“So You Write Propaganda, Right?”: Journalist Files Complaint Against Customs and Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection Shoulder Patch

There has been a disturbing trend of complaints from journalists who allege that they were harassed entering the country by CBP officers about their coverage of President Donald Trump and related issues. The latest complaint is particularly egregious if true. Journalist Ben Wilson says that he was forced to admit that he “writes propaganda” to gain entry back into the country. The encounter, which is presumably on tape, is chilling in its lack of professionalism and abuse.

Watson was going through routine entry when the officer allegedly asked what he does and, when he said he was a journalist, he asked “So you write propaganda, right?”

Watson answered “no” but the officer would not approve entry and kept asking the same question over and over. Finally, Watson decided that he could not leave his wife waiting any longer and said “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.”

You can read about the encounter here.

Many of us have been highly critical of President Trump for his attacks on the media, including calling them the “enemy of the people.” In addition, CBP officers have voiced their frustration with coverage of the border, which often portrays them in a highly negative light.

This is an extremely serious matter and CBP needs to be transparent about the status of this investigation.

111 thoughts on ““So You Write Propaganda, Right?”: Journalist Files Complaint Against Customs and Border Protection”

  1. This is a very good explanation of why each of us should be concerned to protect a free press.

    Many people think the first amendment being abrogated won’t be a problem in their lives. This is correct as along as you are willing to never question authority , never have an original thought critical of this government and further, you enjoy knowing very little about the workings of powerful people who use you for their own purposes. However, other than being an obsequious person who is authoritarian happy and willing to serve the evil powerful, you are personally going to run afoul of this government some day. Here is how that can happen:


  2. Writing anything erudite chases away the usual crowd here. Like roaches in a flashlight beam.

    1. That is why we count on Benson for all of the comments he writes that HE probably considers to be “erudite”.

    2. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-five weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I am surprise you found your thersaurus again, or did you did one as a gift. Erudite is a big 5$ word for someone who writes short sentences and doesn’t cite their sources.

      1. My first thesaurus, I never had a thersaurus, was given to me by my freshman year English teacher, Clark Kent; we called him Man Super but never in his presence and always in a light hearted manner; he assigned a Hemingway novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”; Hemingway wrote in short sentences. Unlike James Joyce.

        Don’t just Make Stuff Up.

        1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-five weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Hemingway writes at an 8th grade level.

          1. Wrote. His tense is well past. Or didn’t you learn any grammar either?

            8th grade —
            Which, of course, explains why he is considered one of the greatest authors of the 20th century.

    3. And yet this clown returns time and time again. He posts inanity. He successfully refutes nothing. He’s a legend in his own mind.

      D. B. Blooper, take your ball and go home.

        1. I became proficient in the imaginary numbers. Useful for describing aspects of trigonometric functions.

          But that is beyond your ken, I fear.

          1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-five weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you are correct, I always had problems with the concept of imaginary numbers. Give me real numbers and I am a happy camper.

  3. Dumbr Donald.

    — Old Norse followed by Scots name. Could hardly be more insulting than that.

    1. Etre d’une betrise redhibitorie.

      American English lacks the tone of utter disdain.

      1. Au contraire, Benson. You are a pretentious jackass.
        I think that conveys disdain, and there is a just a little bit of another language in there just to keep you satified.

      2. “Sorry Charlie, StarKist doesn’t want tuna with good taste, StarKist wants tuna that tastes good!”

        – Leo Burnett

      3. That perfectly describes Joe Biden and his flailing presidential campaign. Well done Benson.

  4. Bad if it truly happened as described, but pending evidence I will suspect it is another propaganda hoax.

    I am only surprised the border patrol was not accused of cutting his dreadlocks and hanging a noose around his neck or smiling in a superior way while he beat his drum.

    The press has become an enemy of the people–so much so that the NYT now wants to restrict free speech (except for them, of course).

    1. Read the whole story on Hillary Clinton receiving a bribe from Tyson Chicken through Tyson’s broker, “Red” Bone:

      “…During the 1970’s, Mr. Bone had been disciplined by regulators and settled charges that he tried to corner the egg market and that he had failed to keep proper records. Those accusations did not involve Mrs. Clinton’s account. Mr. Bone’s lawyer in both the regulatory proceedings and other legal disputes over the last 15 years has been Mr. Blair.”

