ABC, CBS Trash Greg Abbott, Texas as Big Meanies for New Measure to Secure the Border

July 20th, 2023 3:58 PM

On Wednesday and Thursday, CBS Mornings and ABC’s flagship newscasts Good Morning America (GMA) and World News Tonight bemoaned the latest move by Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) and his Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) as heartless and “inhumane” for installing large buoys with razor wire in the Rio Grande that doubles as the border between the U.S. and Mexico and allegedly forcing illegal immigrants into the river.

The pro-illegal immigration coverage began on Wednesday’s GMA with co-host Robin Roberts announcing an “urgent investigation at the border after a Texas trooper said officers were ordered to push children into the Rio Grande River and deny people water in the extreme heat.”



Correspondent Matt Rivers explained Texas DPS was under fire “following reports of inhumane treatment on the Texas border” as per “an email sent by a Texas trooper to a superior” that claimed “we have stepped over a line into the inhumane” by forcing illegal “back into the water to go to Mexico” and ignore “concerns of exhaustion and drowning”.

“The e-mail also alleging troopers were instructed to refuse migrants water in scorching heat and describing finding migrants severely injured by the newly installed razor wire along the Rio Grande. Some even stuck in it,” he added.

Of course, he found a sympathetic soundbite in the mayor of Rio Grande City, who said the razor-wired buoys are “a death trap” and “discourag[ing]” to “human souls who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the hope of the American Dream.”

At almost the same time, CBS Mornings was also peddling this narrative. Correspondent Manuel Bojorquez explained “[t]here was outrage when Texas installed these large floating buoys along parts of the Rio Grande earlier this month to prevent border crossings, but critics say migrants could get stuck beneath and drown and they say barbed wire placed along the river has led to injuries among migrants.”

Pivoting to the trooper, Bojorquez focused in on “a disturbing story of a 19-year-old pregnant woman he found stuck in razor wire along the border” and “having a miscarriage.” Like with Rivers and the Rio Grande City mayor, Bojorquez ran to Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) to call Texas DPS’s behavior “barbaric” and worth of murder charges.

Rivers was back a few hours later for World News Tonight and cued up by anchor David Muir touting “the disturbing investigation.” This time, Rivers started with the buoys and featured sound from a Texas DPS representative, who said the trooper claiming maltreatment failed to understand what was asked (click “expand”):

RIVERS: Tonight, aerials over the Rio Grande showing the controversial razor wire and barriers installed to keep migrants from crossing. Measures an unnamed trooper called “nothing but an inhumane trap” for migrants. In an email obtained by ABC News, that Texas Department of Public Safety trooper telling a superior he was ordered twice by commanders to push crossing migrants back into the Rio Grande River, even though they might drown. Tonight, Texas DPS pushing back saying the trooper “misinterpreted” the order.

TEXAS DPS LT. CHRIS OLIVAREZ: At no point have any of our troopers received a directive to physically push migrants back into the river. Now, if a member from one of our leadership or supervisor tells a trooper to push back migrants, what that means is to verbally tell them to go — go to a port of entry.

RIVERS: DPS also categorically denying the trooper's claim that he was told not to give         water to migrants. And ABC News now learning that trooper has been on the job for more than five years, though just on a rotation and not permanently assigned to the border. [TO OLIVAREZ] If someone who reads this email and comes to you and says this email is proof that there is systemic problems within the Texas Department of Public Safety's approach to dealing with migrants, you say what?

OLIVAREZ: I say that's inaccurate.

Like he did Wednesday morning, Rivers ended by boasting of how Mexico was unhappy with Texas taking measures to protect its side of the border. Talk about the irony.

Fast-forward to Thursday’s GMA and Rivers was back. This time, he was cued up by co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos, who hyped “Texas officials are under fire for putting up razor wire barriers on the Rio Grande and reports that state troopers were ordered to push migrants back into the river.”

Rivers proclaimed the new measures were “threatening to spiral into an international incident” with Mexico teaming up with the Biden administration to denounce the Abbott administration.

ABC and CBS coming to the defense of illegal immigrants was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Consumer Cellular (on ABC) and Google (on ABC and CBS). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcripts from July 19 and 20, click here (for ABC’s Good Morning America), here (for CBS Mornings), here (for ABC’s World News Tonight), and here (for ABC’s Good Morning America).