Fox News contributor Lawrence Jones probably got a different kind of attention than he had hoped for when he donned a very small tactical vest to visit the border. After being relentlessly mocked on Twitter, Jones dubiously claimed the Border Patrol made him do it
This is the tweet that got the mockery going:
And this is Jones’ explanation:
Border patrol made me wear it. Now, who's the fool? https://t.co/8ytTDLATth— Lawrence Jones III (@LawrenceBJones3) April 4, 2019
Jones, who is also the editor-in-chief at Campus Reform, has the official title at Trump TV of Fox News contributor. But on his Twitter feed, he bills himself as a “@seanhannity correspondent.” Also “Storyteller.” He certainly seems to have gotten that part right. Because in addition to falsely suggesting the border is a war zone, Jones did not make a persuasive case that the was all the Border Patrol’s fault. As Raw Story noted, real journalists Jacob Soboroff and Soledad O’Brien, each of whom have done extensive reporting from the border, say they have never worn a vest.
This is totally ridiculous.— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) April 4, 2019
I have never once worn a bulletproof vest at the border, nor has CBP ever asked me to -- even while on a chase with Border Patrol to apprehend migrants in remote Arizona desert in the middle of the night.
Because. The. Border. Is. Not. A. War. Zone. https://t.co/Q1V95e7N5x
No I’ve done a zillion ride alongs—and was just reporting our entire show from the border—and nope, no vest. https://t.co/LG3R7bhk9k— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) April 4, 2019
Mediaite asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection about Jones’ vest “but did not receive a response in time for publication.”
However, on Twitter, Jones continued to play up the notion that he had been in danger:
Thanks for keeping me safe, K. pic.twitter.com/M3aA2QIZWV— Lawrence Jones III (@LawrenceBJones3) April 5, 2019
Jones told the Hannity viewers Thursday night, “I’m going in danger with these Border Patrol agents to report on this story,” the fake correspondent said. “In order to do my job and the border agents to do their job, I had to come with this vest that they supplied.” However, when Hannity noted that an agent was nearby, thus suggesting that Jones could get an official statement about the vest, Jones took a pass.
However, while he was at it, Jones played the part of a Border Patrol agent, too. “Last night, as we’re going into the thick of it, we caught two Chinese nationals!” Jones said excitedly. A banner on the screen read, “LAWRENCE JONES JOINS BORDER PATROL FOR INSIDE LOOK AT BORDER SECURITY EFFORTS IN LAREDO, TX.” Now, I don’t think Fox meant “join” in the sense of “become part of” but you wouldn’t know it from the way Jones talked. He told another anecdote about seeing migrants trying to cross the border, saying, “We didn’t catch them but we did make them return back to Mexico!”
Look, I don't really care who came up with the idea that Jones wear a vest. The point is, it's clear that Jones didn't need it and that someone thought the optics of making the border look like a war zone was a good idea. Clearly, Jones was using his report to boost his standing in Trump TV World. Whether that's for a job in the Trump administration or something bigger on Fox News doesn't really matter. What counts is that the credulous Trump TV viewers, along with the Fan in Chief, probably believed the BS.
Watch Jones play a warrior on TV below, from the April 4, 2019 Hannity.
.@LawrenceBJones3 on viral bulletproof vest pic: CBP "told me to put it on to keep us safe here. Just two months ago, there was a shooting. ... We control this side of the border, but the cartel controls the other side of the border. There's been gun fights." pic.twitter.com/71BeGMCBZd— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 5, 2019