      “…The White House said today that it released the information on Mrs. Clinton’s stake in response to a Newsweek article published on Monday that quoted a Columbia University law professor as saying that Mrs. Clinton’s investments were financially supported by Mr. Blair and could be considered to be a gift. The professor, Marvin A. Chirelstein, denied making such a statement.”

      – NY Times,1994


      Communists (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) are benevolent as long as they obtain vast orders of magnitude of personal power and money. Oh, and did I say money – huge sums of money? Avarice, control, dominance and power are their obsessions.

  5. Now an uplifting word… for a change.


    The day the world saw God in a Dallas Courtroom

    Brandt Jean’s willingness to forgive the cop who shot his brother is a brilliant example of Christian charity

    The world saw God in a Dallas Courtroom on Wednesday afternoon. For former police officer, Amber Guyger, who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing an innocent man, it was also a foretaste of the Last Judgment.

    Botham Jean had been minding his own business, when a distracted off-duty police officer was returning home to her apartment in the same building as his. Mistakenly she entered the 28-year old man’s apartment thinking it was her own, and discovered who she thought was an intruder. She drew her firearm and killed him in his own home.

    At the sentencing, Botham’s 18-year old brother, Brandt, gave victim impact testimony, since victims have the right to be heard in the presence of the accused regarding the impact of their offence. There is the judgment of law first, but then there is also the very personal judgment that victims may justly render, and that courts ensure are heard by the accused.

    A soft-spoken, bespeckled young articulate man, dressed in a shawl-collared black suit coat, blue shirt, and a pink tie took the witness stand to be heard. He began, haltingly, “I don’t want to say twice or for the hundredth time how much you’ve taken from us. I think you know that.” Brandt Jean looked like a man who was ready to give a sentence.

    “I hope you go to God with all that guilt,” he proceeded. “If you truly are sorry…I forgive you.” He pushed quickly past his own forgiveness, and back to God. “I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you.”

    One can imagine a victim telling the accused to beg for God’s mercy, as if it was unlikely to come. Yet Brandt wanted Amber to know that God would forgive her if she was truly sorry. He wanted her to know that though she took the life of his beloved big brother, that he also loved her. “I love you just like anyone else…I personally want the best for you…I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want…And the best would be to give your life to Christ. Giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want you to do. Again, I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.” Turning to the Judge, Brandt almost begged, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug please? Please?” The Judge conceded to the request, and Amber wept in Brandt’s arms.

    It must be said that Brandt would surely have preferred the embrace of his deceased brother. This would have been greater in all the most obvious ways. And yet in another sense, Brandt must know that there is, in this embrace, a greater love — a love which finds its reason in God alone.

    In Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI writes: “Love of neighbour…consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. His friend is my friend.”

    Brandt looked upon Amber as someone loved by God. Not everyone sees this way, nor can we expect or demand that everyone see this way. Nietzscheans will find it to be nothing but slave morality and weakness. Yet many did see something in that Dallas courtroom. We saw an intimate and personal love that wasn’t sexual, or self-serving, or demanding, or needy.

    The world saw someone will the good of another, purely, and truly. In the midst of so much darkness, the world saw a great light — we saw charity in a Dallas courtroom, and in seeing charity, we see God. Not directly but indirectly we see that the love of God and neighbor are one — we can glimpse, through a single extraordinary act of charity, the One who is Love Itself.

    1. Estovir is at it again, posting Catholic literature. The guy who employs gay harassment against other commenters. Estovir posts religious stuff when he’s not talking toilets and grinders.

          1. Anonymous – why are you anti-emoji. Does that violate the Civility Rule?

            1. Peter has been trolling these pages under so many aliases it is flattering to see he keeps coming back to be in our company.

              1. I’m not Peter. Now, if you were as smart and clever as Moi, you would know that. But alas…

                1. Anonymous – if you were honest and would come out from hiding among the other anonymi, and give yourself a name, we would be able to identify you. As it is, it like you are hiding in a herd of sheep hoping not to be picked off by the wolf. You don’t have to use you own name like some of us do.

