ABC, CBS Ignore Harris’s Border Blunder, Tout Her Snapping at Critics

As NewsBusters documented on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a colossal blunder when pressed by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on why she hadn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border despite being the point person on the crisis.

Her bewildering comment about how she had not been to Europe either was completely ignored by ABC’s World News Tonight, while the CBS Evening News tried to strip the extreme flippantness from it by paraphrasing the quote.

Both networks were essentially acting as the presidential press shop. “We turn next here to Vice President Kamala Harris concluding her high stakes visit to Guatemala and Mexico, taking on border issues and the root causes of some of what the U.S. is seeing on the U.S. border with Mexico,” boasted ABC anchor Davis Muir.

He added: “The Vice President meeting today with Mexico’s President Obrador, insisting the U.S. must focus on the root causes of migration. She said this is not a quick fix in talking with reporters, and she was pressed again about when she’ll go to the U.S. border.”

Muir followed up with edited soundbites of Harris scolding her critics at a press conference:

If this were easy, it would have been handled a long time ago. And there is no question that it is complex, in fact. And that we have to navigate the complexities of it with a goal of solving it. [Transition] Listen, I’ve been to the border before, I will go again. But when I’m in Guatemala dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala.

Harris received a similar hero’s welcome from CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell. “Vice President Kamala Harris just wrapped up a two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico focusing on the root issues of illegal immigration,” she boasted at the top of the segment. “But tonight, Harris is pushing back on criticism that she has yet to visit the southern border as new video reminds us why the situation is so dire.”

And senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang grossly tried to use the case of an abandoned little girl at the border to bolster Harris’s mission:

New video from U.S. Border Patrol shows an abandoned five-year-old girl from Guatemala running alone along the wall in California. Agents quickly rescued her, but her journey illustrates the migrant crisis that Vice President Kamala Harris is tackling on a two-day trip.

It’s her first big diplomatic assignment from President Biden,” Jiang touted.

Jiang did note Republican criticism of Harris’s refusal to visit the border and see the crisis first hand. But she then tried to take the awkwardness out of the Vice President’s flippant comment by just paraphrasing it: “Pressed about why not, Vice President Harris said she had not been to Europe, either.”

For NBC’s part, they did continue to share Harris’s blunder with viewers. But they also lauded the importance of her trip.

This attempt to imitate the White House press office was made possible because of the lucrative sponsorships from Progressive on both ABC and CBS. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund. CBS Evening News has also asked people to “text Norah” at this number: (202) 217-1107.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
June 8, 2021
6:46:44 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: We turn next here to Vice President Kamala Harris concluding her high stakes visit to Guatemala and Mexico, taking on border issues and the root causes of some of what the U.S. is seeing on the U.S. border with Mexico. The Vice President meeting today with Mexico’s President Obrador, insisting the U.S. must focus on the root causes of migration. She said this is not a quick fix in talking with reporters, and she was pressed again about when she’ll go to the U.S. border.

[Cuts to video]

VP KAMALA HARRIS: If this were easy, it would have been handled a long time ago. And there is no question that it is complex, in fact. And that we have to navigate the complexities of it with a goal of solving it. [Transition] Listen, I’ve been to the border before, I will go again. But when I’m in Guatemala dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Vice President Harris stressing this will not produce immediate returns but pledging we will see progress on this.

CBS Evening News
June 8, 2021
6:41:02 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Vice President Kamala Harris just wrapped up a two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico focusing on the root issues of illegal immigration. But tonight, Harris is pushing back on criticism that she has yet to visit the southern border as new video reminds us why the situation is so dire. Here is CBS’s Weijia Jiang.

[Cuts to video]

WEIJIA JIANG: New video from U.S. Border Patrol shows an abandoned five-year-old girl from Guatemala running alone along the wall in California. Agents quickly rescued her, but her journey illustrates the migrant crisis that Vice President Kamala Harris is tackling on a two-day trip.

It is her first big diplomatic assignment from President Biden.

VP KAMALA HARRIS: We are embarking on a new era.

JIANG: Today, the Vice President met with Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after visiting Guatemala.

HARRIS: If this were easy, it would have been handled a long time ago. And there is no question that it is complex.

JIANG: The latest government figure show border apprehensions remain at a 20-year high. Republicans said acknowledging the problem is not enough.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): The Vice President is finally hitting the trail this week to talk about the border crisis. But that seems to be all it is is talk. The only problem is she’s not visiting the border.

JIANG: Pressed about why not, Vice President Harris said she had not been to Europe, either.

HARRIS: Listen, I’ve been to the border before. I will go again.

(…)

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