There isn’t an actual border deal in Washington yet but you wouldn’t know that, given the media’s collective caterwauling over former President Donald Trump’s comments on a prospective border deal, which the media then proceeded to frame as a killing of the deal.
How do we know there is no deal? Because NBC News told us as much as they closed out their coverage of the border kerfuffle:
LESTER HOLT: Ryan, let’s turn back to those negotiations over the border and Ukraine aid, where do they stand tonight?
RYAN NOBLES: Well, Lester, late tonight, the former president issuing a statement warning Republicans that a border deal could potentially be what he called “a gift to Democrats”. Despite that, the lead negotiators believe they could release the details of their legislation early next week. They remain hopeful that a bipartisan deal can be struck.
NBC News were the only ones to admit there was no border deal actually in place, and had the crispest coverage overall, albeit weirdly bifurcated between coverage of Trump’s civil defamation trial in New York and the GOP primary. The deal was properly characterized as part of a broader aid package to Ukraine and Israel.
ABC News, on the other hand, covered the “deal” as though it were a campaign stand-alone, with no mention of Ukraine until the end of Mary Bruce’s report, and no mention of Israel at all. Bruce, known around these parts as the Biden White House’s chief apple polisher, made it a pure Trump-adverse story focused on process and on the campaign. In fairness, though, Bruce accurately portrayed Trump’s opposition to this as of yet nonexistent deal:
MARY BRUCE: But Trump, now gearing up for a general election rematch against Biden and hoping to deny the president a win on immigration, has been urging lawmakers not to make a deal with Democrats, posting, “I do not think we should do a border deal, at all, unless we get everything.”
What is “everything”? Probably the 800-pound gorilla that no one mentions except for Bruce, when she said, “ it still faces an uphill battle over in the House”. Speaker Mike Johnson has made clear that any deal for Ukraine money MUST include the House-passed H.R. 2, as a minimum border enforcement component. Whatever the Senate and White House are negotiating on, it isn’t H.R. 2. That somehow, goes unmentioned here. Why bother with facts and context when it’s easier to pound out easy “Orange Man Bad” content all day, every day?
To CBS’s credit, The NFL Today host and guest anchor James Brown included Ukraine in the story’s introduction, and correspondent Scott MacFarlane peppered his report with Ukraine mentions. However, no mentions of Israel or of the House of Representatives. This report, too, was also a Trump-adverse process story.
The three major networks mischaracterized Trump’s opposition to this imaginary border deal, which is not H.R. 2 and is therefore unlikely to pass the House of Representatives. No substance, just plenty of negotiation with the wind and Orange Man Bad.
To view ABC’s transcript click HERE
To view CBS’s transcript click HERE
To view NBC’s transcript click HERE