          2. Oh come on now Snarky Anonymous, don’t hate on me because I’m clever and you’re not. 🙂

              1. Ah yes, we can see your psychological projection for what it is. Sad. 🙁 But always keep in mind that no matter what your skill level is right now, it can be better in the future. Keep trying, Snarky A. 🙂

                1. Who’s defending Estovir? I don’t see a name. Estovir is nuts! He smears commenters with homophobic garbage. Then attacks Professor Turley for mainstream opinions. Yet we’re supposed to respect Estovir’s religious posts? Give me a break!

                    1. Anonymous – I will White Knight Estovir on this one. JT has been going off the edge a little lately and you can attack his religious posts, however expect to get push-back.

                    2. how did all of the Feminazis get on JT website?

                      If you hate men, Estovir, “behold thw man” (?), will definitely be a knife in your side. Then again if youre a prissy fahghot like Peter Hill, then youll love Estovir even if Estovir humiliates him

                      Pile on Estovir and youll see an alpha man take you puzzies on. Woo hoo!

                  1. Hey Steve, this is James and I have been waiting for you on manhunt.net. We met at art gallery on Logan Circle

                    Look for me

                  2. Not defending Estovir. Read the content of Estovir’s post. It is an extraordinary example of true forgiveness and love — as demonstrated by an 18 year old young man toward the person who killed his brother.

                    That got a snarky comment from Anonymous. So I pointed out snarky Anon’s snarkiness. That’s got nothing to do with defending Estovir.

                2. “Keep trying, Snarky A.”

                  No need. You’ve shown us all just how “clever” you are.

                  1. I imagine Estovir being really hung and well endowed

                    Hawt! No wonder ya’ll hate him!

                    1. I don’t get why this ex priest gets to put up all this filth. What kind of blog is this. Seems Estovir is someone to avoid. Look how this wall looks.

    2. Estovir – I saw that moment on TV, and it made me cry. Heartbreaking, moving, divine forgiveness. He forgave her with a generosity that I doubt she has for herself. Even the judge embraced her.

  6. Never forget: the media used fake dirt complied by a foreign national who took disinformation from Russians on Donald Trump, paid for by the DNC, Hillary, and Obama’s FBI, and blasted the fake Russia conspiracy theory on our airwaves for over 2 years.

    But yeah, they are doing “journalism.”

    1. And the other idea, that we need to “get rid of Trump” so that all will be return to “normal” again in this country… in our politics, in our media, is absurd.

      Trump is bringing it all to the surface, all the corruption, all the incestuousness, all the “dirt” so to speak, so it can be looked at, changed and purged before we “begin again.”

      With Hillary Clinton, it would have been business as usual in Washington DC. And that was the LAST thing this country needed. Trump is doing the country, the world, and all of us an enormous service. In time, many more than just those of us who can see the forest for the trees, will understand.

      1. How many grown ups do you know, let alone presidents who talks like this moron. From individual-1’s tweet today:

        “Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous “ass” who has been fighting me from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him). He is so bad for R’s!”

        1. Let’s not forget Romney drove 12 hours with his family dog in the cartop carrier. Among other things. He deserves every bit of grief blown back at him by Trump.

        2. Mitt Romney is a pompous ass. He’s terrible for Republicans. Now you know two grown ups who talk like that.

    2. Almost every part of that document has turned out to be true. Given what we know about the thrice married, unscrupulous senile moron, what makes you think the remaining – yes including the tape – is not true as well?

        1. They say whatever comes to mind at the moment depending on what they are ingesting. If it is high quality crystal meth it can be colorful fantasies but if its cheap crack, it could land you a job as a consultant for an energy company in the Ukraine. Hunter Biden can provide more info

          1. Yes! I am a gas expert. Now pay me $50k a MONTH.

            Do I have the right last name? Biden? Heinz-Kerry? Clinton? Pelosi?

      1. Take a look sometime at the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation. Ukraine oligarchs top the list. Nancy Pelosi’s son was doing business in Ukraine and was investigated for securities fraud. John Kerry’s step-son was doing business in Ukraine. Biden’s son. Who else?

        Opening that can of worms is the last thing the Democrats want.

        1. “Opening that can of worms is the last thing the Democrats want.”

