“Maybe Its Just Me.” CNN Political Analyst and Brio White House Correspondent Repeats False Whipping Claim

Ryan was repeating a false story from 2021 that has been debunked over and over again.  The media went into a frenzy over a false story accusing mounted officers of whipping undocumented migrants near Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19, 2021.

A photographer captured the scene, which showed agents using bridle reins to guide their skittish horses. The entire videotape clearly shows the agents using the reins on their mounts, not on the migrants. Not only did the photographer quickly deny seeing any officers whip migrants, the videotape clearly refuted that allegation. However, for many in politics and the media it did not matter because it played into a racial-justice claim of the “whipping (of) Haitian asylum seekers.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned “the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) decried “images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips.” Vice President Kamala Harris emoted on “The View” about how the brutality “invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the Indigenous people of our country, it has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.” Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) described the incident as “worse than what we witnessed in slavery” and “white supremacist behavior.”

President Biden rushed to express his own revulsion and rage, too: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.”

At the time, some of us objected that the president had, once again, declared the guilt of accused persons without evidence or investigation. The possible innocence of these officers simply did not matter to the president or to many in the press.

Despite being tasked with an investigation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas joined the condemnations of the agents, saying that their conduct “defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.” He then promised swift justice with an investigation that would take “days, not weeks” — yet the investigation dragged on for months.

The Administration delayed the results of the findings but eventually admitted that there was no such whipping. It still said it would punish the agents for other violations in what some of us viewed as a face-saving measure for President Biden.

The media quickly gave grudging acknowledgment that it had pushed another false story and moved on. But not Ryan. After all, why should media and government investigations block a false story when it advances a useful narrative?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was discussing the surge of migrants at the border when Ryan offered a signature moment in asserting that agents were found to be “whipping” Haitian migrants crossing the U.S. southern border in 2021.

Even Mayorkas, who joined the mob in presuming the guilt of the agents, balked at the fact that Ryan was repeating an allegation that colleagues now admitted was absolutely false.

Ryan stated “the southern border is not just Mexicans. It is Haitians, it’s Africans, as we have seen, particularly with that issue with the Haitians being whipped with the reins on the horses.”

Mayorkas gently noted that Ryan was repeating a known false story: “Well, let me just correct you right there because actually the investigation concluded that the whipping did not occur.”

Ryan appears incensed and stated “I’m sorry, I saw it differently. They were whipped with something from the horse – reins from the horse. Maybe either the video or picture was fixed, but what I saw was totally different. I’m sorry.”

Mayorkas again noted “Yeah, I’m gonna leave you as corrected.”

Ryan did not back down. It appears that facts have become entirely immaterial to media coverage.

After going back and researching, Ryan again told her readers that the whipping occurred, posting a photo from the 2021 encounter, saying, “Maybe its [sic] just me but!”

She followed with two other tweets, one posting another photo, with her own caption, “And one more the reign is how close or on the person?” She subsequently retweeted herself to cast aspersions on the federal investigation and claim, “Oh let me post this again especially after a White House official just told me they question the report too.”

However, Ryan can be assured after her latest tweet, It is not “just her.”

NB: For full disclosure, Ryan teaches at George Washington University, where I also teach.

170 thoughts on ““Maybe Its Just Me.” CNN Political Analyst and Brio White House Correspondent Repeats False Whipping Claim”

  1. Bald faced lie.

    If April Ryan extended her arm, standing 5 feet in back of another person, I could position a camera in such a way that the resulting photo would like as if she was striking that person.

    It’s a shameless, vicious slander against Border Patrol to make such a claim.

    These were split reins. Not whips. No one was struck, or threatened to be struck, with any whip or split rein. In fact, if someone tried to use a split rein as a whip on that man, it would hurt the horse’s mouth, through the drag on the shank of the bit.

    Western riders use split reins because of their versatility, and they don’t have to worry about a horse stepping through the loop of their reins and getting hung up. Split reins are floppy. It’s not a lash. They were also not romal reins with a popper used in some AQHA classes.

    In order to prove to April Ryan that it was the perspective of the photo, and ensuing jumping to conclusions and howls for blood by the media that promoted the whipping misinformation, I would create just such a photo. Present her with an unedited, undoctored photo in which the perspective of the camera makes it look like she’s hitting someone. Then say, “But see, right here in the photo I can see you hit that person.” Wait for the dots to connect.

  2. Jonathan: Last night I watched the controversial video of mounted US border patrol agents trying to prevent Haitian refugees from wading the Rio Grande. Some of the mounted agents had what are called “split reins”–whirling them to try to force the migrants back into Mexico. But it does not appear, at least in the video I watched, that any Haitian was actually whipped. But the scene was disturbing in many respects. Watching mounted agents trying to herd human beings like cattle was terrible optics for our country that has prided itself for welcoming refugees from violence in their own countries–not to mention a violation of US and international humanitarian law.

