CBS Tries to Use Berlin Wall To Discredit Trump Wall, Israeli Anti-Terror Barriers

It seems someone at CBS thought it was a good idea to send correspondent Mark Phillips all the way to Germany and do a full report about the Berlin Wall just to suggest that all walls are bad, and therefore undermine President Donald Trump's push for a border wall, as well as Israel's security barrier which has likely saved thousands from being murdered by suicide bombers.

On Monday's CBS Evening News, substitute anchor Jericka Duncan alluded to Trump's wall proposal, and then set up the piece by hinting that the report might prove walls between countries to be ineffective:

President Trump has signaled he's willing to extend protections for young immigrants brought into to this country illegally, but on one condition, Last week, he tweeted: "There can be no DACA without the desperately needed wall at the southern border." But do walls really work? Mark Phillips went to Berlin to find out.

After beginning the report by recalling that Hans Peter Spitzner and his daughter, Peggy, were among the last to escape through the Berlin Wall in the 1980s, CBS correspondent Phillips then admitted that it had a high success rate in preventing defections:

It's a tourist attraction now, but from its building by the old East German regime in 1961, the wall was a death zone for almost three decades. While around 5,000 people escaped or crawled through, over, or under it -- at least 139 died trying. Some death estimates run to well over 1,000, but Hans Peter was desperate.

After recounting that the Spitzner family convinced someone to smuggle them through to the other side of the wall in the trunk of his car, the CBS correspondent then touted the anti-wall views of the family as if one wall built for bad reasons means all walls are bad:

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The Spitzners have strong views on walls -- not just the Berlin example, now a living  history lesson -- whether it's here or the security barrier that Israelis have built between them and the Palestinians , or going back to the Great Wall of China. They see all walls as monuments to political failure.

Getting close to the end of the report of almost three minutes, Phillips finally admitted that the Berlin Wall was erected for a very different reason than other walls:

The Berlin Wall, of course, was different than all the others. The others were designed to keep people out, and this one designed to keep them in. There is one thing they all have in common, though. Critics will tell you that when governments build walls, it's a sign that something else isn't working.

Phillips never recalled any of the crime associated with the U.S.-Mexico border, or the terrorism that Israel was hit by before its security barriers were built.

Then came a soundbite of Peggy Spitzner speaking out against all walls without suggesting any other alternative solution: "It's always to keep someone in, to keep someone out, to keep someone from doing something, so it's always a bad thing really. It's always a monument of a problem."

Phillips bolstered her views: "A monument that, with a will, can always be overcome."

The report ended with a clip of Hans Peter Spitzner begging Americans not to build a wall: "I say,'"Never again, never again. Please.'"

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, January 1, CBS Evening News:

JERICKA DUNCAN: President Trump has signaled he's willing to extend protections for young immigrants brought into to this country illegally, but on one condition, Last week, he tweeted: "There can be no DACA without the desperately needed wall at the Southern Border." But do walls really work? Mark Phillips went to Berlin to find out.

(...)

MARK PHILLIPS: It's a tourist attraction now, but from its building by the old East German regime in 1961, the wall was a death zone for almost three decades. While around 5,000 people escaped or crawled through, over, or under it -- at least 139 died trying. Some death estimates run to well over 1,000, but Hans Peter was desperate. The car was owned by American G.I. Eric Yaad, now a family friend. With Spitzner's wife, Ingrid, already in the West, allowed out for an aging aunt's birthday, and with Peggy just seven years old at the time. Hans Peter asked dozens of allies with access to East Germany to smuggle them out. Only Eric Yah agreed to hide them in his trunk.

HANS PETER SPITZNER, ESCAPED EAST BERLIN: I said to him, "You are now a part of my family,"

PHILLIPS: The Spitzners have strong views on walls -- not just the Berlin example, now a living  history lesson -- whether it's here or the security barrier that Israelis have built between them and the Palestinians , or going back to the Great Wall of China. They see all walls as monuments to political failure.

PHILLIPS: The Berlin Wall, of course, was different than all the others. The others were designed to keep people out, and this one designed to keep them in. There is one thing they all have in common, though. Critics will tell you that when governments build walls, it's a sign that something else isn't working.

PEGGY SPITZNER, ESCAPED EAST BERLIN: It's always to keep someone in, to keep someone out, to keep someone from doing something, so it's always a bad thing really. It's always a monument of a problem.

PHILLIPS: A monument that, with a will, can always be overcome. 

HANS PETER SPITZNER: I say, "Never again, never again. Please."

PHILLIPS: Mark Phillips, CBS News, Berlin.


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