NY Times: 'Trump Seizes on Migrant Caravan' to Stir Up 'Hard-line, Inflammatory Attacks'

October 22nd, 2018 3:27 PM

The New York Times Jeremy Peters and Julie Hirschfeld Davis reported from Omaha on Saturday: “Trump Seizes On Migrant Caravan to Rev Up Republican Voters.” Notice “seizes” in the headline. "Seized" and "pounced" are liberal media code for “A Republican is bringing up an issue we would rather not have to talk about.”

Oddly, the story didn’t seem to make the print edition, meaning readers were deprived of a whole lot of anti-GOP hostility:

The guests at the Republican Business and Professional Women’s candidate forum were halfway through dessert when Representative Don Bacon offered to take their questions.

“There’s a thousand immigrants coming to our border again. From Honduras,” one woman called out. “And we’re unable to stop them without giving them asylum.”

Then a second woman asked about immigration. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth.

Mr. Bacon, a centrist Republican seeking re-election in the only district in Nebraska that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and sent a Democrat to Congress as recently as 2014, struggled to move the conversation along, alluding to “a breakdown in the rule of law” and his support for immigration measures that Democrats had blocked.

The reporters give away a lot of their political lean:

But soon the banquet room, filled with a few dozen people who appeared mostly white and in their 60s and 70s, broke into chants of “Build the wall! Build the wall!”

Barely two weeks away from an election that threatens to sweep Republicans from power in the House of Representatives and dash any lingering hope of conservative immigration reform, the party, led by President Trump, is leaning more aggressively into dark portrayals of undocumented immigrants in a bid to galvanize voters.

Mr. Trump, whose political appeal among his core voters has largely been rooted in warnings about illegal immigration as a threat to American security, sovereignty and identity, has stepped up his hard-line, inflammatory attacks on Latin American migrants as he travels the country campaigning to save Republicans’ majorities in the House and Senate.

The reporters treated Republican voters as mindless minions:

As he rails against Democrats for blocking his immigration reforms, Mr. Trump has found an eager and receptive audience in Republican voters who have been primed by months of television ads from conservative political groups. These warn that Democratic control of Congress would mean lawless “sanctuary cities” where immigrants murder and sell drugs with impunity; a dangerous liberal effort to “abolish I.C.E.,” the border security agency; emboldened MS-13 gangs; and “open borders.”


The story of “the caravan,” a long chain of Latin American migrants that makes its way north each year seeking refuge, became a sensation on the right in April after a smaller group made its way through Mexico and garnered widespread media attention for the first time, catching the president’s eye.

The caravan has the components that make it a blockbuster in conservative media -- and irresistible for Mr. Trump. It features striking visual elements: images of thousands of Latin American men, women and children in a procession so large it sometimes fills the width of a city street. Though reports often suggest that the migrants are headed to the United States to declare asylum, many remain in Mexico.


Coverage of the caravan has become a vehicle for other conspiratorial story lines that are popular on the right. Sometimes they spread with the help of the president.

Speaking of conspiratorial story lines...here’s former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean speculating on Twitter that a second caravan may have been boosted with “right wing money.” The Times hasn't noticed.