Fox News, which is known for often attempting to defend the Trump administration’s policies, accidentally gave an outlet to the voice they so viciously attempt to silence. On Monday, the news channel was set to interview a Democratic candidate for Congress Ann Kirkpatrick, who had recently caused controversy for supporting actions from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department.
However, to their surprise, they had booked Barbara L’Italien, another Democratic candidate that has vastly different views of ICE than Kirkpatrick. L’Italien used her appearance as an opportunity to speak “directly to Donald Trump”, and went on to harshly criticize the ICE’s measures of separating families. The Democrat seemed to realize that it wouldn’t take long until someone would take her off the air, so her statements were quick and straightforward.
With statements like “separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane” and “I feel that what’s happening at the border is wrong”, L’Italien managed to cause confusion and disturbance in the program’s set. The people interviewing her attempted to defend President Trump, arguing that the administration no longer separates families and have already been reunited.
While the separations have stopped, the reunions with parents have not been completed for all families, and those that have taken place were marked by confusion and lack of organization from U.S. officials. Several studies have also shown that the process of separation from their parents can heavily affect a child’s development and health. Those changes have been displayed during meetings in Phoenix.
Fox News’ executive producer Desiree Dunne released a statement explaining the incident. It read:
This morning, we invited Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick to appear on ‘Fox & Friends First’ through her press contact on file, Joe Katz, who accepted the invitation on Kirkpatrick’s behalf. Katz followed with an email confirming the segment, which also included background information and a campaign logo for Ann Kirkpatrick. During the actual segment, Barbara L’Italien, appeared on camera instead of Kirkpatrick. Despite speaking to producers prior to the interview, L’Italien did not identify herself as anything other than Kirkpatrick until she was live on air, at which point we ended the interview.”
Ironically, Dunne’s statement finished with: “I showed the exact same commitment to the truth and accuracy that Fox News always has.”
L’Italien’s most powerful statements came towards the end of the interview, shortly before her interview was stopped. She boldly stated:
I refuse to believe that our only options are open borders or traumatizing children, and shame on you for pretending that they are. Shame on you for putting this vile, racist policy in place. Our immigration system should be just, fair, compassionate and reflect our values as a nation of immigrants. What we have now, what you are doing, is none of those things. You are just being cruel to people who believed us when we said that this country was a land of freedom and opportunity. You need to stop blaming everyone else for your moral failures and put a stop to this, Mr. President.”
The Democrat’s statements powerfully demonstrated that immigration policies are still a topic that must be debated publicly, even if the current news cycle is covering them less often.
Featured Image via Flickr/ Johnny Silvercloud