On Thursday's CNN Tonight, the show not only repeated the debunked myth that the Trump administration treats illegal immigrant children worse than the Obama administration did, but even one of CNN's right-leaning analysts added to the media myth that legal asylum seekers have their children separated from them without making the distinction that those who enter the country legally typically are not separated.
The liberal news network notably ignored DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's trip to Guatemala earlier this week in which she implored asylum seekers to enter the U.S. through legal ports of entry so that they receive better treatment, rather than cross the border illegally.
The segment began with host Don Lemon trying to use former President George W. Bush to undermine President Donald Trump's efforts to curtail illegal immigration as a clip of the former President was played expressing concerns about children being separated from illegal parents.
Liberal CNN commentator Symone Sanders voiced her agreement with the former President as she began:
I agree with former President George W. Bush. I think all Americans should be concerned about what I believe is a humanitarian crisis on our border which was manufactured by the sitting President, Donald Trump. I absolutely am glad that former President George W. Bush is speaking out.
After host Lemon noted that Bush did not criticize President Barack Obama while he was in office, Symone repeated a discredited myth:
Well, you know, Barack Obama didn't put kids in cages, Don, and rip children -- put after those kids were ripped from their mothers' bosom, put them in cages in what is the equivalent of prison.
Instead of correcting her and informing viewers that the Obama administration similarly used detention facilities with cages, Lemon merely responded: "I was just trying to show that it was -- must be something that he feels extremely strongly about in order to do that."
Then, right-leaning CNN commentator Alice Stewart also declined to correct the misinformation, and then compounded to the network's history of conflating legal asylum seekers with those who cross the border illegally and then apply for asylum after being apprehended:
I think the current family separation issue has become deplorable, and the fact that we cannot unite these parents with their children is heartbreaking. And, as President Bush said, it just goes to show a very uncivil part of where we have come in that we are not showing the true compassion that we need to those that are coming into this country seeking asylum.
Lemon then noted that some of the younger children who have not been returned to their parents had entered the country with adults who have criminal backgrounds, and then suggested that the Trump administration may not be trustworthy on the subject: "Given the way, though, that this has been handled, do you trust this assessment? Is that the end of it, do you think?"
Earlier this week, Fox News Channel noted that Secretary Nielsen visited Guatemala and gave a speech in which she encouraged asylum seekers to enter the country legally, but, according to a Nexis search, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored it completely.