According to John Moore, a Special Correspondent for Getty Images and author of Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the US-Mexico Border, the Biden administration is implementing a strategy of media censorship at the southern border unlike anything seen from recent administrations.
“I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations,” Moore began in a Twitter thread on Friday. “I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now — zero access is granted to media. These long lens images taken from the Mexican side.”
I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations. I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now – zero access is granted to media. These long lens images taken from the Mexican side. @CBP #gettyimagesnews pic.twitter.com/cWa90TlfeS
— John Moore (@jbmoorephoto) March 19, 2021
“There’s no modern precedent for a full physical ban on media access to CBP border operations. To those who might say, cut them some slack — they are dealing with a situation, I’d say that showing the US response to the current immigrant surge is exactly the media’s role,” Moore continued, adding that “Photographing Border Patrol agents and immigrant encounters can and has been done respectfully without interfering with operations,” and that “Transparency is key, even in a politicized environment.”
“The vast majority of river crossings by asylum seekers happen on federal land in south Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The federal govt. controls access to those areas. The Border Patrol has been removing journalists who enter, including recently myself, CBS, others,” Moore concluded.
The vast majority of river crossings by asylum seekers happen on federal land in south Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The federal govt. controls access to those areas. The Border Patrol has been removing journalists who enter, including recently myself, CBS, others. @cbsmireya
— John Moore (@jbmoorephoto) March 20, 2021
Immediately after Biden entered office in January, White House press secretary Jen Psaki promised to bring “transparency and truth” back to the briefing room. However, it seems that the ongoing situation at the border is proving that promise to be nothing but empty words.
When questioned by CNN’s Oliver Darcy about the “lack of access at the border,” Psaki referred to comments she made earlier in the week, and that media tours of the facilities were not permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions. According to Darcy, she then noted that the Biden administration remains “committed to transparency, and we’re considering potential options, and we hope to have an update on that soon.”
Here is a list of other media outlets who are now voicing their frustration with the media blackout imposed by the Biden administration.
CNN — “Biden’s Border Blackout”
In a “Reliable Sources” newsletter from Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy, a section on the border crisis read, “DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to the border on Friday with a group of bipartisan senators. Typically, when a cabinet secretary and lawmakers make such a trip, they would be accompanied by members of the press or a pooler to feed back notes to newsrooms.”
“But the Biden administration blocked that from happening. It’s part of a larger pattern at the southern border of restricted media access — despite promises of transparency and the fact that there are at least 14,000 migrant children detained as the US sees a surge in migrants attempting to enter the country…” the section concluded.
Washington Post — “News orgs cite Biden administration opacity on border stories”
In an opinion column, Erik Wemple wrote that “Rafael Carranza, immigration issues reporter for the Arizona Republic, says that Border Patrol officials in Arizona have always been ‘tight-lipped,’ especially in the Tucson sector. ‘But I’ve noticed that more so in recent weeks in Yuma, which is our state’s hotspot for border activity at the moment,’ Carranza told the Erik Wemple Blog via email.”
“Asked by Fox News reporter Kristin Fisher whether the White House or DHS was instructing border agents to deny ride-along requests, Psaki said, ‘I think we’ve seen, watching a number of the reports you all do, a number of Border Patrol officials who are quoted in them, who appear in them, and certainly in the White House we support that.’”
“Officials are quoted! Well, then why complain? Because solid coverage of the border requires more than just a quote here and there,” he added.
NBC News — “Biden administration limits what Border Patrol can share with media about migrant surge at border”
“The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency’s capacity at the southern border, according to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials,” the report by NBC News reads.
“The officials say the restrictions are seen as an unofficial ‘gag order’ and are often referred to that way among colleagues. The officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media about the topic,” the report added.
CBS News — “Lawmakers press Biden administration to grant media access to border facilities”
“A growing chorus of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called on the Biden administration to allow reporters and journalists into facilities housing unaccompanied migrant children who have sought asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border,” the report said.
“The appeal for greater transparency with the American public and those who cover it comes as the U.S. faces a growing humanitarian crisis at its southwest border, driven by Central America’s economic devastation, climate change, gang violence and political persecution, as well as a new presidential administration,” CBS News added.
Vanity Fair — “Biden’s Border Press Blackout Is Making His Immigration Problem Worse”
On Sunday, Charlotte Klein wrote for Vanity Fair that “Journalists and lawmakers across the aisle are increasingly calling out the Biden administration for a lack of press access at border processing centers, a media blackout preventing reporters from covering what the White House has refused to call a crisis, despite firsthand accounts suggesting otherwise.”
The Hill — “There’s a five-alarm crisis on the border – and Team Biden imposes a media blackout”
In a recent opinion piece in The Hill, Joe Concha wrote that “Today, two months and zero solo press conferences later, the Biden administration is on track to be the least transparent administration in the TV era.”
“Another example of shutting out the press is underway at the U.S.-Mexico border, where said administration has imposed a media blackout on its migrant holding facilities, formerly known as ‘kids in cages’ under the previous administration before the term apparently was retired by most of the media and by Democratic politicians out of courtesy to Team Biden,” Concha added.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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