Yesterday the Associated Press ran an absolutely false and shameful story on a draft memo circulating with some parts of the Department of Homeland Security. The memo recommended the agency look at the feasibility of expanding the Section 287(g) program, this is a program that allows properly trained and supervised state employees to act as deputized immigration agents, to the National Guard in a total of seven states. This provision is 20 years old, it has been used by every president in the intervening years.
In the unscrupulous hands of the Associated Press it became this story:
BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 17, 2017
There is literally nothing in this tweet that is true. There was no “mobilization” of the National Guard mentioned and to mobilize them would make them unable, under the Posse Comitatus Act, to serve as immigration officers. There is no mention of 100,000 National Guardsmen any where in the memo. Apparently the AP arrived at that number by adding up the National Guard enrollment in each of those states. There is no mention of a round up. The program is, according to the memo, focused on detaining criminal aliens. The memo is very, very clear that it is voluntary and that it will be run by the states.
In terms of #FakeNews, this story is on par with Bat Boy. In fact, Bat Boy has more credibility. In short, this should be a slam-freakin-dunk for anyone doing media criticism. Except it is not for the Washington Post’s media critic Erik Wemple. This is how he frames the issue:
Example: The Associated Press (AP) today came forth with a scoop: “The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press,” reported the wire service.
Big deal, considering that presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke of a massive “deportation force” — though, like many of his more extreme proposals, he softened it after eyeing the outrage that it prompted.
To accompany the story, the AP presented strong corroboration in the form of a memo dated Jan. 25. It outlined a proposal for what the AP terms an “unprecedented militarization” of immigration enforcement in key states.
Even part of this is a blatant lie. The AP did not produce the memo until well after other news organizations had obtained copies for themselves which, in its own way, demonstrates that AP was carrying out a calculated attack on the Trump administration by making their story the only source for discussion.
What Wemple is focusing on is how Spicer was meanie-pants to the press while the DHS spokesperson was nice to them. Because you are always supposed to be nice to people who tell lies about you.
Here we see the difference between a White House determined to delegitimize the media and a federal agency whose communications department is being run by a career civil servant. The former seeks to paint the issue in extreme, overreaching terms; the latter merely clarifies that the proposal didn’t make it to the highest levels.
Again, Wemple closes ranks with his media cronies and says the lie told by the AP was okay. The issue here isn’t the stage of consideration the document was in, the AP 100%, totally, misrepresented what the memo said and their story even contradicts what is in the memo.
Finally, as an afterthought, Wemple includes this:
UDPATE: For further concerns on the AP piece, please see Twitter feed of Gabriel Malor.
That twitter stream, of course, belongs to Gabe Malor who blogs at our sister site, Hot Air. Malor discusses the many ways in which the AP story is false. As you can see, the falsity of the story was only included in Wemple’s piece as an update.
What this shows is that the press is simply not capable of acting as anything but an arm of the Democrat party. Even when confronted with dishonesty on a grand scale, they revert to tribalism and cover each other’s asses.