    Would we treat refugees from England or Ireland the same way? It appears we treat refugees from Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras differently–because they don’t look like us. That’s why Black politicians were outraged by the treatment of Haitian refugees. One white mounted BP agent was heard to say to a Haitian man trying to protect some women and children: “This is why your country’s sh**, because you use your women for this!”. What about the racism expressed by white BP agents?

    You seem to think herding human beings like cattle is permissible as long a no one is actually whipped. And then you take the opportunity to complain that “[t]here was a time when journalists shared a common ‘identity’ as professionals who were able to separate their own bias and values from reporting the news”. Funny, but you never complained when Tucker Carlson spent every night on Fox spewing out his racism, lies and hate–his own “bias and values”. Your column reeks of duplicity!

    1. April Ryan purports to be a journalist reporting “news”…..
      Tucker Carlson was a pundit opinion show.
      The flood of illegals through Biden’s open border is an invasion, and it is entirely intentional Democrat-created chaos and lawlessness.

    2. Check out what blacks living in South Shore Chicago think about Biden’s invasion of illegals. They are irate and not having any of it.

    3. Biden’s invasion: Smear Border agents, lie about them, lie about the reality at the border. Do away with Title 42. No concern for infectious disease. Disregard for law, disregard for U.S. citizens, disregard for national security.

      SCABIES: From Border Patrol source just now: “The problem with scabies is that is is highly contagious and the illegal aliens are getting in busses and commercial aircraft to travel around the country. The next person that sits in that seat now has scabies!”

      Impeach Biden!

    4. Dennis – your comment postures you as a humanitarian revulsed by even the suggestion that awful white border patrol police would “herd” brown illegal migrants toward retention centers. But this posture is absurd. The real misery, and death, is caused by people (i.e. the Left) who have encouraged people from around the world, but especially from central America, to take the dangerous trek through Mexico into the SW United States. Many do not survive this journey.
      Here is one description of landscape in northern Mexican and southern Arizona:
      “The 389 miles of Arizona’s arid southern border with Mexico cuts through 100,000 square miles of sparse desert: the yawning, dry Sonoran, populated with prickly pear, ocotillo and buckhorn cholla cactus. The fauna there is as tough as the flora — diamondback rattlesnakes, desert centipedes, bark scorpions and collared lizards, creatures with rugged skin and the ability to cope with extreme temperatures.
      Unlike human beings.
      The trek from Mexico into Arizona’s eastern stretches can be dangerous even for experienced hikers prepared with water, food and layers of clothing. But for many immigrants crossing the border illegally, oftentimes lacking such necessities and putting blind faith in a coyote, or guide, it can prove deadly.
      Since 2001, more than 2,100 migrants have perished beneath the Arizona sun.
      It’s not a clean death. Dying from what coroners call exposure to the elements can be brutally elongated. The human body shuts down slowly, over the course of a few days or, in some cases, hours. In his award-winning book “The Devil’s Highway,” which follows the case of the Yuma 14, Luis Alberto Urrea describes the steps in gripping detail. “Those in shape will, sooner or later, faint,” he writes. “This is the brain’s way of stopping the machine, like hitting the brakes when you realize you’re speeding towards a cliff.””
      Even those who survive the journey may be subjected to sexual abuse along the way.
      “Many people migrating from Latin America to the United States are victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking in Mexico.[1][2][3][4][5] People who migrate through or from Mexico without legal permission must enter into dealings with smugglers and, often, criminal gangs. Perpetrators may be smugglers or gang members, but can also be government officials, bandits, or other migrants. Sexual assault is sometimes part of the “price” of smuggling, and some women have reported preparing for it in advance by taking contraception.
      People without legal permission to migrate are much less likely to report being the victim of a crime or otherwise take actions which may jeopardize their ability to cross the border or remain in the United States. Although data is difficult to collect and analyze, Amnesty International reported in 2010 that the proportion of women and girls who are sexually assaulted over the course of their journey might be as high as 60%.”
      I need hardly mention the real stories of illegal migrants suffering horrible deaths in overcrowed trucks.
      Who would encourage people to suffer in this way? Who would want legal Americans to suffer the financial burden, the increased crime, the influx of deadly drugs and drug gangs, that comes in along with the illegal migrants? The answer: Democrats, who see a long term political advantage in changing the demographics of the population. The lives of thousands of people be damned. Of course, the irony is that the people who cause this cruelty accuse their critics of racism.

