Sinclair Broadcast Group gave its local news stations a “must-run” segment defending the recent tear-gassing of migrants at the southern border, per reports. In the segment, Sinclair’s chief political analyst Boris Epshteyn equates the migrant caravan to an invading force, and rationalizes the use of chemical weapons by saying rocks and bottles were being thrown. Sinclair Group controls about 100 TV stations nationwide and regularly forces them to air segments just like this one.
Epshteyn only has a small amount of time, but he uses it to fear-monger and staunchly defend Trump. He begins by pointing out that the migrant crisis has greatly escalated recently, describing asylum seekers as “attempting to storm the U.S.-Mexico border,” as if the U.S. is a castle or warfront. That seems to be exactly what Epshteyn is trying to get across as he refutes Democratic opposition of the tear-gassing by calling the caravan an “attempted invasion of our country. Period.”
He finishes with the following:
Here’s the bottom line: The notion that a caravan of migrants can be allowed to break through our borders is ludicrous and dangerous. The United States of America should not and cannot be intimidated by those willing to use force to get into our country illegally.
Epshteyn’s segment tries to play the stern parent, but it’s easy to see the xenophobic uncle underneath. His verbiage is frequently antagonistic and dehumanizing towards those displaced by war, gang violence and abuse. These people are legally allowed to walk up to our border and request asylum, and our own government is standing in the way of that. In this case, one of its supporters is even trying to misinform viewers about what the law is. Epshteyn would have his captive viewership believe that tear-gassing victims serves a greater good or is somehow a necessary evil. He’s wrong.
According to Media Matters, this propagandized rhetoric has already aired on 24 stations. As long as Epshteyn is around, Sinclair will continue that trend. As part of his must-run lineup, he’s defended the Trump administration’s family separation policy as well as Trump’s ‘both sides’ logic on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last year. If you see this man on your TV, it’s time to turn it off.