12 Times Media Has Demanded Biden Admin Call Border 'Crisis'

The White House press corps has a “crisis” crisis. In the space of 10 days, they’ve demanded President Joe Biden’s administration refer ...


The White House press corps has a “crisis” crisis. In the space of 10 days, they’ve demanded President Joe Biden’s administration refer to the surge of migrants at the border as a “crisis” no fewer than 12 times, and I fear they are at a breaking point.

How did we get here? It all started at a March 1 briefing with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, at which Secretary Mayorkas was asked “Mr. Secretary. Do you believe that right now there is a crisis at the border?”

Mayorkas replied that “The answer is no,” and added that “I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it.”

Let’s pause to consider that answer, as well as the definition of “crisis.”

According to Merriam-Webster’s most relevant definitions, a “crisis” is “an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome,” or “a situation that has reached a critical phase.”

It’s a subjective standard, but Mayorkas’ response addresses each element of crisis: the situation, while challenging, is manageable, and there’s no sign that we lack sufficient resources to keep up with it. And the administration’s response, as Psaki would go on to point out over and over again, has the virtue of avoiding a number of undesirable outcomes that were evident under the previous set of policies.

Over the subsequent ten days, Psaki, other White House officials, and even President Biden were presented with what were, essentially, demands to relent, and call the surge of unaccompanied minors at the border a “crisis.”

That doesn’t even include one reporter asking Psaki to respond to a statement by the former Family-Separator-in-Chief, or multiple attempts to conflate those monstrous policies with the Biden administration’s response to the challenges presented by the deadly pandemic — an actual crisis — in humanely and safely housing children instead of sending them back on the same dangerous journey they’ve just completed.

In addition to the parade of briefing room demands for crisis nomenclature, a reporter even shouted at President Biden during a visit to a local Washington, DC business.

Most recently, Psaki was pressed on the issue at Thursday’s briefing, and her impatience showed, if it hadn’t already been evident. She told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that “we don’t feel the need to, you know, play games with what it’s called.”

The legitimacy of the question can be debated — I think it was answered perfectly and accurately the first time, and every time since — but the absurd media obsession with forcing this term on the White House, and the White House’s pointed refusal to comply, raises several questions.

The first: Is there a crisis?

That depends on who you’re asking. Activists and others concerned with the well-being of children have been pressing for oversight and the best possible treatment of these migrants, but even they would likely admit that the most “undesirable outcomes” for these kids would be to be sent back to their home countries unaccompanied, or housed in Covid-unsafe shelters, or released to potential traffickers. By definition, the Biden administration is keeping these kids out of crisis.

The other “undesirable outcome” that’s been discussed is the notion that the Biden administration’s failure to act in ways that most decent people would agree are inhumane, they are incentivizing migrants to come to the border. That would mean that the “crisis” is more migrants seeking asylum in this country, a country that has the resources to accept them and to adjust to the surge.

In order to adopt that view, though, you need not only fear being swamped by migrants from Mexico and Central America, you also need to believe that ripping children away from the families and/or sending unaccompanied children back where they came from are acceptable deterrents.

Another important question: Why does the media so badly want the Biden administration to call this a crisis? It’s not just Fox News or other right-leaning outlets, it’s pretty much all of them.

I think there are three components to this, the first being that some outlets see this as a winning issue with their audiences. The second is a reflexive reaction to the administration not wanting to call it a crisis. The third is the self-perpetuating momentum of the constant demands and refusals.

Which brings us to the most important question: Why won’t they just say it?

I don’t know exactly what the adversarial theory of the case is here, but I think the media’s angle is that the Biden administration doesn’t want to appear to be failing, or they don’t want to distract from other stuff they’re doing? None of that makes sense, since they’re perfectly comfortable blaming other actual crises that Trump created on Trump, and immigration reform has been a top Democratic priority for a long time.

Then, there’s whatever the opposition angle is. Biden wants open borders and to ruin America, Vice President Kamala Harris is making him do it, this is all designed to provoke the Rapture, whatever.

But I think there’s something else at play in the Biden administration’s conspicuous refusal to entertain this particular vocabularial demand. First and foremost, it is not a crisis. But this episode is beginning to resemble the Obama-era refusal to adopt the term “Radical Islamic Terrorism” in order to avoid demonizing Muslims.

The subtext is a little less explicit here, but not much. Trump and his preferred media outlets have spent years using this border “crisis” to whip up hysteria about an “invasion” by migrants — hysteria that has inspired deadly violence.

I don’t think many in the media have thought through the consequences of their demand that the Biden administration call this a “crisis,” or even whether it is one. Maybe some of them even believe they’re helping, that by adopting this language, more resources and attention will be directed at the issue. But what they’re really doing is helping to resurrect a dangerous hysteria. I hope the Biden White House continues to resist this, and I believe they will.

Watch the clips above.

 

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: 12 Times Media Has Demanded Biden Admin Call Border 'Crisis'
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