      1. Sexual abuse, sex trafficking; pedophilia, selling of human beings (CA is presently talking about reparations for humans who were sold in the 1700s and 1800s)–Is that humane? I wonder how many never made it or are just “lost”–their families never hear from them again, don’t know what happened. Is it the assumption they died on the way? Is it a risk they well understand? So many lies have been written by journalists. Of course, the administration has not helped. Congress has not helped. Division is the name of their game.

  3. Every day, leftist journalists from coast to coast participate in the dissemination of narratives that are simply not true. Among the untrue narratives are reports that illegal immigration was worse prior to Biden, vaccines prevent the spread of COVID, Trump supporters killed people on J6, massive deficits are not harmful to the economy, the effects of climate change are catastrophic, and Russia is losing the war in Ukraine. April Ryan’s mistake was not realizing that the left was no longer disseminating a particular untrue narrative about border patrol agents.

  4. These people aren’t so horrified by racial incidents as they claim; they hunger for them to advance a destructive narrative, if they can’t find them they will make them up.

    They are so obsessed with their own scam that they don’t see what is happening outside their poisoned bubble.

    They should poke their heads out for a moment and listen to Scott Adams. They aren’t having the effect that they think

      1. True. Except in black communities where the pots of racism are full to brim and boiling over while politicians like Newsom are turning up the heat.

  5. I had previously reported that the state of California was $22 billion in debt. Looks like I was wrong. Make that $32 billion. Looks like reparations are even further back in the rear view mirror. I really wish African Americans would stop listening to these people

  6. Former President Obama didn’t miss an opportunity to place his thumb on the scale of justice when it helped him and/or it hurt his enemies. The current occupant(s) of the White House are criminals, uninterested in performing their duties with honor, respect, and decency.

    1. Yep. And notice, President Biden never concludes his remarks with the words, “May God Bless the United States of America.” He only ever says, “May God bless our troops.” Very strange for a president to never utter the words “may God Bless America.”

  7. What does April Ryan teach at GWU? Activist “journalism”? Just what we need, more “journalists” brainwashed by the likes of April Ryan and PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor. They are political activists, not journalists. They are awful. The “media” is all propaganda now. All fake. All biased. Unwatchable. Unlistenable. Defund PBS. Defund NPR. Defund State Media.

    1. BINGO: School of Media & Public Affairs [1]

      In ’19, the former WH correspondent (American Urban Radio Network’s Washington bureau chief and CNN analyst) discussed her book, “Under Fire,” as part of the GW Black Heritage Celebration. ” At her lowest moments, when [WH Press Secretary Sean] Spicer, for example, told her to stop shaking her head, she was ready to give up, but saw Clinton and Valerie Jarrett come to her defense. A high-ranking Republican whom she did not name told her, “They didn’t realize how formidable you were.” [2].

      [1] https://smpa.gwu.edu/april-ryan

  8. April Ryan using her black privilege to obstinately refuse, as a so-called journalist, to stand corrected not only by a cabinet official, and even Twitter notes is bad enough, but if you want even worse viewing, go ahead and tune in for Yamiche Alcindor hosting PBS Washington Week. It is now the Leftist Activist Weekly Roundtable — if you can stand it. It was watchable under the professionalism of Gwen Ifill, but not this nonsense from Yamiche and pals. No thanks.

    1. I suspect the second fastest way that democrats are going to finally have enough of criminal violence is when a felon victimizes a local politician, who will then go absolutely ballistic and demand the entire police department be allocated to solve the crime with maximum jail time and punishment.

      Here Seattle city clowncilwoman Sawant, who was one of the most ardent “defund the police” agitators, who called Seattle Police racists and murderers wants SPD to drop everthing and find and prosecute those who placed bags of poop on her lawn. Apparently, the racist police must forget all other criminal investigations and put her at the top fo the priority list.


      Probably the fastest is when they believe they will lose an election and as a consequence their gravy train if they don’t reverse their preference for criminals.

