After photographs surfaced of Border Patrol agents on horseback confronting Haitian migrants, more information on the images revealed that the ropes swung by the agents were only used to control their horses. The Biden administration and much of the media, however, pushed the debunked claim that the reins had been used as whips. President Joe Biden even pledged that the agents would “pay” for their alleged behavior.
“The images of agents on horseback chasing, and in some cases using the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants, came as Mr. Biden’s administration moved to forcefully round up and deport more than 2,000 of the 15,000 migrants who gathered in a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas,” the Times originally wrote of the scene.
The outlet has since updated the report to read, “Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback waving their reins while pushing migrants back…”
“An earlier version … overstated what is known about the behavior of some Border Patrol agents on horseback. While the agents waved their reins while pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande, The Times has not seen conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reins,” the correction at the bottom of the piece read on Monday.
Not everyone gave the Times the benefit of the doubt.
“There’s no way Michael Shear and his editors didn’t know this was a lie when they published the first version of the story,” John Daniel Davidson, political editor at The Federalist, tweeted.
“A huge correction from the @nytimes, yet the Left still spreads this fake news,” conservative media watchdog NewsBusters tweeted.
The Times edit came after Axios deleted a tweet that read Border Patrol was “whipping at” Haitians, noting some journalists on the border did not witness any whipping. The outlet initially reported on Sunday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R., was offering jobs to the “Border Patrol agents who whipped at migrants.”
Freelance photojournalist Paul Ratje, who took the photos, told El Pasto news station KTSM he had “never seen them whip anyone.”
“He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture,” Ratje added.
Again, media analysts were not impressed by the backpedaling.
“But you helped peddle the lie and further the narrative, so it was worth it….or something,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck tweeted.
Erin Perrine, communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ripped the media for “viciously” creating the lie and said they, and the White House officials who assisted in it, owed Border Patrol an apology.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha didn’t have high hopes that those corrections would be printed or the apologies would be uttered.
New York Times latest outlet to issue correction on ‘whips’ border story