Fox News' "Battle At The Border" - First Impressions of the Show

On Friday, January 25, 2019 Fox News held a Town Hall Meeting on border security at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. A very upscale hotel to say the least. A limited amount of people were sent invitations via Eventbrite. I managed to secure two seats for myself and my husband and we were looking forward to learning more about our Texas border situation. The special show was aired on Fox News, Sunday, January 27, at 7pm CST.

Coincidently, President Donald Trump had just ended the government shutdown and I was curious to hear what information I could retrieve from the meeting. We were excited and appreciative being able to see first-hand the production of a Fox News special show. Considering the subject, we knew we were entering a room full of friendly Republicans.

We arrived at approximately 4:30pm for the 6pm filming which promised to end at 7pm, but didn’t. The room which was a make shift stage was pretty much filled, at least all the choice seats were either taken or ‘saved’ when we arrived.

I’m going to add here that this is totally my perspective of how the show turned out. In actuality there were two versions, the full version and the edited version. I was amazed at the time spent fixing and combing Tomi Lahren’s hair and how lax the crew was in handling the audience. As it turned out, a bit more attention could have been spent in directions as to when to applaud and when not to.

Governor Greg Abbott was the first live speaker to appear. He was warmly welcomed by the audience and after making his usual hand shaking, he embraced Lori Vargas, mother of Jared Vargas the 20 year old murdered by an illegal.

During the taping, Governor Abbott made it clear to Brian Kilmeade that these are “my people”. That brought a loud applause. He was passionate about having a barrier. He told Kilmeade that it is an emergency to secure the border. Kilmeade asked the Governor directly if he would support President Trump if he decided to call a National Emergency at the border. Governor Abbott firmly answered YES he would support President Trump. The show edited that information out for the viewing audience.

One of the designated persons to ask questions was Bianca Gar-cee, Latinos for Trump, and her question was directed to our Texas Governor. “Why you haven’t taken a stronger stance vocally supporting our president? I know you are saying it right now, but vocally in the media, press releases, whatever it takes I would like to see you have a stronger stance.” During the taping, I can tell you that these questions had an air of chastising and took our governor by surprise since he does support President Trump. The Texas governor quickly regained his composure and answered how he has been supporting the President. Gar-cee was extremely forceful in her questioning. Apparently that was edited out and the question was ‘softened’. It appears Gar-cee’s speech was slowed down so it would come across more civil to the viewing audience.

Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, and Chris Cabrera, spokesman for the council, both clearly stated that there is a crisis at the border and that they support President Trump and his efforts to fortify border security.

Adryana Aldeen a Republican political analyst, also a designated speaker, addressed the human trafficking aspect and how it has become a very critical element in the border crossings. She explained that children were being brought into sex slavery and that the wall would certainly reduce this problem. She also rebuked Gar-cee’s question to the Governor, stating that our Governor had been working very hard to support the president. Guess what? Aldeen’s segment was completely edited out for the show that aired on Sunday night. Though she was not the only designated speaker to be edited out.

Needless to say the show was a blend of diverse speakers and previously filmed segments at the border. The filmed border segments did not reveal any ‘new’ information. I was surprised to learn that the mules bringing drugs over the border wear booties in order to make it more difficult to track them.

The Jared Vargas family was present, Tom Chapey (uncle), Amber Werenfkjold (cousin), Traften Werenfkjold and Lori Vargas, Jared’s mother, and Kim Chapey. Aunt Cristin Vargas (not in photograph) was the spokeswomen telling the gruesome story of Jared’s untimely death. An undocumented person and had been ordered to self deport took Jared’s life in a most heinous way by burning the body beyond recognition. This is the story that should be told to get the message across how desperately we do need a wall and immigration reform.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on the show. He also mentioned that the state of Texas has sued San Antonio for not complying with the Sanctuary Ban.

The most bizarre segment was the one with Francisco Hernandez. He was introduced as an immigration attorney and criminal law specialist. Hernandez debated Lahren on illegal entry by using silly hand gestures. He should have been billed as the comedian and totally obnoxiously crude person. He definitely did not add anything positive to the show. At one point he used the words, “lucky sperm” indicating that he is a US citizen. He mocked President Trump by calling him “El Trumpo” and stating with embarrassment that his father who has Alzheimer’s voted for President Trump. Kilmeade did not know how to respond to such an insult. There was some editing here because they brought Hernandez back to the studio to reshoot part of his segment. He mocked Texas Hispanics because he said they don’t vote and said if only 10% Hispanics voted, Texas would be BLUE. His entire presence was that of mocking our immigration system without offering a solution, other than ‘don’t use drugs and don’t hire illegals’.

Overall the show BATTLE AT THE BORDER was a disappointment but it was fun to witness how a show comes together for the viewing audience. Again this is my personal perspective and I was looking for a more serious discussion. The show should have focused on the wall and the necessity of having border security and how to achieve it. Governor Abbot and Attorney General Ken Paxton should have had a bigger voice in their segments as they know what Texas has done and what is necessary to secure our Texas-Mexico border. The Vargas family could have had more time to discuss their family travesty.

I was able to speak to Traften after the taping and he told me that the family is devastated by the tragedy. That Jared’s mom is still not able to speak to too many about what happened to her son.

Traften related the sequence of events tracking Jared. Jared had just celebrated his 20 birthday in May. He died on June 18, 2018. Jared has a twin brother, Jacob and a teen sister, Jordan. Lori uses a phrase that Jared often used, “Flying High on them positive vibes.” Jared was a very positive person and this quote exemplifies his life attitude.

Kim related to me at the taping that Congressman Chip Roy, CD21, was the only one who even bothered to speak to the family about their ordeal. Traften backed her statement saying to me that their Congressman Joaquin Castro, CD20, has not reached out to the family and neither has any San Antonio elected official. The family is very thankful to Congressman Roy for addressing this horrendous murder. And feel that he has been an indispensable asset to the family. If you would like to keep up with Jared’s story, please follow JUSTICE FOR JARED on Facebook and #justiceforjared on twitter.

Conservatives should wake up and understand when we are being mocked and not to fawn over any situation that allows ridicule of our president or Texas elected officials.



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