It was easy to miss, and, for obvious reasons, not touted in the news media, but a recent study by the Media Research Center demonstrates how a lack of honest reporting is hurting the American people. As the cabal of left-wing news outlets continues to ignore statistics, the citizenry is unable to make educated opinions. Then the public is polled by the Fourth Estate to guarantee a survey result that reflects its leftist suppositions. It is a vicious cycle, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the current immigration discussion.
When in Doubt, Leave it Out
Between January and May of this year, the MRC studied the network coverage of illegal immigration. Of the 234 stories that hit the airwaves, only 22 of them mentioned the number of border crossings. Now, one would think that if there is a question about whether a border crisis is occurring, the number of actual illegal crossings would be germane to the news package. Why, then, would only 9% of the stories on network news reveal this number?
The answer is simple. If people are told just how many immigrants are trying to enter the country illegally, they might form an opinion. Then the poll results are less likely to reflect what the networks are force-feeding the public. Above all, what ABC, CBS, and NBC want is an echo chamber. In other words: “We tell you what to think then poll you to make sure we’ve done our job.”
God forbid the truth makes its way into these broadcasts. Even a glance at the statistics reveals that there is a crush of humanity trying to make its way into America. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, apprehensions of illegals have skyrocketed in 2019.
The big red line that reaches almost to 110,000 pretty much tells the whole story, does it not? In terms of simple J-school basics, one would think this figure an essential piece of information for any story regarding immigration. It almost completely covers journalism’s five sacred “w”s – who, what, when, where, and why – all by itself.
But if this graph were published, the networks would have a serious problem on their hands: All those folks out there in TV land just might get wind of what the president has been saying all along – that there is a crisis at the border. And the leftists at the American television networks can’t permit the president to be right. More and more they reveal through their reporting and omission of basic facts and statistics that their goal is to gin up public disdain for Donald Trump. This – not informing the public – has become their raison d’être.
So where are our facts to back up this supposition? The MRC’s Bill D’Agostino spells out the upshot of this method of media omission and its deleterious effect on the public by pointing out the results from a recent poll on immigration:
“The Harvard/Harris poll found 87 percent of respondents guessed that the number of border apprehensions was significantly lower. A majority (52%) estimated the rate was less than 100,000 per year, which would make the problem only one-twelfth as serious as it actually is.”
Most respondents had no idea what the actual figures were. Another April poll, this time by ABC News/Washington Post, asked the public whether it supported President Trump’s border emergency declaration – 64% did not. But, of course, the questioners had not bothered to inform their participants of the actual number of illegal border crossings that are taking place. And here’s the kicker: When respondents were told the “actual rates of illegal immigration, those numbers flipped.” The Harvard/Harris poll found that when people were actually given the figures involved, 52% favored the president’s national emergency declaration. Thus, hiding the facts and figures on the immigration controversy resulted in “mission accomplished” for network gatekeepers.
In the sage words of those erudite Senseis on Pinterest, “Not telling me something or hiding something on purpose is just the same as lying.” This “education by omission” has become the stock and trade of the American news networks – but hopefully, by now, we know their endgame.
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