          – Anonymous

          What the democrats (i.e. RINO’s) want is to keep the secret that they are giving out “free stuff” for the Santa Claus government and getting filthy, stinking rich doing it.

          What the democrats want is the perpetuation of the welfare state and a bloated, obese, unconstitutional government far in excess of the American thesis – Freedom and Self-Reliance.

          This government is everything the Founders planned and designed for it NOT to be. God wrote the Ten Commandments very succinctly and God has never amended the Ten Commandments – there are still only ten. Government, per the Constitution, is infinitesimal by design while freedom and free markets are infinite. Elected officials were intended to have perfunctory jobs for brief periods of time with very little to do and funded by little more than per diem checks. The Founders provided maximal freedom to individuals while severely limiting and restricting government, constricting it to the role of facilitating the aforementioned freedom of individuals merely through the provision of security and infrastructure. Life is supposed to be lived and free enterprise conducted entirely by private individuals in freedom and the free markets of the private sector. Regulation was to be done industry by industry as Article 1, Section 8 limits and confines “regulation” to money and commerce among the several States. Taxation may not be for redistribution of wealth as individual welfare, but merely “…general Welfare,…” such as roads, water, sewer, trash pick-up, electricity, post office and telecommunications (archaic), etc. General means all; Social Security is for a few individuals, particularly old people. The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional including, but not limited to, affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, Dept.’s of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

    3. But, but, at least all the journalists who intentionally lied for the last 03 years continuously, at least they all apologized to the nation and Trump specifically!

      Oh, no, sorry, I checked, they did not….never mind!

      1. Princess Trohar – I saw that Rachel Maddow got a part in Batwoman. I wonder if a casting couch was involved. 😉

        1. OMG! That is just plain gross. She looks like a boy/man.

          Oh, wait. I see what you mean now. My bad.

          The casting couch would be in the office of a female executive producer.

          Got it.

          1. George – in a flight of desperate fantasy she will be a tv personality who is a girlfriend of Bruce Wayne. In no alternate reality would she be a gf of Bruce Wayne.

        2. The casting couch is always involved in these things…

          Was propositioned a few times in my early 20s.

          2 agents/1 manager/1 producer (was an extra on that day/he happened to be on set. I refused. I was fired. No pay.).

          Let’s see I was 20-21 yo, maybe 22 yo.

          For all the parents out there, do yourself a favor…don’t involve your kids in Hellyweird.

          And don’t let your young adult sons and daughters in college or post-college get involved.

          I wouldn’t. And I’m talking about my hypothetical kids…that don’t exist.

          The place is a cess pool.

          Much better if they do something else with their lives. I’ve seen a few things. Been invited to a few freaky parties. It’s a big “N-O.”

          Don’t walk. Run!

          1. I almost forgot to mention, they were all telling me I was “over the hill” and “past my prime” at 21 yo. 🤣😂

            What a creeping pedophile-driven industry.

            What they mean is you are less controllable, since you were not in the industry being abused at 12 or 14 yo…

            This is a PSA announcement. To all the folks with kids at there.

            Don’t let your kids get involved in this nonsense.

  7. So Estovir, big damn deal! I would rather have a person stopped and sent to secondary than let in robbers, murderers, child molesters, MS 13 gang members, drug mules, drugs, and so much more that shouldn’t be in the US, that would do crimes against those who rightfully belong in the US.

    As far as Life is unfair. We all are instruments of injustice and hypocrisy.
    Who ever promised you or me or ??? a fair life?
    And, I am not an instrument of injustice and hypocrisy. Please don’t accuse me of antisocial behavior when you don’t even know me. If anything it is you who thinks you were promised a fair life. What a BS entitlement attitude you have. Now, that we have that straight, can we be friends?

    1. Bob Miller – back in the mid-60s, I was stopped coming across the border from Nogales and they tore my little VW bug apart. Took them about 3 hours. In the 1980s I was stopped again crossing in a VW bug and tore the car apart. They had to force the trunk open because I did not have the key. Made driving back to Tempe interesting.

    2. And, I am not an instrument of injustice and hypocrisy. …. Now, that we have that straight, can we be friends?

      I will pass but thanks tho’. I like you exactly as you are: far, anonymous and bat sheet crazy.
      Are you kin of David Brock?

