To say Fox News is friendly territory for Trump and his band of cranky toadies is putting it mildly, but lately a couple of the Fox anchors still clinging to a frayed shred of integrity have surprised Trump and company by actually doing their jobs. Chris Wallace put the screws to Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a recent interview, pushing back on her lie about how many terrorists have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Last night Shepard Smith, who hosts the only block on Fox that regularly features a dose of reality, fact-checked the hell out of Trump’s lie-filled Oval Office speech.
Trump once again tried to claim undocumented immigrants as a whole represent a public safety issue by cherry-picking (and sensationalizing) stories about people being “horribly victimized.”
Smith debunked his lie.
“The government’s statistics show that there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population,” he said.
Trump also tried to use another public safety issue—the opioid/heroin crisis—as a selling point for an expensive border wall.
Smith dispatched with that falsehood as well.
“Government statistics show much of the heroin actually comes not over the unguarded border but through ports of call,” he said. In other words, the drugs are passing through the border at legal entry points undetected, not being trafficked by undocumented immigrants. Most of the fentanyl, another major culprit in opioid deaths, is shipped directly from China to the U.S. or enters the country through the U.S.-Canadian border.
Finally, Trump (along with the rest of the GOP) has created the entire undocumented immigrant “crisis” out of whole cloth. Illegal border crossings have dropped to some of their lowest levels after hitting a peak in the year 2000.
Trump is going to tell you tonight that there’s an emergency at the border. That’s a lie. pic.twitter.com/RjEilnBXjg
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 9, 2019
“He talks about undocumented crossings over the past months. In fact, the number of undocumented crossings over the southern border has been steadily down over the last 10 years and the government reports that there is more outward traffic than inward traffic,” Smith said.
Of course, as long as Smith’s network has a financial incentive to indulge the paranoid fears of aging racists with anti-immigrant propaganda, the made-up “crisis” isn’t going away. Here’s one of Smith’s coworkers undoing any good he did the night before with some delusional fearmongering that’s more representative of Fox’s programming.
Ainsley Earhardt tells the Fox audience that they’re footing the bill for “one of those illegals” to come here, do drugs, rape you, then murder both you and your children. pic.twitter.com/1SgCuGd9ja
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 9, 2019
While there’s certainly an argument to be made that Smith provides Fox’s audience with a much-needed reality check, he should probably cut his losses—and his ties with the network using his reporting as a fig leaf for their nakedly racist lies.
h/t: Huffington Post