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NY Times Backs Up Trump’s “Duct-Taped Women at the Border” Claim

NY Times Backs Up Trump’s “Duct-Taped Women at the Border” Claim

Another Trump “lie” about issues at the southern border crossing turns out to be the truth.

Remember when the mainstream media sneered at President Trump’s claims on how people allegedly being tied up, bound, and duct-taped women at the border? These outlets included CNN and The Washington Post.

As it turns out, Trump was right. The media outlet going on the record to correct the “fact checkers” on this issue is the New York Times, the queen bee of liberal media outlets, and certainly no friend of the president’s.

First, a refresher on how this all started. Here’s how ABC News reported on the story in late January:

In his battle for a border wall, President Donald Trump has repeatedly told colorful, and at times disturbing, stories to make his case. Two in particular, involving duct tape and prayer rugs, have attracted so much attention administration officials reportedly launched an urgent effort to find evidence to support the president’s claims.

But no evidence has been found — of either migrants using prayer rugs at the border or smugglers using duct tape on women to traffic them — according to an administration official who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly.

It appears Trump’s Hollywood movie-style descriptions of human trafficking at the border, at this point, are closer to fiction than fact.

CNN’s “fact checking” attempt went like this:

The experts all cautioned that the President’s rhetoric about human trafficking could obscure the horrific reality that most trafficking victims experience. According to Lori Cohen, of Sanctuary for Families’ antitrafficking initiative, the US citizens who face trafficking include young adults emerging from the foster care system, LGBT youth who have been kicked out of their homes and adults involved in prostitution.

“I don’t know where the President’s information is coming from,” Cohen said. “I don’t believe it’s coming from law enforcement. It’s certainly not coming from victims, and it’s not coming from the dozens of service providers who I’ve spoken with across the country. None of us have seen anything that looks like what the President has described.”

Instead of relying on one anonymous administration official as ABC did, the Washington Post interviewed other experts, who also found Trump’s claims lacking:

Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about.

In interviews with The Washington Post this week, nine aid workers and academics who have worked on the border or have knowledge of trafficking there said the president’s tape anecdote did not mirror what they have seen or heard. A separate story reported in the Toronto Star cited several additional experts who said Trump’s lurid narrative — migrant women bound, gagged and driven across the border — does not align with their known reality.

“I have no idea the roots of it,” said Edna Yang, assistant executive director of American Gateways, a Texas-based immigration legal services and advocacy nonprofit. “I haven’t seen a case like that.”

The paper even included a detailed timeline of each time Trump made the claim during the month of January. While they didn’t accuse the president of lying (they left open the possibility there might be some merit to the claims), they made sure to include past assessments of Trump’s prior statements:

Since Trump took office two years ago, he has made more than 7,645 false or misleading claims, according to The Post’s Fact Checker database, more than 1,000 of which were about immigration.

The insinuation was clear: Trump’s probably lying about this one, too.

The only problem is, their fact checking on this issue was way off.

A story published late last week by the New York Times confirmed Trump’s assertions about women being tied up and duct-taped at the border:

But there is some truth to the president’s descriptions of the threat of sexual assault and of women who have been duct-taped and bound.

Undocumented women have been duct-taped and tied up before, during and after their migration to the United States, The Times discovered while reporting this story. Maybe not frequently, but it has happened.

The story they referenced detailed the horrific experiences of several women who became victims of human traffickers while attempting to cross the border:

The stories are many, and yet all too similar. Undocumented women making their way into American border towns have been beaten for disobeying smugglers, impregnated by strangers, coerced into prostitution, shackled to beds and trees and — in at least a handful of cases — bound with duct tape, rope or handcuffs.

The New York Times found dozens of documented cases through interviews with law enforcement officials, prosecutors, federal judges and immigrant advocates around the country, and a review of police reports and court records in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The review showed more than 100 documented reports of sexual assault of undocumented women along the border in the past two decades, a number that most likely only skims the surface, law enforcement officials and advocates say.

In light of this new information, Fox News’s Brian Flood reported that the Washington Post “did not answer directly when asked if a correction or editor’s note would be added to its piece.”

As of this writing, they haven’t.

The media frenzy surrounding Trump’s claim was odd in the first place. The horrors women have faced trying to cross the border have been well-documented for years: abuse, violence, sexual assaults, gang rapes. It is common knowledge these things happen to women. The duct-tape claim was one that, in the overall scheme of things, was not even the worst of the story of what women have experienced at the border.

And yet the mainstream media honed in on this singular claim like a dog on a bone.


Because stories about women being abused at the border, or once they cross it, give people uncomfortable visuals that play into Trump’s favor when it comes to how his tough approach to addressing illegal immigration and crime at the border is viewed. And if the media can chip away at just the tiniest of details from his stories, they can create doubt in the minds of the American people on other things he says about this issue, too.

This is yet another instance where the mainstream media got it wrong. The fact that another one of their own corrected the record later has to be especially galling for an arrogant national press corps that views their journalistic and investigative creds as unassailable.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Welcome, Stacey!

