From the onset of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Fox News has staked out a deplorable, inhumane, and anti-American position in favor of Vladimir Putin’s genocidal assault on a peaceful neighbor. It’s been so blatant that Russia’s foreign minister went out of his way to praise the network saying that “only Fox News is trying to present some alternative point of view.”
Praise for Putin is not, however, an “alternative view” on Fox News. It is the official editorial doctrine of the network and its most watched programs. Tucker Carlson has argued fiercely in support of Russia over Ukraine, and more specifically – and despicably – in favor of Putin continuing his reign of brutal tyranny.
Not to be outdone, Carlson’s fellow hate monger, Laura Ingraham, presided over a profoundly insensitive segment on Friday night’s episode of her White Nationalist Hour. In a discussion about the refugee crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine, Ingraham interviewed Todd Bensman of the far-right, racist, and notoriously anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies. Ingraham began her loathsome discourse with a wholly disingenuous appeal for compassion (video below):
“The Biden administration announced yesterday that we would welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Obviously, our hearts break for the people in Ukraine. It is absolutely horrific what has happened to them. But is bringing them all the way to the United States in their best interest? And what about the U.S. taxpayers?”
It is, indeed “horrific” what has happened to the Ukrainian people, which is the direct result of the foreign policy advocated by Fox News. Ingraham went on to preface her first question with the assertion that it is “a fable that these Ukrainian war refugees desperately need American sanctuary.” Benson replied that…
“There’s really no reason whatsoever for Ukrainians to be coming to our border or for us to be bringing in huge swells, numbers of Ukrainians here. They’re doing great for a group of war refugees.”
WTF? The three million plus refugees pouring into Poland and other nations are suffering unimaginable hardships, despite the goodhearted intentions of the countries welcoming them. They are living in tents, if they’re lucky, and are struggling to obtain food, medicine, and other necessities. How is that by any stretch of a diseased imagination “doing great”? Bensman went on to say that…
“It’s utterly unnecessary to do this. I understand the plight, I think we all understand, that these are definitely a victimized nationality. But remember, we also have a lot of Ukrainians smuggling or flying into Mexico and coming up to our southern border. That’s the one I worry about the most, because our southern border is utterly collapsing right now.”
So in addition to trivializing the misery of the Ukrainian refugees, Bensman managed to twist this discussion into one of Fox’s favorite right-wing propaganda topics, America’s southern border. He seems to be arguing that we still need a border wall to keep out the Ukrainians. However, he’s actually making a good case for more compassion for the Latin American refugees who are also fleeing hostilities and poverty in their home countries.
Something that both Ingraham and Bensman have neglected to consider are the reasons that the U.S. is offering to help Ukrainians. Those reasons are clearly stated in the White House Fact Sheet on the subject, if they had bothered to read it:
“While we expect many Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe close to family and their homes in Ukraine, today, the United States is announcing plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. In particular, we are working to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.”
So this policy seeks to take some of the burden off of Ukraine’s neighbors who are already doing so much to help. But in addition to that, it is uniting refugees with family members in the U.S. Not that that is something that Fox News or Republicans give a damn about considering their record of ripping families from south of the border apart. It’s all just a continuation of the right’s platform of hate and division. And it’s no less than what we expect of them.
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