Payne, Perino and Francis get skewered by left for reporting on citizens taking matters into own hands on border

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: FOX Business Network's "Making Money" host Charles Payne at FOX Studios on November 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Fox Business Network host Charles Payne triggered backlash from Media Matters this week after he casually described an armed militia group that’s reportedly been illegally detaining illegal aliens at the southern U.S. border as “ordinary citizens” who were “trying to help out.”

“Is border patrol so overwhelmed that ordinary citizens feel the need to step in?” he asked during a discussion Monday on FBN’s sister network, Fox News, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection official Carl E Landrum, the deputy chief patrol agent of the agency’s Yuma Sector.

“Citizens there taking up arms, trying to assist. What would you tell them? It’s apparent to the world that we’ve got a crisis down there, and they’re trying to help out.”

Landrum replied by noting that CBP doesn’t endorse vigilantism of any kind.


While it’s unclear whether Payne had been trying to defend the militia or had simply been attempting to highlight just how bad the crisis along the border has become, members of the reactionary left automatically assumed it was the former and promptly pounced on social media.

“My god. A right-wing militia group was kidnapping migrants and a Fox host summarized that as them just ‘trying to help out,'” one left-wing activist, Lis Power, the director of Media Matters” so-called “media intelligence,” complained in a tweet Tuesday morning.

In additional tweets, the far-left activist also extended her criticism to Fox News commentator Melissa Francis and correspondent Jonathan Hunt for conducting something called journalism.

She specifically complained about a Fox News report by Francis in which she’d first noted that the militia had been “stopping illegals after they cross the border” and then read a statement from the militia group blaming the recent arrest of one of its members on “political pressure.”

Not once during her report did Francis express her opinion. She simply stuck to the facts.


Power also aimed her fury at Hunt for accurately reporting on FNC’s “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” that the militia group “sees themselves, as the group name suggests, as patriots, not vigilantes.” That too was an objective fact, as the group identifies as the United Constitutional Patriots.

When Hunt later announced on “Special Report with Brett Baier” that the United Constitutional Patriots are asking for donations via check, that too was a factual report.

“Fox News’ coverage bizarrely and repeatedly highlighted the fact that the right-wing militia group was asking for donations by check,” Power nevertheless complained.

“On another Fox ‘news side’ show they made sure to note that the militia ‘sees themselves, as the group name suggests, as patriots not vigilantes.'”

“In summary: A right-wing militia group kidnapped migrants/detained them at gun point. Fox News described it as ‘trying to help’ & ‘stopping illegals after they cross the border’ while highlighting how the groups sees themselves as “patriots” and airing their fundraising pitch.”


Actually, no …

In summary, Lis Power shamelessly took three statements out of context (those of Francis and Hunt) and then made an assumption about Payne’s remarks to prove her anti-Fox narrative.

Given that she works for Media Matters, which is a virulently far-left propaganda outfit that peddles outright lies and deceptions to enhance its pro-Democrat Party narrative, her inaccurate rhetoric isn’t surprising. What is troublesome is how many people bought it hook, line and sinker.


Power’s 14,000 followers were right about one thing: The militia member who was arrested, Larry Mitchell Hopkins, is indeed a dangerous felon — one who two years earlier had told the FBI “that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,” according to court papers reviewed by CNN.

But not once did Payne, Francis or Hunt suggest that either Hopkins or his peers aren’t dangerous. They simply reported the facts, though in the case of Payne, he did admittedly characterize the group as “ordinary citizens.” In his defense, however, he made the remarks before news of Hopkins’ assassination plot was broken by CNN on Wednesday.

Of course, this fact wasn’t mentioned once by Power or her friends at Media Matters.



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