‘Fox & Friends’ defends Trump’s family separation policy by quibbling over meaning of ‘cages’

"Walls out of chain-link fences," not cages.

Fox News via screengrab
Fox News via screengrab

On Monday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy defended President Trump’s immigrant child detention facilities by arguing the media is unfairly describing cages as “cages.”

“And you know, while some have likened them to concentration camps or cages, you do see that they have those thermal blankets, you do see some fencing… some have referring to them as cages, but keep in mind this a great big warehouse facility where they built walls out of chain-link fences,” Doocy said.


Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement of the administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” in April, immigrant families — including the families of asylum-seekers — are being separated when they cross the border. Adults are taken into custody while children are taken to detention facilities.

Doocy’s defense of the detention centers came in response to the first photos released by U.S. Border and Customs Protection since family separation began to be implemented in earnest. The photos shows kids detained in a facility in Texas in what amount to large cages. But Doocy objects to that characterization.

During a subsequent interview with White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, Doocy again objected to the characterization of cages as “cages,” saying they are more accurately described as a “security pen.”


“Some have likened them to concentration camps, some refer to these as cages, and I can understand that point of view — look, I’m from a farm community, it’s more like a security pen to me,” he said.

Gidley went on to blame Democrats for the family separation policy, which was implemented by Trump and could be ended at any time by Trump.

Doocy isn’t the only one equivocating over this word choice. Earlier on Monday, Fox & Friends hosts were joined by Breitbart editor Joel Pollak, who wrote an article criticizing the Associated Press’ use of “cages” to describe the conditions inside child detention facilities as a “politically-charged word choice.”

The government itself is also pushing back. A Border Patrol spokesperson told CBS News the agency is “very uncomfortable” with the use of the word “cages” — not because it’s an inaccurate descriptor, but because the people kept inside the cages “are not being treated like animals.”

While most of Fox & Friends on Monday morning was devoted to defending Trump’s child separation policy, there was one notable exception. During an interview, Trump confidante Alan Dershowitz made a direct appeal to the president to end the policy.


“I would like to take one minute and just say something direct to President Trump,” Dershowitz said. “Look, he watches the show. President Trump, you know, I’ve been defending your civil liberties, and will continue to do so on this show but you have to end this policy of separating parents from children. Not because of the parents, but because of the children.”

“It imposes a trauma on the children. It’s just unacceptable. It’s just not proper. There are other ways of doing this,” Dershowitz continued. You could send the parents and the children back together. You can do other things, but separating parents from children, no matter where you put them, no matter how the facilities may look… Mr. President, it just has to stop. There are better ways of doing this. You’re better than this, the American people are better than this, the American government is better than this.”