After months of minimal coverage on the border crisis raging at the U.S. southern border, major left-leaning media networks ran wall-to-wall coverage of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ move to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, far exceeding media minutes spent on immigration in the past year.
In just one week since the story broke, the network evening news across NBC, CBS, and ABC dedicated more time to DeSantis, as well as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R., sending migrants to major Democrat-led cities, than they did to the border crisis across any single month since September 2021.
Many of these segments included discussions about border crossings, the state of the U.S. immigration system, and the hazardous conditions that migrants face when crossing into the country—conversations which infrequently arose in the months prior.
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From September 14-21, ABC’s evening news broadcasts spent roughly 20 minutes on the issue, while NBC dedicated 14 minutes, and CBS another 17 minutes, based on a review of Grabien transcripts, for a total of about 51 minutes.
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The minutes spent across the three networks on Republican governors sending migrants across the country exceeds coverage of the border on any given month since September 2021, where the border crisis received a combined 54 minutes from ABC “World News Tonight,” NBC “Nightly News,” and CBS “Evening News.” Coverage of DeSantis almost beat out this monthly number in just one week.
The story saw the networks rip into DeSantis and Abbott, with ABC personalities describing the move as a cruel stunt that used human beings to “score political points.” CBS figures used similar wording, and teased a segment on how migrants ended up being “used for politics” in an “inhumane” way.
This level of coverage topped the total network coverage from April, which stands at approximately 26.95 minutes, a month when border crossings were continuing to reach record highs month-over-month. A rise in coverage this month was also likely the result of the Biden administration’s attempt to lift Title 42, the Trump administration policy that allowed for immediate removal of migrants attempting to cross the border.
Additionally, coverage of the border crisis in the month of April was larger than the previous five months combined, according to a study by the Media Research Center, which provided much of the 2021-22 data found in this story. Coverage of the DeSantis story in the first week nearly doubled April coverage, and thus, the first five months of the year.
The border crisis received 0 minutes of coverage from the evening news in November 2021, as well as January and February of this year.
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In late June, news broke that 53 migrants, who were the victims of human trafficking, were found dead after suffocating in a large truck at the southern border. It was the deadliest human smuggling incident in U.S. history. The evening news shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS quickly dropped the story by June 30. During that time period, the three networks had a combined coverage time of just under 14 minutes.
By contrast, the evening news continued to cover the story on Republican governors’ “political stunt” most nights of the week up until September 27, when media focus shifted largely to Hurricane Ian.
The number of migrant encounters at the southern border this fiscal year has now exceeded two million, a milestone not hit before at the border. Last year, migrant encounters also hit an all-time high, with 1.7 million encounters.
The migrant crisis escalated around the time the Biden administration took office, jumping from around 72,000 encounters at the end of 2020 to 173,000 by March 2021. The numbers have not come close to dipping below the 150,000 encounters-a-month mark since then.
The networks didn’t reply to a request for comment.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.Become a Sponsor this one is for you