Unfortunately for everyone but the Nazis who make money from Breitbart, the online forum for the “Alt-Right” that is home to assorted Trump acolytes, the name and website have become inextricably linked with American politics ever since they lied their way onto the scene in 2009 with the fake ACORN scandal. The “news” outlet’s notoriety grew late last year and early this year as Donald Trump put their former executive chairman of Breitbart, Steve Bannon, in a position of authority in both his campaign and inside the White House.
After Bannon was unceremoniously removed from the White House by Trump’s new chief of staff General John F. Kelly, he went back to work at Breitbart and it seems he’s back to his old tricks. The website cut its teeth on blatant lies, hyperbole, and the promotion of racist, nativist, white nationalist points of view.
Now that DACA is in the news, Breitbart had to throw in their own two cents. Using a photo of MS-13 gang members in the capital of El Salvador, the site painted a picture of DACA recipients that’s not only misleading but outright false.
Breitbart is using a Getty photo of MS-13 members in El Salvaor to talk about DACA recipients in the U.S. because it is a racist hate site pic.twitter.com/hGr5s4NyRX
— Almaqah (@_Almaqah) September 5, 2017
Entitled “2,139 DACA Recipients Convicted or Accused of Crimes Against Americans,” the article falsely claims that those who benefit from DACA are “un-vetted.” It goes on to clarify that those DACA recipients who have been convicted of crimes have had their eligibility revoked, but that doesn’t square with what the headline implies. As has been extensively reported, no immigrant convicted of a crime is eligible for DACA. In other words, criminals cannot be “DACA recipients” — even if they benefited from it initially, they cannot once they are outside the law.
The site then goes on to list examples, but each one is portrayed in a manner contrary to the facts of their case. We won’t go into each one, but as an example of what Breitbart does, here’s the first they used:
Garcia-Cisneros was never convicted of murder. The author actually says what the woman was convicted of first, but leaves the reader with the impression that it was something else by saying “murder” at the end. The site also provides no context to the case: The woman drove through a pile of leaves, not knowing the girls were playing in it. Her conviction came from not returning to the scene — which she says she would have done if she’d known she hit anyone. The case was so weak against her that the little girls’ parents pleaded with the judge to be lenient on the young woman, and she was sentenced only to probation.
What’s more, because she was actually convicted of any crime, she was immediately disqualified from DACA. She spent nearly a year in a combination of jail and immigration holding centers, which clearly is more than her sentence even called for. The Oregonian reported on the case extensively three years ago.
Breitbart goes on to list eleven more completely misrepresented examples. It seems, though, that they became a little self-conscious after it went public that they were using the MS-13 image to paint DACA recipients in an unflattering light; the site has changed the featured image on their DACA article to one of a white man being arrested on the Las Vegas strip — the same image they used for an article about Kyle Seerden, the Seal Team 1 member who stands accused on child pornography charges.
Breitbart, of course, has not commented.
Featured image via Twitter screen capture