Politico has turned narrative-shaping up to 11 with it’s latest decision to ban its journalists from using the word ‘crisis’ to describe the flood of illegal immigrants currently overwhelming US border detention facilities after President Biden essentially invited them with campaign promises followed by a flurry of Executive Orders on immigration which all but rolled out the red carpet.
According to an internal Politico memo written by deputy production director Maya Parthasarathy and obtained by the Washington Examiner, journalists are to: “Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context. While the sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for the Biden administration and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey, it does not fit the dictionary definition of a crisis,” adding “If using the word ‘crisis,’ we need to ask of what and to whom.”
And while Biden himself used the word “crisis” when describing the border situation last week, the White House has repeatedly denied that the word applies – which means Politico is toeing the official party line regarding the border crisis.
“Avoid emotive words like onslaught, tidal wave, flood, inundation, surge, invasion, army, march, sneak, and stealth,” the memo reads.
More via the Examiner:
Dictionary.com defines a crisis as “a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.” The Cambridge English Dictionary describes a crisis as “a time of great disagreement, confusion or suffering.”
Border patrol officials logged over 14,000 unaccompanied minors in custody last month. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that roughly 117,000 migrant children will enter the country by the end of the year. For context, 80,000 unaccompanied minors entered through the southern border in all of 2019, when the media seemed to have no problem labeling the surge as a crisis.
After immense pressure from both Republicans and Democrats, Biden himself referred to the situation on the border as a ” crisis” earlier this month.
“We’re going to increase the number. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,” he said following a round of golf. “We couldn’t do two things at once, but now, we are going to increase the number.”
Psaki moved swiftly to soften her boss’s words.
“The president does not feel children coming to our border, seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships, and other dire circumstances, is a crisis,” she said when asked about his comments. “He does feel that the crisis in Central America, the direct circumstances that people are fleeing from, that that is a situation we need to spend our time, our effort on, and we need to address it if we are going to prevent more of an influx of migrants from coming in years to come.”
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The report also notes that Politico has casually used the word crisis to describe ‘a wide array of other topics.’
Last October, for example, the outlet reported on the “crisis” of “empty retail space.”
Last June, there was a “police brutality crisis.”
They regularly report on the “climate crisis”
But more than 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children crammed into overflowing federal facilities – requiring the government to rent hotel rooms along the border – is not a crisis, according to the Biden administration and Politico – who going forward must avoid using terms “which could portray migrants as a negative, harmful influence” despite the fact that their presence is extremely ‘negative’ and ‘harmful’ to legally immigrated low-income workers who now have more people to compete with for a limited number of low-income jobs.