Study: Evening Newscasts Ignored Use of Tear Gas at Border During Obama Administration
Monday and Tuesday's ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts had zero mentions of border agents' use of tear gas during the Obama administration, according to the Media Research Center.
Federal agents used tear gas on the U.S.-Mexico border dozens of times during the Obama administration, data from the Department of Homeland Security shows, despite outrage at the Trump administration from Democrats for using the substance against migrant caravan members over the weekend.
According to DHS data, during the Obama administration, tear gas was used on the border 26 times in 2012, 27 times in 2013, 15 times in 2014, eight times in 2015, and three times in 2016. That compares to 18 times in 2017 and 29 times in 2018 during the Trump administration.
Additionally, during the Obama administration, pepper spray was used 95 times in 2012, 151 times in 2013, 109 times in 2014, 30 times in 2015 and 56 times in 2016, the data shows. Pepper spray was used 56 times in 2017 and 43 times in 2018 during the Trump administration.
On "Hannity" Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that the media and Trump critics' "narrative that Trump is a cruel, heartless bastard only works if he uses tear gas on kids."
"When he uses tear gas, he's protecting the country," Graham said of the left's coverage of Obama's actions.
Graham said that as a former military attorney, he knows the axiom that you "use the least amount of force possible to secure you and your mission."
In this case, Graham said the "mission" was securing the border and keeping the border agents safe from projectiles.
On "Fox & Friends First" Wednesday, Republican strategist Gus Portela called out the selective outrage from the media and the Democratic lawmakers who have condemned the use of tear gas.
"They're going after this administration just for enforcing the laws and enforcing our border and continuing to protect our border," Portela said.
He noted that Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) went so far as to suggest the Border Patrol used "chemical weapons" on the migrants in a since-deleted tweet.
"The Obama administration used the same tactics and used [them] more than the Trump administration," Portela said, arguing many in the media are "all in" with their support of Democrats and opposition to Trump.
"The mainstream media will never, ever give the president a fair shake because they don't agree with the policies he's implementing. And so this is an inherent bias against this president."