Cross posted at the MRC's NewsBusters blog
Thursday's MSNBC Live displayed the latest example of why liberal cable networks cannot be counted on for providing accurate information as MSNBC host Craig Melvin not only seemed unaware that there have long been a limited number of cases of illegal immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border, but even allowed a liberal guest to apparently overstate the number of such separations that have occurred since the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy ended a year ago.
At 11:48 a.m. Eastern, as the show covered Homeland Security acting secretary Kevin McAleenan's congressional testimony on family separations, the segment started off on the right track as correspondent Julia Ainsley recalled that he had informed Congress that "separations are rare, that we're back to the policy that we would have seen before zero tolerance last summer," and that "it's really an identical policy to what you would have seen under President Obama."
She also noted that Democrats have charged that some of these separations that are still occurring are being done for reasons that they believe are not serious enough like "marijuana possession."
Ainsley's recollection that a limited amount of family separations still happen seemed to go over Melvin's head as he then played a clip of McAleenan recalling that the zero tolerance policy ended more than a year ago, and then turned to his other guest and suggested that her data contradicts McAleenan's claims. Melvin: "My understanding is that you've actually worked through your organization on the family reunification process, and you contend that family separation is, in fact, still happening. Is that right?"
Krish Vignarajah of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service claimed that the number of children separated from their illegal immigrant parents has been about 700 in just the last few months.
Even though this subject is one of correspondent Ainsley's specialties, she did not jump in to point out that, according to a recent congressional report, the number has actually been 700 children separated in just under 12 months since zero tolerance ended in June 2018.
By contrast, during the zero tolerance period of six weeks, the total number of separations had been about 2,600 --- showing the monthly rate is obviously much lower now in spite of MSNBC and CNN repeatedly fretting that family separations are still happening.
Guest gives incorrect count of child separations that conflicts with congressional report.