But the network apparently didn't mind a $580,600 contract to upgrade security at Mar-a-Lago.
Fox News and Fox Business are criticizing the building by the Secret Service of a fence around the Delaware vacation home of President Joe Biden and his family. In segments broadcast on both networks, the building of the fence was juxtaposed with the halt in construction of former President Donald Trump's wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. Biden halted work on the wall on Jan. 20, his first day in office.
Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo lambasted the fence on Monday's edition of her program "Mornings With Maria."
"The Department of Homeland Security has secured a contract to build a nearly half-a-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded security fence around President Biden's Delaware beach home," Bartiromo complained. "Taxpayers are paying for this new fence around his beach house, meanwhile all construction on the U.S. southern border wall has been halted."
Her guest, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), responded, "This is the height of hypocrisy."
Fox News contrasted the two projects in a story headlined, "Biden builds beach home fence after halting border wall construction": "President Biden has yet to visit the southern border as the Department of Homeland Security recently secured a contract to build a $456,548 tax-payer-funded security fence around the president's Delaware home."
Quoting Fox's own reporter Anita Vogel as a source, editor Joshua Comins wrote, "'The optics are not good here,' said Vogel. 'Federal dollars going to build a fence around his house for protection, but the border doesn't get a wall, right?' asked Vogel. 'So why does this summer house get a wall, but the border doesn't? Maybe Peter Doocy can ask about that at the next press conference.'"
Not mentioned in Fox's stories were the wildly different costs and practical uses of the barriers — or the newly awarded and larger contract for security measures at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The contract awarded by the Department of Homeland Security via the Secret Service to build the protective fence around Biden's home in North Shores, Delaware, totals $455,000. By contrast, an October 2020 report co-published by the Texas Tribune and ProPublica said that just two of the contracts signed by the Trump administration to build a southern border wall had grown to over $3 billion for 135 miles along the 1,954-mile border.
Experts have repeatedly noted that the border wall would not significantly restrict immigration but would cut through tribal homelands and affect local ecosystems.
The Trump administration also chose to divert funds earmarked for the military to the wall project after Democrats in Congress declined to fund it. Biden reversed that decision.
When Biden signed the executive halting wall construction, he noted in an official proclamation:
Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security. My Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation's values.
The fence planned for Biden's property in Delaware is in keeping with the Secret Service's mission of protecting current and former presidents and their families.
The Daily Beast reported on Oct. 15 that the Secret Service had awarded a $580,600 contract to upgrade security at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump lives.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.