The mainstream media have spent the month after the Paris terror attacks trying to label Americans opposed to Syrian refugees as intolerant bigots. Despite the fact that at least one of the Paris terrorists was a “refugee” and ISIS has reportedly tried to exploit the Syrian refugee program to sneak terrorists into the United States, the mainstream media have gone to painstaking lengths to help the Obama administration, which plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in America over the next year, assure Americans that there is no need to worry.
A review of some of the coverage in the days immediately after the attacks found that prominent mainstream media reporters were more unfiltered and revealed some inconvenient truths about how nearly impossible it is to vet Syrian refugees.
On Meet The Press on November 15, NBC’s Richard Engel said that “you have thousands of people a day moving along the migrant trail. One of the most chilling aspects of this entire situation is that possible connection to the migrant trail.”
“I was just in Lesbos a few days ago. Thousands of people arriving, between 5,000 and 10,000 to just that single Greek island. Most of them have no documentation. The Greek officials are trying to take them in, offer them humanitarian assistance, there are volunteers there. But frankly, people have no idea who they are,” Engel said. “So if someone left to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq, that would be a good way for them to come back under the radar and reintegrate themselves into society even before anyone has a chance to find out.”
During a November 15 CNN special report on the Paris terror attacks, Anderson Cooper said that when he was in the Mediterranean in early October, he saw hundreds of people come ashore and “many people rip up their identity documents.” He said many refugees “pose as Syrians… even if they are from Afghanistan or elsewhere because they do get expedited. Processed faster.”
“There’s really no border control when people are first landing,” Cooper revealed. “Nobody really knows who these people are.”
He added that the processing system is very “chaotic” and not an “organized system” set up by the European Union.
CNN’s Arwa Damon said on that same episode that “when we look at the sheer scale of the numbers that are coming through here, especially if it comes to someone who hasn’t been through the system anyways, it is very difficult at this stage to pinpoint what a person’s intentions may or may not be and whether or not their travel documents are authentic. And that is one of the many reasons why the Greeks have been constantly and consistently asking for more aid and assistance.”
Not only did the mainstream media not focus on these observations when they were doing their special reports, but they suddenly became largely silent about how difficult it is to vet Syrian refugees.
So what happened?
Perhaps not coincidentally, in the week after the Paris terror attacks, a majority of the nation’s governors opposed accepting more Syrian refugees and the House passed a bill that would put new screening requirements on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. And that seems to have been more than enough for the mainstream press to decide to start denigrating those opposed to Syrian refugees even when their own reporting should have been enough for them to understand why a majority of Americans in numerous polls oppose accepting more Syrian refugees, especially Muslim refugees.