As I see it
The Lou Dobbs Show came to the border on Tuesday to report on how well the Border Patrol was doing in building the border fence. The Dobbs Show was here because the U.S. Border Patrol was holding an open house to report to the public on its plans for the future and to get their "input" as part of the environmental public involvement process. Never mind that Congress had given the DHS and the Border Patrol the authority waive environmental regulations to build the border fence.
Since the issue seemed to be the environment, Casey Wian and the CNN crew spent the day touring illegal aliens trash dumps in the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista with their guide Cindy Kolbe. "Anyone in Cochise County can leave home any day any time and see illegal aliens walking down the road or signs that illegals have been camping out right by their homes," Kolbe told CNN.
The only problem is, this isn't true. I live right on the border and travel the area every day. I see illegal aliens on the road, but not too often, and I rarely see signs that illegal aliens have been camping out near my home. And this is probably true of 99% of the residents of Cochise County.
I was disappointed that CNN came to my backyard and spent the day with a well-known local gadfly. There are people down here who could have reported things of substance, but CNN bypassed them. CNN chose to paint a false picture of illegal aliens lining the streets and trash in everyone’s yard, instead of telling the real story about why the Border Patrol is failing to do its job.
For example, Jack Ladd has a ranch that runs along ten miles of the border. Ladd told people at the Border Patrol open house that since the Border Patrol installed the new fence along the border at his property line, more than 900 illegal aliens have been apprehended on his ranch. He said that they are able to get across the fence and run north by exploiting a blind spot in Border Patrol camera coverage. CNN knows who Jack Ladd is and they could have interviewed him, but they didn't.
American Border Patrol had a display at the Border Patrol open house, but, despite setting up its cameras right next to it, Casey Wian didn't bother to take a few steps to see what ABP had to say, even though I had invited him to do so. I did this when I bumped into him as he arrived at the open house. After a brief greeting, Casey told me he checked out the American Patrol report every day. Why then, I ask myself, wasn't he interested in seeing the American Border Patrol display that showed the facts about the border fence, as opposed to DHS hype?
The ABP display also had a live demonstration of our new Operation Virtual Vigilance, a system whereby American citizens can help guard the border. At one point our cameras detected two vehicles that intruded onto ABP’s border ranch. As we got a Border Patrol agent to come check it out, the CNN cameraman moved in to get footage of the action. The agent looked at the computer screen and immediately made a call to the nearby Naco station. Shortly thereafter a Border Patrol vehicle could be seen moving into the area. Both the intruders and the BP vehicle moved out of the range of our cameras. (We have a camera that could have seen them but we don't have the bandwidth to have it online yet.) While we don't know the outcome of this incident and the intruders may have been border tourists (sort of unusual), we were able to demonstrate just how well our system works in a real-time environment. Even after this, Wian chose not to talk to me about our system or American Border Patrol.
The next day as I was driving along the highway south of Sierra Vista I spotted a CNN satellite truck parked at the side of the road. I pulled over and, sure enough, there was Casey Wian getting ready to do a live spot on the Lou Dobbs Show some two hours later on. I invited Casey to come to the ABP ranch about four miles to the south so they could do their live stand-up right on the border. He declined, but said they would be returning to the area in the future.
I find the situation at CNN very interesting. In December of 2006, I hosted a crew from the Paula Zahn Show and took them flying along the border. They used this opportunity to smear me.
A year later reporter CNN reporter Abbie Boudreaux also went flying with me to do a story about Chris Simcox but no mention was made of their host, American Border Patrol. The CNN producer who accompanied Boudreaux said he wanted to do a story about ABP, but never has.
I understand that Lou Dobbs was in Sierra Vista last Tuesday to do a story about the environmental impact of the border fence, but why is it that Casey Wian seemed to go out of his way to avoid the real border fence story?
Yesterday Wian told me CNN would be returning to Sierra Vista, implying that he would like to come to the ABP ranch at that time.
I will be waiting for the call.