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CNN Denies Bias in Decision Not to Book Local Station’s Reporter for Immigration Segment

Workers on the U.S. side work on the border wall between Mexico and the U.S., as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, December 14, 2018. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

CNN is denying a San Diego television station’s accusation that it declined to book one of the station’s reporters for a story on immigration and President Trump’s signature border wall after learning that the station had given favorable coverage to the wall in the past.

“We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” local station KUSI, which is owned by McKinnon Broadcasting, said in a report on the event.

KUSI said CNN contacted the station on Thursday morning and asked if one of its reporters could provide a local view of the border-wall debate. KUSI offered reporter Dan Plante, an experienced border reporter, but CNN later canceled its request.

“We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it,” the station said.

CNN responded that the decision not to book KUSI’s reporter had nothing to do with politics and pointed out that the network booked one of the station’s reporters for a story on immigration and the border wall in November.

KUSI anchors shot back in a video reiterating the station’s accusation that CNN is biased, which the White House tweeted out and called a “must watch.”

The dispute comes as the current partial shutdown of the federal government has reached 21 days, tying the record for the longest shutdown ever. President Trump and Republicans have butted heads with Democrats as both sides refuse to compromise on the president’s demand for $5.7 billion to construct a wall at the southern border.

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