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Gretchen Carlson Sympathizes With Ex Border Agent Who Violated "Illegal's" Rights

Reported by Priscilla - November 8, 2011 -

As documented on Media Matters, Fox "News" treatment of the immigration issue is not exactly "fair & balanced." Fox & Friends, in keeping with the Fox stance, never wastes an opportunity to talk about those "illegals" who are, according to Fox, causing chaos on the border. This morning, Gretchen Carlson got to combine the scary "illegals" meme with the ongoing Fox & Friends meme of conservative victimhood. And as an added plus, former Miss America also did a little right wing rehab for a former border patrol agent who was sentenced to prison for violating the civil rights of an "illegal." But as he told a very supporting Gretchen, he was just following orders so it should have been all good. And the reason that it wasn't is because a district court found that Gretch's new friend's use of excessive force violated the rights of the "illegal." The decision was upheld by a federal court of appeals. Gretch didn't mention this. But Gretch isn't a lawyer. She's host of a Fox opinion show where opinion takes precedence over the facts so it's all good. And as Gretch was able to work in another Fox meme; i.e. criticism of Eric Holder in the "fast & furious" thing - it's even better!

Gretch began the pity party in her best dramatic voice. She described the scene: "In 2001, then border agent Gary Brugman was chasing a group of drug smugglers and after catching and handcuffing them, he threw one of them, uncooperative, smugglers to the ground. Well that landed him in jail for (breathless delivery) 27 months because the government claims it violated (voice rising) the smuggler's rights." She chuckled sardonically after "rights." In introducing her guest, Gary Brugman, she provided some warm affirmation: I know it's painful for you to discuss how this all went down in 2001. you believe, as many other do, that you were doing exactly what you were (shouted rest of sentence) to do. Gretch had her best I-am-so-pissed look. Gretch couldn't believe that what Brugman did, pushing his leg on a person who was "trying to smuggle his way into this country," was a civil rights violation. The chyron: "Punished for a Push, Brugman Jailed for Bringing Illegal to Ground." He said he did as he was trained. The chyron: "Bias on the Border, Agent Gets Punished for Following Training."

In providing his version of the story, Brugman informed Gretch that the undocumenteds were not drug smugglers. He said that, using his leg, he pushed a man from the squatting to the sitting position. The court "statement of facts" says that the defendant was sitting on the ground, "as ordered," and Brugman "struck him with his foot" thus "pushing him to the ground." He then "struck" the defendant "with his hands. Brugman did the same thing to the man seated next to the defendant. Brugman told Gretch the prosecution used another "illegal" with whom Brugman had a subsequent conflict as a witness. (who was found credible by the court). Gretch brought up the case, that Fox is following (natch), of another persecuted border patrol agent and asked Brugman what he thought of cases (she raised her voice) "against United States border agents." The chyron questioned if this other agent was "unfairly targeted." Gretch said "right" when Brugman asked why agents can't use their skills used in training.

Gretch worked in the Fox manufactured outrage about the "fast & furious" drug walking operation. She asked Brugman to articulate his sense of "irony" about Eric Holder. Brugman repeated his complaint about not being able to do his job but - are ya ready for it - "they give the cartels arms so they can come up and kill you." He said that the government's non lethal force policy is ridiculous and accused the DOJ and Homeland Security of being corrupt. "Melancholy cornhusker" (love Gawker) was almost reverential in thanking Brugman for his time.

Comment: So border patrol agents are trained to use "excessive force" on "illegals?" Who knew? But what we do know is that this piece was straight out propaganda with no attempt to provide any balance whatsoever - as in presentation of the court facts which concluded that "the defendant's use of force was unreasonable." Brugman provided his version of the story which contradicted the court decision. Carlson provided validation. Fox & Friends is an opinion show and they and their guests are entitled to their opinion. But that shouldn't absolve them from providing facts which, in this case, include the fact that "illegals" have civil rights!


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