Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog
In the aftermath of several Republican governors sending illegal immigrants to Democrat-run cities, CNN host Victor Blackwell demonstrated that his news network is far from reforming itself into being more balanced. A few days after having on Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and giving the Texas Democrat a forum to trash GOP governors over the issue, the CNN host was more aggressive in dealing with Republican Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne while discussing the same issue on Monday.
Blackwell began his segment with Van Duyne by quoting a Democratic state legislator in Massachusetts who accused Republicans of "kidnapping" and "trafficking" migrants:
I want your reaction to the latest call for a DOJ investigation into DeSantis's flight. This is from State Rep Dylan Fernandez, who represents Martha's Vineyard -- he says, "...there are legal implications around fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty and human trafficking." Your thoughts?
Van Duyne responded by taking offense to Republican governors being compared to traffickers as she listed some of the horrors that migrants have to endure to cross into the U.S. She also alluded to the cartels taking advantage of the border chaos to smuggle in more fentanyl, leading to a surge in more Americans dying of overdoses.
Blackwell bristled as he wrongly suggested that she was accusing asylum seekers of being criminals:
Okay, let me say this. Let me say this. You are talking exclusively about crime here. These are people who are seeking asylum in the U.S. There is no evidence that anyone on any of these buses or anyone flown on these planes is someone who has committed any of the crimes you are discussing. So these are asylum seekers. There's a difference.
Even though Blackwell had started the interview by vaguely asking his guest what her thoughts were on the issue, he then accused her of not answering his question:
CONGRESSWOMAN BETH VAN DUYNE: I wasn't comparing -- I wasn't comparing anybody on the buses. What I'm saying --
VICTOR BLACKWELL: Well, then, please answer the question I asked.
A bit later, after Van Duyne complained that the policies of the Joe Biden administration are encouraging illegals to flood into the country, Blackwell spun for Democrats as he lamely responded: "The Vice President literally said, 'Do not come,' so when you say that they are suggesting people come, they have said explicitly the opposite."
A bit later, the CNN host similarly complained about Republicans calling the border situation an "open border."
But on Friday, when Congresswoman Lee was on the show to discuss the issue, Blackwell was more subdued in responding:
CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Not only should the federal government enjoin them, take them to court, and seek an injunction against this maligning behavior, but they should also determine whether civil or criminal actions need to be taken or whether they violated civil or criminal laws. This is an abomination, and it's unacceptable.
BLACKWELL: So it is a stunt, right? It's obvious that Ron DeSantis sent planes to Texas to take migrants to Martha's Vineyard. But, to the question -- the concern of some in Texas -- that they are overwhelmed. What should be the responsibility or the burden sharing among the states? Should Texas take all of that responsibility? Or should some of the migrants be sent in a more orderly fashion to other parts of the country?
After Lee suggested that it was racist to send illegal immigrants to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris, Blackwell just changed the subject to the Brittney Griner controversy.
Unlike Fox News Channel, CNN does not clearly inform their viewers that Central Americans who bring their children with them can cross the border illegally and then, when caught, gain entry to the U.S. by declaring that they with to apply for asylum. The overwhelming majority of asylum claims are eventually rejected, but there is no easy way to make them leave the country. So crossing the border illegally gives them a way to stay in the U.S. indefinitely by exploiting dysfunctional laws.
VICTOR BLACKWELL: We had Congressman Crist on just a few minutes ago who sad that the DOJ should investigate here. Do you agree that they should?
CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, absolutely, the Department of Justice as have written to the Attorney General and spoke to the Department of Justice today as well as the Department of Homeland Security ... We have never, Victor, seen this. ask just a rhetorical question Have we seen this kind of behavior with public officials in the last 50 years? We've seen the flotilla -- we've seen people coming across the border -- we've seen the surge in 2014 -- we've seen the surge in recent years of refugees, migrants coming across our border.
We've even seen activity at our northern border. But never in the last 50 years -- and maybe longer -- have we seen public officials, governors of states taking human beings like discarded waste and dumping them wherever they feel that they have the privilege to do so. Not only should the federal government enjoin them, take them to court, and seek an injunction against this maligning behavior. But they should also determine whether civil or criminal actions need to be taken or whether they violated civil or criminal laws. This is an abomination, and it's unacceptable.
BLACKWELL: So it is a stunt, right? It's obvious that Ron DeSantis sent planes to Texas to take migrants to Martha's Vineyard. But, to the question -- the concern of some n Texas -- that they are overwhelmed. What should be the responsibility or the burden sharing among the states? Should Texas take all of that responsibility? Or should some of the migrants be sent in a more orderly fashion to other parts of the country?
LEE: Well, stunts are being perpetrated by governor who are stunt promoters and followers of Trump in Arizona, Florida and Texas. It looks like they're competing against each other.
We can work with these states by giving them more funding -- giving them more staffing and moving more staff from one part of the border to the next and providing a viable place where the refugees can go. So, yes, we can work together, but we cannot work together on what think has racial implications, and the very fact that migrants, refugees were dropped at the Vice President's home, I have to say as a woman and a black woman, I'm incensed. y think we can do better, and these are stunts that should not be tolerated, and, frankly, both departments -- Homeland Security and Justice needs to investigate these governors because it's not funny at all.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the meeting happening today between President Biden and the families of Brittney Griner...