More Misinformation from the Media:
“These aren’t people. These are animals.”
That’s how President Trump described undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting Wednesday, venting frustration at officials in both Mexico and California.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are Trump said in the meeting. “These aren’t people. These are animals.” . . .
And Trump’s not the first to use such rhetoric: Adolf Hitler justified the Holocaust by saying Jews weren’t people but rats, as NPR notes. In the Rwandan genocide, Tutsis were called not people, but cockroaches, and slaveowners justified slavery by calling their slaves not people, but animals.
Reviewing a book on such rhetoric, NPR’s Neal Conan said that “it’s important to define and describe dehumanization, because it’s what opens the door for cruelty and genocide.” – OnPolitics Today: Trump Calls Undocumented People ‘Animals,’ Rhetoric with a Dark Past, Josh Hafner, USA Today, 5/16/18 [Link]
Fact Check: USA Today wasn’t the only source of this story. A number of other corporate media outlets reported this same basic narrative as well. It was a journalistic feeding frenzy of anti-Trump animus. In reality, the story was a perfect example taking a statement out of context to create a false impression. It’s a perfect example too of fake news.
Here’s the full context of what President Trump said. In a conversation with the president about sanctuary cities Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims stated, “There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about, if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about them.” Trump responded, “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”
The president was not referring to all “undocumented immigrants,” the media’s deceptive euphemism for illegal aliens. What he said was that MS-13 a particularly vicious criminal gang. Many of its members are illegal aliens from El Salvador and other Latin American countries. MS-13 has a well-deserved reputation for murder, mayhem and extortion. The motto of its members is mata, viola, controla (kill, rape, control). Calling these criminals animals is hardly inappropriate. One MS-13 member recently convicted of murder goes by the street name of “Animal.”
Before the advent of the Internet, the mass media could get away with deceptions like this false charge against Trump. Now, there are too many people with access to information to allow such gross trickery to go undetected. With exposure of their scam, many media outlets had to admit—very grudgingly—that their Trump tale wasn’t true.
This episode reveals a profound lack of journalistic integrity in the corporate media. Their extreme prejudice against Trump and reasonable immigration control have unhinged them. USA Today’s likening of Trump to Hitler and genocide is a case in point. It all goes to show that citizens seeking valid information about immigration should develop a healthy skepticism toward the corporate media and seek knowledge from other sources.