Fox News, coverage, border, eclipse
Photo credit: Fox News Screenshot from Justin Baragona / Twitter

Fox News is going to extraordinary lengths to make anything it covers about the “immigration crisis.”

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While many Americans will spend their day enjoying the last total solar eclipse visible from the US for the next 20+ years, others have to work. Like the fine folks at Fox News, who are busy tying anything and everything to the “border crisis.”

For them, the event is yet another opportunity to make the argument that President Joe Biden is solely responsible for a massive influx of migrants entering the US from Mexico and should therefore not be reelected. 

As we pointed out just eight days ago, this appears to be Fox News’s main mission in the coming months. 

Monday was no exception.

“A rare celestial event collides with a policy failure on the ground,” host Dana Perino told viewers. “The southern border is directly in the path of totality today when the moon covers the sun.”

Not to be outdone, her co-host Bill Hemmer let the audience know that Fox News has been told that the border town, which is the first to experience the “totality,” i.e., where the moon fully covers the sun, is bracing for a lot of visitors.

And this, according to Hemmer, presents “a real opportunity for smugglers, and cartels, and migrants to come right in.”

Note that regular migrants looking for a better life are lumped in together with criminals, which is the narrative that Fox News is trying to sell to its audience. 

Next up was Bill Melugin, who has been on Fox’s “The US is being invaded by brown thugs” beat for some time. 

He was “reporting” from Eagle Pass, TX, which is a location his viewers will be familiar with due to the breathless coverage Fox and other right-wing propaganda outlets have dedicated to the town in recent months. 

After pointing out that Eagle Pass will be the very first place in which the eclipse can be viewed in the US, he then added that “while everybody is looking up, if you are looking down here at the border, here is some of what you’re going to see.” 

Fox then cuts to recent video from New Mexico (for some reason), showing a couple of people running through some desert-like place who are, according to Melugin, part of a “surge of illegal immigrant invaders and gottaways.”

Now, Melugin fails to explain how two people running around in the sand represent a “surge” or an “invasion,” but that’s not really the point. 

What Fox News is trying to do is establish a narrative that allows Donald Trump to become president again. 

And, as is too often the case, the legacy media follows the example of right-wing outlets. 

For example, The New York Times published a story saying right at the start that Eagle Pass “has struggled recently with being the epicenter of the migrant crisis.”

As you can see, the paper has adopted the “crisis” narrative of Fox News even though, later in the article, the author points out that the number of migrants in the town is “ebbing,” and that “far fewer migrants have been crossing in recent days.”

But, of course, by that point in the story, it has already been established in the reader’s mind that there is a crisis. 

Maybe now Perino, Hemmer, and Melugin can enjoy the eclipse after all because their job is done.  


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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