Donald Trump’s fawning visit with Vladimir Putin drew bipartisan outrage. His administration has failed to meet a court deadline to reunite detained immigrant kids with their families. Puerto Ricans remain powerless. DACA beneficiaries remain in limbo. The warning signs of catastrophic climate change grow ever stronger. And yet Fox News devoted much of its Thursday coverage to a non-binding House resolution.
Last week, a handful of House Democrats filed a bill to repeal and replace the law that created the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency nearly 16 years ago and to create a more humane immigration enforcement process. Seeing a possible opportunity to divide the Democratic minority, the GOP leadership brought a non-binding resolution to the floor on Wednesday singing ICE’s praises. Rather than participate in the stunt, 133 House Democrats voted “present,” as the measure passed easily, 244 to 35.
Donald Trump took a break from his Twitter attacks on the media to opine that this vote indicated Congressional Democrats have a “death wish.”
The Democrats have a death wish, in more ways than one – they actually want to abolish ICE. This should cost them heavily in the Midterms. Yesterday, the Republicans overwhelmingly passed a bill supporting ICE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
And his friends at Fox News sprung to action, turning a non-binding resolution into its outrage story of the day.
At 5:01 am, Fox & Friends First lead off with a segment.
Fox & Friends highlighted the vote at early in the 6 am and 7 am hours.
At 8:18 am, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) was brought on to discuss the vote.
“We think it is shameful that there are folks in this country saying we should stop enforcing our immigration laws,” he said, responding to an argument that no one in either party has made. “This movement to abolish I.C.E., combined with the opposition to any type of border security is really to sabotage the American people. We wanted to make sure that people are on record on that notion. You know, they’re out at these rallies saying, ‘Don’t secure the border, abolish I.C.E., let’s open the borders, let’s let drugs and human trafficking just ravage this country.’ And I think they need to be called out for and be on record.”
At 9:30 am, America’s Newsroom had on former acting ICE director Thomas Homan to discuss the resolution.
“They need to take a stance,” he said. “We need to know who is an open borders Congressman and who is not.”
Homan falsely concluded that “abolishing ICE means open borders.”
Less than an hour later, two political strategists joined the program to agree that abolishing ICE is a terrible idea and to disagree about whether Congressional Democrats want to do it.
At 11:37 am, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) joined the fun.
“They have gone off the deep end on the left. ICE does an important job,” he said. “The idea that somehow the left has concluded they ought to be abolished, it’s really hard to understand or fathom what they are thinking in terms of if they want to keep Americans safe.”
Former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer was the guest on Outnumbered. In a 12:20 pm segment, he called the decision to effectively abstain from the vote a “terrible mistake” by House Democrats, pushed by the “Occupy Wall Street wing.”
The following hour, Outnumbered Overtime ran another news segment on the vote and then brought on Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) to discuss the resolution he had authored.
“To put the priorities of illegal aliens over the priorities of American citizens — that’s to me what a ‘present’ vote represented,” he scolded.
In all, Fox News has dedicated nine segments before 3pm on Thursday to a purely symbolic resolution that passed anyway.