now” and stop being afraid of being labeled “liberal media?” Stories like this diminish all their great reporting and hurt their credibility. The Times does the same infuriating BS. Keep calling them out on this.

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All I know is that I never ever again want to hear about the liberal mainstream media. The Republican's strategy, as soon as the highly popular Covid relief bill passed, was to pounce on border fear. What's old is new again. All the Republicans can do is to instill fear in people, mostly white people. Here come the brown folks from Mexico to take away everything you hold dear. It's such an old and monotonous play book yet the WPO and NYT and the rest of MSM continue to placate the right with this utter nonsense. There is so much evidence that Trump is the reason why we have so many problems at the border but the lazy mainstream media refuses to do the heavy lifting that needs to be done.

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Thanks Eric. Excellent piece. Sometimes is not just both-siderism, it's laziness.

When Senator Whitehouse wrote his letter to AG Garland I thought, whew, someone was taking notes about the prior administration. I also thought, "Beltway press, here's your roadmap! Get busy." How about the recent David Fahrenthold story? Maybe that will get you up and moving?

Or, how about talking to the ACLU and others on the ground about what happened at the border under Trump? Who doesn't believe we know about one-tenth of the story at the border under Trump and his goons? There is so much work to be done.

Immigration is hard and headlines are easy. Yes it's a crisis, and the system is broken. But it didn't break during the last 60 days, and we are in a tough spot. Maybe the Beltway press could pick up a shovel or a rake, and pitch in, rather than trying to pin blame on someone for the huge mess?

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The reason the situation at the border is being played up as a crisis is because it is a crisis. If the press is piling on, it is because the Biden Administration has not come up with an effective message to push back. (And because the press wants to be able to 'prove' they're not in the tank for Biden.) It's not fair, but no one said the job of being president would be fair.

Kevin Drum has looked at this and reached many of the same conclusions about why this is happening. But, Drum also has this to say:

"If you believe in more-or-less open borders, none of this will bother you. But if, like most people, you believe the border ought to be secured, this is a big problem and Biden isn't doing a good job of addressing it. Progressives shouldn't kid themselves about this."


IF I were in a position to offer advice, I'd suggest the following:

1) Reframe this as a humanitarian crisis that isn't so much about 'illegals' trying to invade America as they are fleeing death and disaster at home, much like people fleeing a burning house or a flood. Make the point that this is what everyone in the world will be dealing with because of climate change and rising political instability - and you can't keep it out with a wall.

2) Announce that troops are being sent to the border to deal with the crisis. They may not be the best tool, but doing so projects strength, intent, and recognition of how serious this is. They can set up emergency temporary housing, screening, and assist in processing while the systems the Former Guy destroyed are rebuilt. (More immigration judges for example.) This is what people think 'securing the border' looks like - but it can be more than just optics.

3) Announce a domestic and foreign blitz. Proclaim diplomatic efforts are underway across the region to try to tamp down the forces driving this. Emphasize that without immigration reform NOW, the problem will only get worse. We need a system that can allow people a reasonable expectation of making their case to come to America if we want them to stop flooding across the border, that we need them for critical jobs that Americans are not filling (rotting crops in the fields, etc.) and that by improving the legal means of entry and residence in America, we strike a blow against all the illegal activity that profits from undocumented entry - including sex trafficking, drug running, exploitation of undocumented workers, etc.

4) Make the case that four years of brutality and reality show stunts like a fake wall did nothing. Point out that 2 years of total GOP control of government saw no real solutions - and that Democrats are just getting started cleaning up the mess, filibuster permitting.

5) Promote positive examples of legal immigrants and the Dreamers - show them in the military, show them filling vital jobs, show them creating businesses and jobs. Emphasize that all wealth in this country ultimately comes from people - and people motivated enough to come here against tough odds are the kind of people we need to share the challenges we all face. This is what has made America great in the past and will do so in the future. We can't deprive ourselves of what is a vital resource. The day no one wants to come here is the surest sign America has failed.

The trick is to establish momentum in the direction you want to go. That's what all this is in aid of.

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Thanks for this information Eric. It's really opened my eyes to a lot of the "poor" or lazy work done by the some in the mainstream media. One thing I've become more aware of (and guess I should have been) are the headlines.

For example, I saw a headline "A year after Gov. Murphy shut everything down, NJ businesses are still reeling." Yet it wasn't really Gov. Murphy that shut everything down, it was COVID. Why not have the headline be "A year after COVID shut everything down, NJ business are still reeling." In my opinion, that would be more accurate and fair, but obvious would not get the same amount of clicks. Folks will now just share that headline now on FB, etc., doubt they read the actual article, and scream about how the Democrat Governor wrecked the NJ economy.

