Fox News Channel primetime star Laura Ingraham was under fire for calling snatched-kids detention centers “essentially summer camps” on her Monday show before the hourlong program even ended. She wound the broadcast, noting the number of already “very upset people” over that comparison, so said she would instead stick with just “boarding schools” because, she said, that’s how they were described in the San Diego Union Tribune:
Apparently there are a lot of people very upset because we referred to some of the detention facilities tonight as essentially like summer camps. The “San Diego Union Tribune” today described the facilities as essentially like what you would expect at a boarding school. So I will stick to there are some of them like boarding schools. And I suggest that a lot of the folks who are worried about that spend more time in Central America. I have. And we should make adoption easier for American couples who want to adopt these kids who are true candidates for adoption because our policies don’t allow that. So let’s put our hearts out there for the kids in the right way. Take care of them the right way. Open your hearts and your homes to them.
That newspaper article had said: “Many elements of Casa San Diego, an El Cajon facility for unaccompanied children who arrived at the southern border, seem like what one would expect from a boarding school.” The article went on to say this:
“On closer inspection, details about the California-licensed child care facility run by Southwest Key Programs reflect the situation of the children it serves…It’s surrounded by fencing that is backed by privacy netting, and a sign at the gate warns visitors that it’s under video surveillance 24 hours per day. If someone opens the front door of the facility without first swiping a badge, an alarm blares through the hallway, warning of a potential escape.”
And, of course, boarding school children’s parents typically know where their children are, and other false-equivalency debunkers too numerous to mention here.
Meanwhile, cribbing from the San Diego Union Tribune may not placate Ingraham’s growing number of critics. Purchased in February of this year by Patrick Soon-Shiong, the newspaper has a history of being ultra-conservative.
So much so that, in 2012, New York Times media pundit David Carr wrote, “There is a growing worry that the falling value and failing business models of many American newspapers could lead to a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda. That future appears to have arrived in San Diego.”