Far-left news organizations reported on Wednesday that high winds blew over a small segment of President Donald Trump’s border wall that was under construction on the southern border near Mexicali in an apparent attempt to embarrass the president but the claim was misleading.
The far-left publications — CNN, NBC News, HuffPost, NowThis, and AJ+ (Al Jazeera) — published the following headlines or comments in tweets:
- CNN: Portion of US border wall in California falls over in high winds and lands on Mexican side
- NBC News: Portions of California border wall wilt and fall into Mexico after high winds
- HuffPost: “Trump’s signature border wall fell over in Mexico from high winds a day after he boasted about the strength of his barrier.”
- AJ+: Part of President Trump’s proposed border wall fell over because of high winds.
- NowThis: “Strong gusts of wind knocked over new sections of Trump’s border wall into Mexico”
The claims were misleading because a small portion of the wall blew over because the concrete had just been poured and it did not have time to set in and harden.
Washington Post border reporter Nick Miroff noted that misleading claims and specifically called out CNN’s coverage of the incident, writing on Twitter: “I get the urge to dunk on the border wall, but this is misleading. The panels that fell over in the wind were not anchored yet. You can clearly see that in the photo. And adjacent sections did NOT fall, likely because the concrete base had time to harden.”
“When there are issues, flaws, problems etc with the border wall and its construction, we will continue to cover them,” Miroff added. “This incident was not one of those.”
When there are issues, flaws, problems etc with the border wall and its construction, we will continue to cover them. This incident was not one of those.
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) January 30, 2020
“Luckily, Mexican authorities responded quickly and were able to divert traffic from the nearby street,” Border Patrol Agent Carlos Pitones told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “CBP will work with the construction contractor to mitigate the impact of high winds as construction continues.”
Both CNN and NBC News did mention in their stories that the problem was with the concrete, but still deceptively framed the way that their stories were written because they did not include the critical information in their headlines.
In a video posted to Twitter, HuffPost failed to mention once that the small portion of the wall blew over because the concrete had not hardened.
Trump’s signature border wall fell over in Mexico from high winds a day after he boasted about the strength of his barrier. pic.twitter.com/YJOGPWMI3g
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 30, 2020
CNN also posted a video of the incident on Twitter, just under a minute long, and waited 32 seconds before telling viewers that the wall blew over because the concrete had not hardened.
The video, which was aggregated by far-left activist Antonio Arellano, who has a history of promoting falsehoods on the platform regarding border and immigration related issues.
“When mother nature says ‘¡Chinga tu muro!'” Arellano wrote. “Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border per @CNN.”
Translated into English, ¡Chinga tu muro! means, “F*** your wall!”
When mother nature says “¡Chinga tu muro!”
Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border per @CNN pic.twitter.com/ti4Mhawm7f
— Antonio Arellano (@AntonioArellano) January 30, 2020
NowThis, a far-left propaganda group, posted a 6:20 video on Twitter of the incident and waited 30 seconds before telling viewers about the concrete.