A San Diego-based television station said that CNN appeared to withdraw from an inquiry for one of its reporters to appear on the cable news network due to the station’s past reporting on the effectiveness of the border wall.
“Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown,” KUSI said in a statement issued late Jan. 10.
“After we informed them about our past reports, they declined to hear from us.”
In a blog post, the news station said that it offered Dan Plante, who has covered the border for years.
“We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” it said.
Thursday morning, @CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown. After we informed them about our past reports, they declined to hear from us.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) January 11, 2019
“We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it,” KUSI added.
CNN responded in a statement, claiming the allegations were fake news.
“We called several local stations to book someone for a show. We didn’t end up booking any of them. That happens many times every single day,” the network stated. “We did, however, book a reporter from KUSI for a story on immigration and the border wall in November. This is a non-story.”
CNN airs stories that are almost exclusively negative toward President Donald Trump and his policy goals. The network rarely invites reporters or analysts that are supportive of Trump onto its shows and regularly has panels that are comprised entirely of people who don’t agree with Trump on whatever story they choose to focus on for the day.
The allegations seemed to be inadvertently confirmed by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter while he tried to defend the company. “Last week my show team interviewed several border reporters from great local papers. Then we realized we didn’t have time for the segment. These things aren’t ‘scandals,’ they’re just ‘daily production decisions,'” Stelter said on Twitter.
CNN has been involved in several stories recently, as its reporters and analysts inject themselves into national debates. Jim Acosta, a White House correspondent, filmed a video at the border wall on Jan. 10, and tried to downplay President Donald Trump’s claims of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Many people noted, though that Acosta appeared to actually support the president’s argument that a wall is effective.
“Here are some of the steel slats that the president’s been talking about,” Acosta said in front of the border wall. “But as we’re walking along here, we’re not seeing any kind of imminent danger.”
Speaking from the Texas city of McAllen, he added: “There are no migrants trying to rush toward this fence.”
A number of people noted that Acosta appeared to be supporting Trump.
Er, you found a place where there is a barrier and all is quiet? Jim, do you know what point you're actually making here? https://t.co/YbZfYtyO5P
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) January 10, 2019
“Er, you found a place where there is a barrier and all is quiet? Jim, do you know what point you’re actually making here?” said Fox News commentator Stephen Miller.
“Jim Acosta just posted one of the biggest self owns ever,” added political strategist Caleb Hull. “He’s walking along the border where there’s a wall in place talking about how there’s nothing that ‘resembles a national emergency situation’ and ‘there’s no migrants trying to rush.’”
And about a week ago, another CNN White House reporter had a microphone taken away from her after she refused to follow recently announced rules governing press briefings at the White House.
The rules were put into place in November 2018 after another Acosta touched a female White House intern who was trying to obtain a mic from him.
After President Trump answered the reporter’s question at length, she started shouting a follow-up question. Eventually, a White House worker took the mic from her since Trump called on someone else.