Despite claims that his administration would be the “most transparent” in U.S. history, President Joe Biden’s White House has been extremely reluctant to provide straight answers or media access to detention facilities amid the growing migrant surge at the southern border.
Even some in the Democrat-aligned mainstream media are growing impatient. On Monday, MSNBC host Katy Tur described the lack of transparency as “very frustrating,” lamenting that the media remained barred from migrant facilities and had to rely on leaked photos shared by a congressman, Breitbart reported.
Photos leaked of detention facilities
Members of the media have been pleading with the Biden administration for several weeks to gain access to reportedly overcrowded border detention facilities amid the ongoing migrant surge, to no avail.
The refusal to grant media access appears to be related to what NBC News reported last week was an unofficial “gag order” placed on Border Patrol agents and other immigration officials to severely restrict what information could be shared with the media.
Tur’s frustrations appeared to have boiled over after Axios published a series of photos from inside a detention facility near the border.
It is unclear who took those photos which confirmed prior reports of severe overcrowding and lack of adequate resources for detained migrants. They were eventually shared with the media by moderate Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who represents a district along the southern border.
Trump administration allowed media access
In response to Tur questioning why the media still lacked access to the facilities, NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez said, “Well, Katy, that’s the question that keeps being asked of the Biden administration.”
“Right now, what they continue to cite is COVID protocols, but as you know, Katy, even the Trump administration, did allow reporters inside some of these facilities,” he continued, then recalling the multiple visits he had been permitted to make to border facilities during the Trump years.
Gutierrez added, “Certainly a lot of questions about why reporters haven’t gotten more access to those facilities and why the Biden administration didn’t have a better plan to house these huge numbers of unaccompanied children that they probably saw coming, but they just don’t have a plan for it.”
Tur: Lack of transparency “very frustrating”
Tur, in response to what Gutierrez had discussed, said, “The Biden administration kept talking about transparency, and we’re not getting any transparency here with what is happening at the border.”
“That we have to get those issues from a congressman who won’t say where he got those images is very frustrating for not just journalists, but for the American public who want to know what’s going on inside those facilities,” the MSNBC host added.
While the media was completely in the pocket of Biden throughout the 2020 campaign, he has not rewarded that loyalty. It’s incredible to see that some in the media have grown frustrated enough to actually call the president out publicly.