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Opening Monologue: The Travel Ban Show

The following is a transcript of the opening monologue I do at the top of each show on WGN Radio. My show, the Saturday Night Special, is a single-topic program on which I discuss one topic all night. This week, I discussed the Trump Administration’s executive order around travel, refugees and immigration.

No doubt misinformation is a serious problem. Whether intentionally spread for political gain, facts simply misinterpreted, or restating misunderstood data like an elaborate game of telephone, information is a precious, and easily manipulated currency. And, when news is moving quickly due to fast-moving developments, social media, high emotions, or all of the above, the potential for misinformnation climbs much higher.

Just over two weeks ago, the President signed an executive order to temporarily ban travel to the US by refugees and immigrants from predominantly muslim countries and sparked protests from citizens arond the country as well as triggering legal challenges. The order, officially called “protcting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the united states” immediately barred US admission to all people with both immigrant and non-immigrant visas from Ihrahn, Ihrahhq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria, and prohibited entry for all refugees for 120 days, with an indefinite ban on refuges from Syria.

Months ago on this program, we discussed the global refugee crisis, and here are the words I used to open the program:

A Fortune magazine poll asked Americans the following question in 1938: “What,” it asked, “is your attitude toward allowing German, Austrian and other political refugees to come to the U.S.?” the resukt? more than two thirds of respondents voted to bar them.

While 2015 polls initially looked similar to those in 1938, current polls indicate nearly 60% of Americans now support allowing refugees from the confluicts in Syria and other middle eastern countries into the US.

I went on that night to say this key thing:

Entering the US with refugee status is the single most difficult way to enter our country, involving background checks by the State Department, the FBI, U.S. and international intelligence agencies, and Homeland Security in-person interviews. Resettled refugees are the single most vetted immigrant group in the US.

That statement is still accurate. Also true: the administration claims allegedly dangerous people are flooding our ports.

So, as the president is calling for prohibitions, temporary or long-term, as news outlets produce content as fast as journalists can report it to keep up with the twists and turns of the news, followed by waves of think pieces and forecasts and talking heads—- the velocity of information can be overwhelmning, tiring, and emotional. Quick moving news stories always bring with thme the potiential for rumor and conjecture, and once social media is factored in, misinformation spreads fast and this execuitive order is no exception.

So, tonight, I’m taking a look at the facts of the timeline of the president’s immigration executive order and it’s legal challenges and next steps , I’m also looking at the myths, the truth, and human stories within this topic.

I’m Amy Guth and that’s all coming up tonight on the Saturday Night Special on 720 WGN.

(Break for show opener music)

Tonight I’m exploring not only the president’s immigration executive order and the next steps in both the judicial and executive branches of government, but also the truth and fiction, facts and narratives around this highly charged story. Tonight, it’s not about politics and party affiliation. Tonight, we deal in facts.

We’ll be right back to get the conversation underway, on 720-WGN.

(Listen to full show)