The New York Times scrubbed the false Border Patrol “whipping” narrative from one of its articles this week after the photographer who took the viral photos said he never saw agents use the leather against anyone.
Originally, the article titled “Biden says Border Patrol agents who mistreated Haitians migrants ‘will pay'” asserted that Border Patrol agents used “the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants.” A new version of the article, however, cushioned the language and claimed that mounted Border Patrol agents were “waving their reins while pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande.” The article concluded that this “prompted a torrent of criticism from Democrats and civil rights groups who have accused Mr. Biden of continuing some of the most aggressive approaches to immigration put in place by President Donald J. Trump.”
A “correction” at the bottom of the new version reluctantly admitted that there was no “conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reins” as previously asserted.
“An earlier version of this article 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 statement concluded.
Original:"The images of agents on horseback chasing, & in some cases using the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants…"
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) September 27, 2021
The original author of the article, Michael Shear, has touted knowledge of the border before and even co-authored a book on the subject titled “Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration,” but when it came to vetting the verifiably false narrative about the whipping, the New York Times reporter failed.
Instead, he bought into the viral lies about Border Patrol agents “whipping” Haitian migrants at the Southern U.S. border that became more amplified by the White House, Democrats, and other corporate media outlets. Even Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who initially defended the actions of Border Patrol agents, later claimed he was “horrified by what I saw” and promised an investigation into the alleged incident.