This is shameless even for Fox & Friends.
Over the weekend we received the first images of the children stripped from their parents by Customs and Border Patrol and held in Health and Human Services facilities and they’re damning.
Traumatized children are being held in fenced cages and forced to sleep on the ground with flimsy foil blankets for comfort, and completely in the dark about when—or if—they’ll be reunited with their families.
The images have sparked an intense backlash to Trump’s inhumane, immoral policy and it’s becoming more bipartisan, putting Trump, his administration, and his allies in the right-wing media on the defensive. Trump is saying the family separation is the Democrats fault, Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller are saying it’s a good deterrence policy, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is saying there is no such policy and also that they’re not going to apologize for the policy.
But the latest hill they’ve chosen to die on is an absolutely ridiculous one.
The new doublespeak from Trump and company is that these kids aren’t being held in “cages” so please don’t call them that! In fact, calling these cages “cages” makes Border Patrol “very uncomfortable”!
This just in from @davidbegnaud: Border Patrol has reached out to @cbsthismorning and said they are “very uncomfortable” with the use of the word cages. They say it’s not inaccurate and added that they may be cages but people are not being treated like animals. pic.twitter.com/0zSDqJszgK
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 18, 2018
Of course, people pointed out just how batsh*t this exercise in Orwellian semantics is:
Others pointed out the ridiculous hypocrisy of the Trump administration’s bad-faith phony outrage:
But, not to be outdone by the official members of the Trump administration, Trump’s unofficial communications team on Fox & Friends cranked their propaganda machine up to its highest setting:
DOOCY: Some refer to these [child detention facilities] as cages. I’m from a farm community, I see the chain-link fences, it’s more like a security pen to me.
GIDLEY: It’s the law of the land… The Democrats decided to stand with people who are here illegally and unlawfully. pic.twitter.com/SWimLtFYoV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 18, 2018
I thought Customs and Border Patrol said they weren’t being treated like animals, but I guess Doocy didn’t get those talking points.
And you better believe they got dragged for it:
This has been a strategy of the pro-Trump right-wing media for a while now: pretend the conditions aren’t as bad as they are as an attempt to downplay the cruelty of internment:
But there’s evidence Fox’s reality warping isn’t working this time, with weak support for the policy among Republicans and a growing number of GOP officials speaking out about it: