On Tuesday’s Newsroom program, T.J. Holmes because the latest CNN on-air personality to forward the dubious claim that guns from the U.S. are a major factor in the rampant drug violence plaguing northern Mexico: “I don’t want to say enabling, maybe not the best word. But still, so many of the guns that are being used in Mexico are guns that come across the border from the U.S.”
His guest, columnist Sam Quinones of the Los Angeles Times, wholeheartedly agreed: “...[W]e can do a lot about the guns.....If you talk to Mexican officials, pretty much they don’t want to talk about anything but all the guns that are coming....down to Mexico and into the hands of cartel guys who are then killing cops, terrorizing a population, and killing off each other and so on.”
The anchor’s interview of Quinones began 47 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. He asked the columnist about the recent decision by the Department of Homeland Security to send additional agents and equipment to the U.S. border with Mexico, in response to the violence in Mexico. Besides bringing up the gun issue, Holmes zeroed-in on the demand for drugs in the U.S in his question to the columnist. Quinones devoted much more time to the gun issue in his answer:
T. J. HOLMES: And let me ask you before I let you go here, Sam, about the U.S. Where -- I guess where does this administration -- where is the U.S. -- where should we all feel that we are -- I don’t want to say enabling, maybe not the best word. But still, so many of the guns that are being used in Mexico are guns that come across the border from the U.S. And then, also, so much of the drug cartel -- the U.S. is such a market for those drugs. So that do you think -- I mean how much of a role did that play into this decision, do you think?
SAM QUINONES: Well, I think it’s a big deal. I mean, everyone knows this. It’s not a secret, by any means, you know? Damping -- dampening drug demand is going to take a long time, if it ever happens -- some people doubt that it can ever happen. But certainly, we can do a lot about the guns. Lots of people on the border are very upset, and certainly in Mexico. If you talk to Mexican officials, pretty much they don’t want to talk about anything but all the guns that are coming down from -- drizzling down in small numbers, but huge numbers in the aggregate -- down to Mexico and into the hands of cartel guys who are then killing cops, terrorizing a population, and killing off each other and so on. I mean it’s a -- it’s a huge, huge part of it. It’s one -- this war is about the global economy, in a sense. You know, it’s about the two countries have issues between them.
During the past weeks, CNN has repeated this claim of Mexican authorities about guns supposedly “drizzling down” across the border. Holmes had been filing-in for regular Newsroom anchor Rick Sanchez, who tag-teamed with another columnist (Ruben Navarette of the San Diego Union Tribune) earlier in March to forward the same talking points on the issue. It appears that the network has no intention in letting up with this one-sided coverage.