      1. Darren: I wish it were that way but it actually doesn’t work that way unfortunately. All of these politicians parroting whatever talking point the left tells them to parrot, together turn into a sort of societal avalanche. Once the avalanche acquires momentum, one individual snowflake saying “Oops maybe I got it wrong” – which they never do anyway, they just make up some nonsensical excuse – will not stop the avalanche’s momentum. This is why they do it. They know perfectly well the ideas are ridiculous and will never work in real life and will only create chaos and harm, especially to the most vulnerable populations. By the time anyone objects, the damage has been done, and they have moved on to the next avalanche. It’s kind of like false claims against Trump, or anyone else. They make the false claims knowing they are false and that they will eventually be corrected, but also knowing that their objective will be attained before the correction needs to occur. The false claims are repeated ad nauseum and are believed by those who want to believe them. The corrections are not retweeted or repeated and have basically zero impact. These are deliberate and calculated acts and individual leftist politicians are disposable. If they should magically acquire some sense, which they never do, or when they have done what is considered sufficient damage, they are replaced by other leftist politicians who will do even more damage. Look at what has happened in Chicago and New York but also in the UK, in New Zealand, in Germany, and other cities and countries in the world. These were deliberate, calculated, replacements. People have this moment of catharsis where they say “Thank heavens we got rid of DeBlasio” and then they get Eric Adams who came in like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending that as a former cop, he was going to be tough on crime, and he has handed New York City to the criminals just as Joe Biden (or whoever that is) has handed the Southern Border to illegal immigrants. If anything, they will say, at some point, “Oops we got it wrong” in order to get elected or reelected, “we don’t want to defund the police, that’s the Republicans, we just want to restructure the police” and then the same voters who can never ever learn vote for them again. Lather, rinse, repeat, and flush.

  9. OT: “What about money laundering?,” he asked on the “Just the News No Noise” TV show. “Multiple banks in those violations implied that there was money laundering going on. What about racketeering? Racketeering is when you create shell companies and fake companies that serve no purpose other than to launder money.” …

    “his legal team reportedly now is expecting Biden could face criminal charges soon from a four-year-long FBI and IRS probe led by the U.S. attorney in Delaware.” …

    “Right now the biggest obstacle for me getting the facts is our own government, is the Department of Justice, is the FBI. And that’s unacceptable,” he said.


  10. CNN and the legacy media incite rage with their lies and faux grievances all the while ignoring sexual and violent crimes against children. No wonder CNN and the other MSMs are not considered credible news organizations. They have betrayed Americans, much like the defenders of “trans” groups

    Florida laws prohibit distributing harmful materials to minors, per Florida Statute 847.012. Presumably other US states prohibit these types of activities as well. Yet a group in Jacksonville, FL is sending weapons and sex toys to minors in Florida and across America, without the knowledge of their parents, under the mantle of “gender transitioning”. The Jacksonville group has platforms on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tiktok (but not Twitter) as well as a webpage hosted by Tucows Domain, all of whom are possibly aiding and abetting illegal activity against children. No doubt the DOJ will press charges against any parent, organization or church that interferes with this Florida trans group, much like the FBI investigates Catholic churches and raids the homes of Pro-Life individuals who protest as abortion centers. They should be held accountable, and exposed for what they are doing.

    Florida LGBTQ Group Sends Weapons, Sex Toys to Kids for “Gender Transitioning”
    The group shipped boxes containing strap-on penises, condoms, knives and tasers to children in 45 states. The group also teaches them how to hide the “Build-A-Queer” kits from their parents.


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  12. A sneak peek at tomorrow’s column it seems.

    “JONATHAN TURLEY: The only people not on that list are the pets. Major is not mentioned, but otherwise, every generation seemed to get a dividend. And what this looks like is a family business that is dividing up the proceeds. The difference is that this family business had dozens of LLCs and accounts that seemed designed to hide these payments. There’s no cognizable reason why you would create this labyrinth of LLCs and accounts unless you were trying to hide the trail. The other problem is that it’s not clear what the family business is other than politics. And many of us have said for years that the Biden family is notorious for influence peddling, and this seems to confirm our worst expectations.”


    Turley sure seems intent on insinuating a lot without a shred of evidence. The republicans have admitted that so far STILL they have no evidence of any crime or illegality if making money from foreign business deals.

    “Records of Hunter Biden’s activities also echo the foreign business dealings of the family members of another President. While in office, former President Trump remained connected to the Trump Organization, even as he passed control of the company to his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Though Trump’s team said the business would not enter any new overseas deals during his term, his family members continued to engage in business abroad. Meanwhile, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, continued to pursue financial interests in foreign countries.”


    Turley is dead quiet about this problem. Why, because he doesn’t really care. He’s just peddling insinuations about the Biden’s without proof and alleging a lot of things still without proof.

    If influence peddling is such a concern he should have been all over trump’s business while he was president. Turley Turned s blind eye towards Trump’s massive corruption. We know he is bound to his Fox News contract. It’s pretty sad.

    1. Not to long ago, Turley actually cared about the law and the truth, those days are long gone. Turley blog is part of the right-wing echo chamber and the age of rage that feeds it.

      1. Law and Truth? Like wholly unconstitutional Obamacare? Which “law and truth” are you referring to? Ever read the Constitution? The entire American welfare state government for the benefit of illegal aliens is unconstitutional and has been since 1860.

