With so much news dropping by the minute, it's inevitable that mistakes will happen, and Twitter took notice of Fox's latest mishap. On March 31, Fox News' morning show Fox & Friends Weekend flashed an incorrect chyron on national television that referred to three Central American countries as "Mexican Countries." The network addressed the inaccuracy, bu Fox News' apology for "3 Mexican Countries" chyron didn't stop Twitter from weighing in on the network's gaffe.
During Fox & Friends' Sunday morning coverage of the Sate Department's recent announcement of foreign aid cuts for Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the news show's chyron incorrectly categorized the three countries known as the the Northern Triangle of Central America. The State Department announced the cuts on Saturday, March 30, and according to a State Department spokesperson:
At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.
During Fox's coverage of the aid cuts, a chyron included the words: "Mexican Countries." The full heading on the banner read:
Trump Cuts U.S. Aid To 3 Mexican Countries
Of course, the three countries are in Central America, not Mexico. According to The Hill, the graphic remained on the screen for 30 seconds and after backlash for the mistake, Fox & Friends apologized later during the show. Co-host Ed Henry said:
Now we want to clarify and correct something that happened earlier in the show. We had an inaccurate graphic on screen while talking about this very story. We just want to be clear, the funding is being cut off to the three Central American countries. We apologize for the error. It never should have happened.
A Fox News spokesperson pointed to the on-air apology in response to Elite Daily's request for comment on the matter.
Ed Henry and Fox & Friends' apology didn't stop people from voicing their comments about the mistake. Hint: there was a lot of roasting.
Some people didn't even believe it was real at first.
"I was today years old when I found out Mexico was 3 countries."
Others corrected the error to point out that El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are, in fact, countries in Central America.
Even 2020 presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg weighed in, calling this chyron "self-defeating."
"3 Mexican countries! Three times the love!"
The snafu wasn't Fox's or Fox & Friends' first. Back in January 2019, the hosts of Fox & Friends apologized for accidentally showing a graphic that implied Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dead. The graphic showed RBG's photo and the dates "1933-2019." In response, co-host Steve Doocy said later in the show, "We need to apologize … A technical error in the control room triggered a graphic of RBG with a date on it. We don’t want to make it seem anything other than that was a mistake. That was an accident."
In case all the hubbub about Fox & Friends' three Mexican countries chyron has prevented you from seeing the actual news the show was trying to cover, the Trump administration said on Saturday, March 30 that it plans to cut foreign aid for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. President Trump said, per CNN, that these countries "set up" migrant caravans to enter the United States. "We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we're not paying them anymore. Because they haven't done a thing for us. They set up these caravans." The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment regarding the president's remarks. A State Department spokesperson did not respond regarding the president's remarks, but confirmed the end of foreign assistance programs to the Northern Triangle.
According to NBC News, some Democrats like Senator Bob Menendez are opposed to the cuts. Menendez said, "Instead of doing our part to help stabilize the situation in the Northern Triangle and stem the flow of children and refugees to our borders, President Trump reportedly wants to make matters worse by blocking resources for programs that get to the root causes of this humanitarian crisis."
It's clear this issue is drawing strong opinions on both sides of the matter, so people will surely be watching for accurate coverage as the State Department moves forward with the decision to cut aid.