Over the past several days, the networks have delivered the latest example of the dominant liberal media suddenly taking notice of a normal government activity done by the Donald Trump administration and treating it as outrageous even though there was no media scrutiny when the same activity was also done by the Barack Obama administration.
On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC anchors began giving air to an online report by correspondents Julia Ainsley and Frank Thorp V that hyped complaints from congressional Democrats that, in July, the Trump administration informed Congress that it would divert funding within the Homeland Security Department, including FEMA, to ICE to pay to house the large number of illegal immigrant detainees, and to build facilities near the border to try asylum cases more quickly.
On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace used the words "shocking and horrifying" to describe Trump's "brand" as a hurricane threatens the coast, as Ainsley appeared to discuss her report. In one of her appearances on Wednesday, she called the move "really hard to justify" on Andrea Mitchell Reports.
Several other times, anchors incorrectly claimed that the FEMA money would be used for border wall construction, and MTP Daily host Chuck Todd even hinted that it might be investigated by Democrats as part of an impeachment inquiry. Ayman Mohyeldin declared that FEMA was being "raided."
It took until Thursday morning, during Hallie Jackson's block of MSNBC Live, that viewers were finally informed that the Obama administration made a similar move in 2014.
After CNN began informing its viewers of the story, also on Tuesday afternoon, its anchors similarly treated the news as questionable activity by the Trump administration, and it took until Wednesday night for President Obama's similar activity to be mentioned, as host John Berman brought it up. Several CNN analysts and reporters conflated the wall with FEMA funding, and suggested that FEMA money was being transferred for this purpose.
CNN terrorism analyst and former Obama Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem even called the funding transfer "idiotic."
By contrast, it did not take long after arriving at the story for Fox News Channel to inform viewers that similar activity had occurred during the Obama administration without any apparent complaints from Democrats. A couple of former Obama administration officials also dismissed the story as nothing to be concerned about, noting that the $155 million acquired from FEMA would only amount to less than one percent of the $27 billion that the agency would have to deal with disaster relief.
Appearing on Wednesday morning's Fox and Friends First, former ICE acting director and Fox News contributor Tom Homan recalled that the Obama administration had transferred funding to ICE nearly every year he was in office, although Homan did not clarify if FEMA was the source of funding in all cases.
Several shows on the broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC also gave similar attention hyping the issue like MSNBC and CNN.