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The networks interrupted their programming for the lamest rerun on television

Erik Wemple

The major broadcast networks did all manner of juggling to accommodate President Trump on Tuesday evening. In a much-discussed development, the White House requested this interruption of regularly scheduled programming to air a live address on immigration by the president, amid a government shutdown of more than two weeks.

For what, then, did CBS preempt its midseason premiere of “FBI”? For what did Fox delay the broadcast of “The Gifted”? For what did ABC air a repeat of “Ellen’s Game of Games”?

Well, for a rerun of one of the longest-running programs on national television: Trump’s immigration talking points, that is. “Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which flows across our southern border,” said a stern-looking Trump from the Oval Office. In evaluating that contention, the New York Times understated, “This needs context.”

Another context-starved statement related to a crusty Trump argument about how immigrants coming up through the southwestern border are criminals. “In the last two years, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records,” said the president. “It should be noted that these criminal convictions covered a range of offenses, including many that were nonviolent. The most common charges were for traffic violations, possessing or selling drugs and immigration offenses like illegal entry,” noted the New York Times, labeling the claim “misleading.”

Downright false was Trump’s claim that his beloved wall would be paid for “indirectly” by a trade deal that his administration is negotiating with Mexico. “Even if the new

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