KUSI Reporter Slams CNN in Border Reporting Spat: We Said Things ‘They Didn’t Want to Hear’


The KUSI reporter at the center of the network’s spat with CNN appeared on Fox News tonight to speak with Laura Ingraham.

CNN reached out to the San Diego news station to ask if they would be willing to provide one of their reporters to talk about issues at the border. KUSI later claimed, “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.”

CNN responded in a statement saying, “We called several local stations to book someone for a show. We didn’t end up booking any of them. That happens many times every single day. We did, however, book a reporter from KUSI for a story on immigration and the border wall in November. This is a non story. #factsfirst”

Earlier tonight an AP report indicated that KUSI’s news director was backtracking from that claim, saying, “It’s certainly plausible that they didn’t want it for the viewpoint, or they just didn’t want it. Both are plausible conclusions. I made one rather than the other.” (UPDATE –– 1/12, 3:45 pm ET: Despite those comments KUSI is standing by its original report and saying they’re “not backing away.”)

Dan Plante, the reporter offered up by KUSI to CNN, told Ingraham the following tonight:

“When they called up and said ‘Hey, we would like one of your reporters to sort of fill in the gaps, we’re doing a story about how the border wall really doesn’t work and they’re not that effective.’ Well, we got back to them, we said ‘Hey, we’d love to do a little talk back with you’ because I’m the reporter on the border, I’ve been there for many, many years, as you know, and made friends with a lot of the border patrol agents, personal friends at this point, but when we called back and said, ‘Look, we’d be more than happy to provide Dan Plante for you, but he’s going to tell you what the border patrol agents tell him, and that is that the border walls work.”

Ingraham read CNN’s response and Plante said in response, “We were saying things that they didn’t want to hear, we were telling them the truth. What we were going to tell them was ‘Hey, these things work,’ and from our experience here, from being up 20 years here in San Diego as a news reporter, covering many, many border stories down there, and talking to the people who work on the border, that the border fences work. And that is not the narrative that they wanted to hear.”

You can watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac