Fox manages to find a way to make eclipse about border security

Fox’s conservative cable network managed to turn April 8, 2024’s total solar eclipse into its trademark brand of “the sky is falling” — using the celestial event to fear-monger about border security.

During “America’s Newsroom,” co-hosts Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer spent time gushing about “team totality,” Hemmer’s name for the Fox Weather team next-door to Studio J, and how “beautiful” the weather channel’s Studio W is — before switching into high fear mode.

“A rare celestial event collides with a policy failure on the ground,” read Perino.

Complete with its trademark “alert” stinger and sound effect, the network then posited that the path of totality’s total darkness in southern Texas would somehow create “a real opportunity for smugglers and cartels and migrants to come right in.”

The network noted that the totality would result in darkness during the day for “nearly four minutes,” though beyond noting that “we are told that officials are bracing for higher traffic than usual.”

The network then tossed to Bill Melugin live in Eagle Pass, Texas, one of the first places in the U.S. to experience the totality. 

As Melugin spoke, the network ran footage of alleged border crossings that had been captured in clear daylight over the weekend. The footage was also taken from Sunland Park, New Mexico, which is hundreds of miles west of Eagle Pass. The distance from Eagle Pass and the totality was not mentioned during the report. 

Melugin noted that the people in the days-old footage were wearing “dark clothing” in broad daylight. 


The network further warned viewers about “Venezuelan gang members” and showed pictures posted on X by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Jason Owens of an alleged Tren de Aragua gang member. The network appeared to gloss over that the arrest took place in the El Paso sector. The closest part of that region is also hundreds of miles away.

Melugin then noted that “one of those Venezuelan guys” crossed at Eagle Pass and allegedly made his way to New York City — in 2022 (and not, notably, during an eclipse).

The network offered no opposing viewpoint and did not cite any named government or scientific sources about how the eclipse could affect border security, despite apparently having time to dig up a 2022 border crossing and footage of daytime crossings from a day or so ago.

Later in the day, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, hosting the Monday edition of “The Daily Show,” poked fun at Fox’s segment.

“Or they could just wait ’til night time,” he opined in reply to Fox’s assertion that the eclipse’s darkness would somehow offer a significant advantage for border crossing.