Why Is The Media So Interested In The Migrant Caravan Headed To The US?

There is a migrant caravan headed north through Mexico to -ostentibly- the US. Of course there is; this has pretty much been the status quo for the last three generations, at least, so why is it making such a splash on the news right now?

By Underhemp Balloo

We have to ask ourselves what is so different about the migrant caravan going on right now that calls forth the journalists and the opiners to their keyboards and microphones in a way that they didn't do last week and are likely to forget to do in quite the same way in a few weeks time.

The first thing is the collective nature of the caravan and the numbers involved. To those easily scared or inflamed - both north of the border and here in Mexico - this means, in Trump-speak, an "onslaught." It means thousands of people suddenly arriving all at once to threaten the receiving country's identity, culture, safety, way of life, and economic well-being (or even any potential future economic possibility).

Photo: Jornal Contacto

But in reality, what is happening with this caravan is that vulnerable people and/or economic migrants intent on getting away decided to journey together, for safety, because in numbers you are less likely to be picked off by human traffickers, or gangs, or corrupt officials, so it makes perfect sense.

Therefore, it's not the sudden aggregation of an entire people making the journey, it's just a tweak of the process. In addition, in what is a marvelously self-fulfilling prophecy, the very nature of this grouping and its numbers has meant that a significant number of journalists have embedded themselves in the caravan, adding a further layer of protection, perhaps not directly in and of themselves, but because the authorities know that a significant segment of the world audience is watching, and as such, they have to at least be seen to be doing their job/not abusing their position in the media glare.

Photo: Keyris D

This is enough to get the caravan cautiously noticed, but in order for it to create the perfect storm of media narrative, the story also needs another gravitational point, which is, of course, the great looming lord of bombast and misdirection north of the border, the President of the United States, whose repeated public lie-telling (is there any other word for it? really, no) - in this context speaking of "unknown Middle-Easterners" being part of the "national emergency" that this caravan comprises - is a help-yourself buffet-service to whatever narrative is most likely to inflame the voting base for the mid-term elections.

The President (who has since inspired an entire global litany of aspirational facsimiles) has lost any interest he ever had in appealing to the middle ground, choosing instead to bank on rhetoric so inflammatory and base that, although no one outside of reactionaries of the right (and some of the left) was going to vote for him or his acolytes, they most certainly would, trampling over any and all centrist protocols in order to get to the polls, ideally over the dead bodies of some Honduran migrants, or perhaps some environmentalists, or people of unbinary gender - anyone, in short, who isn't demonstrably us (whatever that means).

Photo: Euro News

Cover photo: @thetenementmuseum


Here are other articles you should check out:

8 Things You're Getting Completely Wrong About Central America's Migration Crisis

This Is Why I'm Not Surprised We Have A Humanitarian Crisis In The US

The President Who Is Against Immigration Praises Hispanic Contribution To The United States