In the aftermath of about 150 migrants attacking Border Patrol agents and trying to break across the border from Mexico late New Year's Eve night, the broadcast networks have barely given attention to the story as ABC ignored it entirely, CBS gave it 24 seconds Wednesday morning only, and NBC gave it a half minute at the beginning of the same day's Today with a brief followup later, while an additional 13 seconds made it onto NBC Nightly News.
On CBS This Morning, at 7:50 a.m. Eastern, co-host Norah O'Donnell recalled:
The Associated Post reports the U.S. fired teargas across the Mexican border into Tijuana to stop abuut 150 migrants from crossing. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said it was targeting rock throwers, and that no agents witnessed migrants at the fence line affected by the chemicals.
She then recounted claims that the stone throwers were retaliating against the teargas instead of provoking it as she added: "The Associated Press said rocks were thrown only after teargas was fired. Customs and Border Protection said the incident would be reviewed."
On Today at 7:02 a.m. Eastern, during a report about the political debate over border wall funding, NBC's Hallie Jackson informed viewers:
Just hours into the new year, a new altercation at the Mexican border. U.S. agents firing teargas as 150 migrants tried to cross a fence near Tijuana. Border officials now saying they were targeting rock throwers -- not those trying to enter the country.. It's the same area where a similar incident occurred involving a caravan of migrants took place in November
By contrast, FNC's Fox and Friends made it one of the lead items each of its three hours, giving it about seven minutes Wednesday morning. CNN's three-hour New Day show gave it a full report Wednesday morning about 7:30 a.m. Eastern, as previously documented by NewsBusters, but correspondent Leyla Santiago suggested the Trump administration was to blame for provoking the migrants into trying to cross illegally.
On Wednesday evening, FNC's Special Report also gave the story a full report, and even informed viewers that 90 percent of migrants who break the law to get into the country and are detained have their asylum claims denied -- which is notably not drastically higher than the approximately 80 percent of the asylum claims by Central Americans that were rejected by the Obama administration.
On Fox and Friends, reports were also recalled that men tried to send women and children over the barriers and barbed wire ahead of them.