“And yet the mainstream media homed in on this singular claim like a dog on a bone.”

“Homed,” not “honed.” Sure, I’m picky.

    Bucky Barkingham in reply to Rab. | March 5, 2019 at 7:30 am

    IMHO “homed in” is correct as in “the missile homed in on its target”.

    5under3 in reply to Rab. | March 5, 2019 at 9:29 am

    hone in verb
    Definition of hone in
    intransitive verb
    : to move toward or focus attention on an objective
    looking back for the ball honing in
    — George Plimpton
    a missile honing in on its target
    — Bob Greene
    hones in on the plights and victories of the common man
    — Lisa Russell

    Hone in vs. Home in: Usage Guide
    Most usage commentators consider hone in to be a mistake for home in. The use may have arisen from home in by the weakening of the m sound to n or it may have developed simply because of the influence of hone, with perhaps an underlying sense that “honing” figuratively involves a narrowing or sharpening of focus. Whatever the explanation of its origins, it has established itself in American English and has begun to make a few inroads into British English as well. Even so, your use of it especially in writing is likely to be called a mistake. Home in or in figurative use zero in is an easy alternative.

      Valerie in reply to 5under3. | March 5, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Just goes to show that typos can follow a writer a very long way.

      tom_swift in reply to 5under3. | March 5, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Oh, pshaw.

      Between the Second and the Third Unabridgeds, Miriam-Webster abandoned the practice of noting correct (generally termed “preferred”) usage. With the Third, they surrendered to the mob and began defining words as they’re used—or, to us curmudgeons, misused. This was considered quite scandalous for those halcyon days. And it is why libraries of consequence have retained their 80-year-old Second Unabridgeds along with their newer Thirds. Other publishers, notably American Heritage, announced plans to assume the discarded mantle of Preferred Usage, although American Heritage later backed off a bit due to the cost of such a project.

      And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a correction and I doubt it bothers the majority of MSM alleged “journalists” that the NYT managed to act like the proverbial blind squirrel on this issue. Like crows they are immediately after the next shining object.

Because we are in that situation where the media really doesnt give a flying fuck about women (in general) and especially immigrant women who are the most vulnerable BECAUSE their hatred of Trump..well…trumps everything else.

These elites on the left cannot bring themselves to admit that Trump is right because that then undermines EVERYTHING they have been saying about him for the last couple years.

So the elite liberals lie and lie and lie because they have backed themselves in to a corner where admitting the truth isn’t in their interests.

Albigensian | March 5, 2019 at 9:49 am

Well, we’ve had “fake but accurate” (meaning, it wasn’t true but it could have been true; therefore, we can treat this false story as though it were true and serve it up as a “teachable moment”).

So, perhaps now we’ve advanced to “true but inaccurate” (meaning, OK so it’s true, but, we deem it misleading, and therefore consider it essentially false in all the ways that matter).

There are times when I wonder whether news reporters are mostly non-readers.

It has been very obvious to me from the inception of the 2016 campaign that DJT is a voracious reader of both contemporary news as well as history. My theory is that this is what he does when a substantial fraction of our politicians and reporters are drinking and doing drugs in the evening.

Like any good storyteller, he has an eye for a vivid image, together with a good memory. This is all it takes for him to get the media to respond like cats to a laser pointer.

The successive rounds of kerfluffels where DJT keeps getting vindicated reminds me of the George Bush-John Kerry Presidential race, only writ much larger. At that time, it appeared to me that Dick Cheney had fun by indirectly provoking John Kerry into bloviating when he did not understand the question. After a little while, Kerry would then modify his previous opinion, and be gigged by the Bush Campaign for flip-flopping. It got to be predictable after a while. Somebody in the Bush campaign understood that John Kerry talks without thinking.

Now we have the press and the entire leadership of the Democrat Party, plus a few Republicans all eagerly acting out the John Kerry role.

DJT knows all the way down to his bones that the chattering class talks without thinking, or reading, or bothering to find out whether they understand what the question is.

    sheepgirl in reply to Valerie. | March 5, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Leftists are also victims of the cruddy education system they promulgated. They are as illiterate, innumerate and ahistoric as the the unwashed ignorati for whom they purport to speak.

Sister Toldjah?
You’re back?

“As it turns out, Trump was right.”

Someone check on Rags.

What’s even sadder than the media’s bias, which becomes crystal clear in cases like this, is the same is going on at Google. I remembered this story and recounted it to someone who asked for a link. The terms I entered were “nytimes corrects washington post duct tape trump”. I had to go to the second page of results. The only ones that mentioned the duct tape claim were the incorrect ones. With Google’s super-secret, super-sophisticated algorithm, should this not been at least on the first page of results, if not in the top 5?

You know that killed the NYT to back up Trump‘s claim.

From 7,600 lies through January, the count for February is 8,700. 1,100 lies in 28 days is nearly 40 lies per day, every day, day-in-day-out. There are probably days where he lies fewer than 30 times, and possibly fewer than 20 times. But those days are offset and the average of 40 is maintained when he lies more than 50 and 60 times in a single day.