Past Features

January 4, 2017

Rotten Border Reporting
Fox News compounds Reuters' errors

Left: Operation Phalanx according to Fox News
Right, Operation Phalanx according to American Border Patrol
Fox News
Report: Trump looking into revamping aerial surveillance program at border
    President-elect Donald Trump's transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security about an aerial surveillance program along the southern border that was scaled back by the Obama administration, Reuters is reporting.
    The program, Operation Phalanx, deployed as many as 6,000 National Guard airmen to monitor for drug trafficking and illegal immigration during President George W. Bush's administration.
    The Trump team's inquiry was part of a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis looking into the viability of a border wall and barrier construction.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol  
The Price of Bias
    It started with Reuters....
Exclusive: Trump team seeks agency records on border barriers, surveillance
    ....that was replete with errors, including saying that Operation Phalanx was a program involving Army National Guard airmen.
    Fox News jumped on the word "airmen" - probably a simple typo as the official report says "soldiers and airmen" --- and reported this:
Report: Trump looking into revamping aerial surveillance program at border
    As we reported yesterday. Operation Phalanx involved the deployment of "soldiers and airmen" of the National Guard --- and ABP found no evidence --- with the possible exception of one helicopter on the ground in New Mexico --- of National Guard aerial support.
    ABP followed the deployment of the National Guard for years and found that it was probably a waste of time and human resources.
    The Washington Post agreed.
    Fox News made it worse by reporting that "The fence has miles-long gaps and gates built in to allow landowners access to their property on the south side of the fencing."
    The only gates of this type our aerial surveillance could find was near McAllen, Texas, and most of those were never installed.
    Along with the other mainstream media, Fox News has refused to report on the work of American Border Patrol --- including its exclusive mapping of the entire southern border fence, and its report on the Texas gate issue.
    As we can see from these serious, avoidable errors by Fox News, bias sometimes carries a high price.

UPDATE NOTE: Erick Erikson just appeared on Fox News and seemed to change their story. He now says the Trump people are talking about returning National Guard ground troops to the border. Fox News continues to be clueless.