      2. Make sure to keep listening to your National Propaganda Radio where you get all The Facts, according to Their Truth.

      3. FishWings: I don’t think Turley ever cared about “the law and the truth” Not as long as I have been on this blog. Even if he did at one time that ended when he went to work for Fox and Rupert Murdock. He never once criticized Tucker Carlson for all his lies. Murdock apparently pays Turley generously for being an echo chamber for the Fox line on just about every subject. When dealing with an analysis of court cases Turley does a fairly good job–of course from a conservative perspective. But now days he spends more time on opinion and political issues. Notice that the NY Post, a right-wing scandal rag owned by Murdock, often fawns over Turley and quotes him generously. That doesn’t happen by accident. It’s an incestuous relationship!

        1. The New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was censored *because* it was accurate reporting and true.

          Those that report the Truth, and speak the Truth, are threats to power.

          Those who are brainwashed and manipulated by propaganda don’t see it *because* they are brainwashed and manipulated.

    2. Svelaz, it’s like that Buffalo Springfield song:

      There’s something happening here..

      What is is ain’t exactly clear..

      But there’s a Fox News host over there..

      Telling me I’d better beware.

    3. “. . . foreign business deals.”

      So what was the kleptocratic Biden family’s “business?”

      P.S. Selling out your country does not count as a “business.”

    4. Turley sure seems intent on insinuating a lot without a shred of evidence

      You have just listed a list of evidence. Your vocabulary is abysmal (extremely or hopelessly bad or severe).

  13. “OLE!”

    Ending Title 42, Illegal Mexican Invasion, May 12, 2023 – “Doce De Mayo”

    Emancipation Proclamation, Illegal African Invasion, January 1, 1863 – Unconstitutional Confiscation of Private Property

    Abraham Lincoln engaged in “…fundamentally transforming the United States of America…” with an illegal, unconstitutional gun to America’s head.

    Why did Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, as presidents of the country, illegally, unconstitutionally and treasonously “fundamentally transform” the U.S.?

    Why didn’t Donald Trump follow George Washington et al. and Ashli Babbitt’s courageous lead and “fundamentally transform” America back to the future – back to the Constitution?

    Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama did not fail the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs, AINOs) in America.

    Donald Trump failed the Constitution and America.

    America is European Immigration by original intent.

    Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 (four iterations – they meant it)

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

    1. It’s the “19th Amendment border”

      in “19th Amendment America.”

      Take it all in, America!

      You go, boys!

  14. Plausible, but not probable, and not actual. That said, if they bray it, they will believe it.

    1. Wow, I’m not shocked.
      It’s the projecting people who vote for lies which is shocking.

  15. So here we are, Biden is sending 15,000 National Guardsman to the border to whip those illegal immigrants into shape. You know, the ones who waited to come once their was no longer a border wall. Biden once told us how inhumane it was to keep illegal immigrations from entering the nation and now he is sending armed guards to stop the flow. We should remember that Biden said that stopping the illegal immigrants was a bad racist thing when Trump was doing it but now he’s putting black boots on the ground to keep people of color from entering the nation. We wouldn’t have to worry about this if Biden had just continued to build that “big beautiful wall”. I guess Joe’s racism is better than Trump’s racism.

  16. Professor, I assume your “views do not reflect those of [your] law school or the media organizations that feature [your] legal analysis.” Further, I guess it is your sole decision which (relevant) topics you put up for discussion here. However, there is no evidence if my thoughts come (close) to the “truth”.

    And because there are always differences in perception, courts are also called to find out the “truth”.

    Thus, in divorce proceedings, a judge may be confronted with these questions: To what extent does a litigant continue to receive income from secret “business dealings” with Romanian partners? To what extent does he have to share with others?

    What at first glance often affects only a very small group of people (although: if “big guy” is involved?) can in other cases have a massive impact on the lives of parts of the population: In a further stage on the question: “Who was legitimately elected Governor of AZ”, the Maricopa County Superior Court will be faced with “bombshell findings of misconduct and illegality”, signature verification and printer issues.

    Who cares?

  17. What we have in America is a quickly declining trust of the media because Americans believe that the media does not report the news objectively. Instead of admitting that their product is failing they double down with “you should watch us to increase our ratings regardless of whether we lie to you or not”. Superiority complexes at this level are nothing short of maniacal. At least CNN recognized that it was losing its viewership and have tried to present a more balanced view. For their reward they are being beaten back into submission. The call from the left is “Ze vill veport ze news like vee tell ze to report ze news and ze will censor who ve vant ze to censor or else. Consequences may be necessary.

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