  8. If it happened, then it shouldn’t have. On the other hand, watching CNN, MSNBC and others peddle prejudice and opinion as news in news shows, then I can see how so many are exasperated with people who claim the mantle of journalist and related constitutional protections. Who gets to demand professionalism from journalists? Constitutionally, only other journalists can do that and I’m not impressed by how well they have and are doing it.

    1. Osmar,

      Any person can be a journalist. The government does not make that determination. Many people have become citizen journalists because the MSM is bought and paid for.

      However, you still need to protect the rights of journalists. Here is why: https://youtu.be/9_Nvu1Sz1nQ?t=87

      1. Nice reply Jill.
        As Bill Clinton once said in a TV interview to a question – It Depends On What The Meaning Of IS IS.
        And later he was convicted of lying under oath. He was always a person who had a severe ENTITLEMENT attitude. Just like his wife.

        Since he got away with that BS, there now is a stadium full of so-called journalists. So, I would call myself a journalist if it weren’t so bloody insulting to those ‘old school’ real journalists.

  9. “This is an extremely serious matter.”

    – Professor Turley

    If this is a serious matter, what was it when “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, “unelected” by 38.9% of the vote, went rogue, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches, suspended Habeas Corpus, destroyed printing presses, summarily threw publishers and political opponents in prison, conducted an unconstitutional war against a foreign sovereign nation, brutalized a nation into conducting his illegal war, issued unconstitutional proclamations, illegally confiscated private property, awarded citizenship, not deportation, violating the extant Naturalization Act, conducted vicious military massacres against a vulnerable and defenseless Southern civilian population during Sherman’s March to the Sea; “Crazy Abe’s” tyrannical and oppressive “Reign of Terror” concluding with the improper, corrupt and unconstitutional ratification of “Reconstruction Amendments” by his corrupt and illicit successors at gunpoint and under the duress of brutal post-war military occupation, ultimately making America the only nation in history to end slavery through total war while the institution was self-resolving and evolving into extinction (Washington freed his slaves in his will) which should have been facilitated and accomplished through employment of the tools of free enterprise being advocacy, boycotts, divestiture, etc.?

    What was that Professor, America at its finest? No. “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror” was a colossal distortion that requires constitutional remediation and correction to this day.

    1. Are they implying this is an order from above? Or are these people speaking out because they are tired of the Fake News?

    1. It never happened. JT reports the journalist was journalist Ben Wilson who doesn’t exist

      Ben Watson, however, seems to be the person in question at Dulles Airport, not the “border”. Turley is as sloppy with his facts as he bemoans others. Imagine that

      Mooing indeed


      The incident took place at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia on Thursday afternoon.

      Ben Watson, a reporter with Defense One, a news outlet that covers defense and national security, was returning from an assignment in Denmark. He said the flight had been long, and the pileup at the permanent resident reentry aisle was sluggish. So sluggish, Watson jokingly began “mooing,” he said.

      By the time he finally reached the passport screening official, Watson was hoping to breeze by. Instead, the official repeatedly asked Watson if he wrote propaganda.

      Here’s how Watson recalled the conversation, as published in Defense One:

      CBP officer, holding Watson’s passport: “What do you do?”

      Watson: “Journalism.”

      CBP officer: “So you write propaganda, right?”

      Watson: “No.”

      CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?”

      Watson: “Yes.”

      CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?”

      Watson: “No. I am in journalism. Covering national security. And homeland security. And with many of the same skills I used in the U.S. Army as a public affairs officer. Some would argue that’s propaganda.”

      CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?”

      Watson: “Yes.”

      CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?”

      Watson waited five seconds. Then: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.”

      CBP officer, a fourth time: “You write propaganda, right?”

      Watson, again: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.”

      CBP officer: “Here you go.”

      At that point, the CBP officer handed back the passport.

      Watson told USA TODAY he called his wife shortly after the encounter, and that’s when things really began to sink in.

      “Talking with my wife, I began to process it, and it began to feel totally abnormal. And I hope it doesn’t become normal,” Watson said Saturday.

      Watson has filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Homeland Security.

      CBP is investigating Watson’s claim, the agency said in a statement.

Comments are closed.