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According to a WP sidebar header this morning, Biden "faces criticism" because of a surge in migrants at the border, which a headline writer thought could be sold as if this is somehow the real story; that Pres. Biden can somehow control the number of people showing up at the border. Right below it, 08:21 carries the sub beginning with the phrase, "trump says..." as if coverage of whatever the former, fired guy has to say is still front page news. He's allegedly starting his own social media outlet. Will the major outlets continue to cover his every blathering with breathless front page attention? Will the headline editors continue to bait and switch like carnival barkers? Will print media resort to using blue or red tinted newsprint to offer comfort to their "followers"? God help us.

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As your fellow wise press critic Eric Alterman asked, What liberal media? The L word is still lazy. It's easier for The Post to attack on this than to get at the reality, because the reality is that its political reporters did the work of the enemies of this country--republicans--for years, and continue to do so, including the later years of the once reputable, then senile, David Broder.

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Yes Eric, is WaPo now in stiff competition with the 'grey lady' (NYT)? It's truly horrifying...I'm beginning to wonder WHY I am a subscriber though I push back in their comments whenever possible.

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Thanks, Eric. The facts are the facts. Immigration has been an issue for every administration, especially when it involves POC. Yes, there is a problem with immigration in every country. It is down in the past 50 years and the crisis at the border was created by the Trump administration, Jeff Session Rod R. Full stop. Shame on WAPO. Those children deserve better.

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I'm listening (gag) to today's presser with Jen Psaki...it's subtitle is "how can we get her to say 'crisis?' ". I admire this woman more and more for her ability to withstand these fools.

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I think a large part of the problem is that Biden has chosen to be as non-confrontational as possible. IMO, every member of the administration should be pushing back, and pushing back hard, on the inhumanity of Trump's approach, AND the media's framing of the challenges at the border as a GOP defined "crisis".

The GOP isn't good at much, but they are good at working the refs -- and the Democrats aren't.

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ABC This Week staged its entire Sunday program from the border, in order to focus on the "emerging crisis for the Biden administration."

Poor babies. After being fed a steady diet of Trump for four years, they are afraid they are going to starve unless they make up lies about Biden.

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I've been a WaPo reader for years but I'm ready to abandon ship because in the last year or so, their coverage has been literally some of the laziest and most manipulative excuses for journalism I've ever read. In one day, the online edition can typically respond to a big news story by posting 7 or 8 articles on the subject, crowding out other news and delivering a lot of useless infotainment. While world news is shamefully under-reported, we were treated recently to two weeks of pieces covering Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the rate of at least 3 articles per day. Since Trump left office, the Post seems to be struggling to figure out just what kind of newspaper it wants to be, and with the two diametrically opposite pieces they've published recently on the immigration issue, they seem to want to go in two directions at the same time. Washington DC deserves a better newspaper, that's certain.

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Totally off topic, but a story I would like to read about, is where is the My Pillow Guy getting his money from, who is funding this guy. I find it hard to believe that selling pillows would give you what seems like unlimited funds to overturn an election. He's constantly in the news regarding his efforts to overturn an election, such as now in Arizona. How could be be that wealthy.

A couple of million and a tacky mansion down in FL for selling pillows, sure, can see that. Not able to fly all around the country, pay for the so called "experts," developing a social media site (and yes, sure it is awful, but still need to fund it), and I doubt the company is generating that much income.

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Yet again: That Dems always and can only screw up is a storyline of the mainstream’s DC press corp that goes back to Jimmy Carter.

The claim that there’s any significant bias against the GOP in the establishment media is a complete joke. The WaPo piece is completely shameful, inexcusable and indefensible. The closest thing to a defense is that it’s part of editorial pressure to get access to the facilities, opportunity to interview the Border Patrol, etc., which would still result on shitting on Biden for no good reason other than the old storyline the press loves to push. Meanwhile, they keep on avoiding or allowing to be drowned out why all these people (and kids) are struggling to get in. Of course, honest reporting on that can’t look good for us. Too, the core of the problem is decades of lousy immigration policy forced by the GOP. That, too, is off limits to the press because of the longtime storyline that the GOP is awesome and nigh perfect.

As Eric noted, Will Bunch did chapter and verse on the bullshit behind the WaPo story which is to the overwhelmingly shitty reporting on the subject.

All this is just more of my repetitious rant that the mainstream media are doing real harm to the nation.

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