CNN's Blackwell Spins for Biden Against Republican Guest

bradwilmouth | September 20, 2022
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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 the 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 the Republicans of "kidnapping" and "trafficking" migrants, as he posed:

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 actual traffickers as she listed some of the horrors that migrants have to endure, such as rape, as they travel through Mexico and then across the U.S. border illegally. She also alluded to the cartels taking advantage of the border chaos to smuggle more fentanyl into the U.S., leading to more Americans dying of drug 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 now 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.

The Republican congresswoman shot back:

You asked me how I felt about him comparing the governors who are sending people on air-conditioned flights into Martha's Vineyard at the end of their summer season to drug traffickers to sex traffickers who are actually encouraging them to come into our border where they are having atrocities. I would say the travesty is not what these governors are doing -- I'd say the travesty is what the Biden administration is doing by encouraging that kind of a trick through Mexico and other South American cities where people are meeting those horrific ends.

A bit later, after Van Duyne complained that the policies of the Joe Biden administration are "encouraging" illegal immigrants to come into the country, Blackwell engaged in spinning for Democrats as he lamely responded:

BLACKWELL: The Vice President literally said, "Do not come," so when you say that they are suggesting people come, they have said explicitly the opposite. But let me ask you about --

VAN DUYNE: There's a difference between what they're saying and what they're doing.

BLACKWELL: -- why these governors are doing this. Let me ask you why they're doing this. Abbott -- Ducey -- DeSantis are being criticized for performing these stunts and shows with people's lives -- vulnerable lives.

A bit later, the CNN host similarly complained about Republicans calling the border situation an "open border." Here's Blackwell: "Again, no one is calling for an open border on the Southern border."

But on Friday, when Congresswoman Lee was on the show to discuss the issue, Blackwell was more subdued in responding to her:

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.

This poor journalism was sponsored in part by Consumer Cellular and Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN Newsroom with Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell

September 19, 2022

3:23 p.m. Eastern

VICTOR BLACKWELL: 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?

CONGRESSWOMAN BETH VAN DUYNE (R-TX):  I wish he was as sincere about his thoughts on sex trafficking and human trafficking as we've seen on the border. I wish he would actually get down there and before claiming and being proud of sanctuary cities, would be willing to come on the border and see what I have seen -- the travesty of little girls given condoms by their families before trekking on a journey to Mexico where they know that they're going to be raped repeatedly -- where they see little girls and little boys who are basically owned by sex traffickers and sold into slavery once they get here -- or the travesty of knowing what it's like to lose a son over the thousands of pounds of fentanyl that's coming over our borders -- people like the Heitzmans in Dallas who lost their 23-year-old son Martin. That's a travesty.

BLACKWELL: 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.

VAN DUYNE: I wasn't comparing -- I wasn't comparing anybody on the buses. What I'm saying --

BLACKWELL: Well, then, please answer the question I asked.

VAN DUYNE: -- is what's happening on the way here. You asked me how I felt about him comparing the governors who are sending people on air-conditioned flights into Martha's Vineyard at the end of their summer season to drug traffickers to sex traffickers who are actually encouraging them to come into our border where they are having atrocities. I would say the travesty is not what these governors are doing -- I'd say the travesty is what the Biden administration is doing by encouraging that kind of a trick through Mexico and other South American cities where people are meeting those horrific ends.

BLACKWELL: The Vice President literally said, "Do not come," so when you say that they are suggesting people come, they have said explicitly the opposite. But let me ask you about --

VAN DUYNE: There's a difference between what they're saying and what they're doing.

BLACKWELL: -- why these governors are doing this. Let me ask you why they're doing this. Abbott -- Ducey -- DeSantis are being criticized for performing these stunts and shows with people's lives -- vulnerable lives.

(...)

VAN DUYNE: The other issue is you finally have Democrats who have been saying that there is no border crisis -- "open borders, sanctuary cities are great" -- finally have those Democrat mayors finally say, "We do have a crisis, this is an emergency, this is a humanitarian crisis, and we need to address it." That I really think is the best result.

BLACKWELL: Again, no one is calling for an open border on the Southern border.

(...)

September 16, 2022

3:31 p.m. Eastern

VICTOR BLACKWELL: We had Congressman Crist on just a few minutes ago who said 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 I 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. I 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 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?

LEE: Well, stunts are being perpetrated by governors 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 I 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. I 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...

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