They say truth is the first casualty of war and it’s proving true in the right wing’s war on 52,000 child refugees — and on common decency. Jim Hoft, the infamous Gateway Pundit (often referred to as the Dumbest Man on the Internet), published a piece with the headline: “FEDS TO OPEN $50 MILLION RESORT FOR ILLEGAL CHILDREN – Complete With Tennis Courts, Sauna & Pools.” Guess what? It’s a lie.
I mean, it would be true except that it isn’t the feds doing it (it’s the Baptist Child and Family Services), it isn’t for $50 million (and the article cited on Hoft’s blog says nothing remotely like that) and it won’t have all those wonderful amenities designed to outrage people who don’t have them in their homes. Salon.com debunks the lie.
The hotel is described elsewhere in conservative media as a “$50 Million Illegal Alien Resort Spa,” “multimillion-dollar hotel complex,” “luxury lodging” and a “fancy hotel.” (Those last two, oddly enough, are from the same story that also describes the Palm Aire as “not exactly Club Med.”)
While the Palm Aire is indeed a “multimillion-dollar” hotel — 600-bed commercial properties typically do run at least into seven figures! — descriptors such as “resort,” “spa,” “resort spa,” “luxury,” and “fancy” do not seem to be the case. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a charity is able to come even close to buying a 600-bed commercial property to turn it into a fenced facility to house migrant children, it’s probably fallen into a bit of disrepair and isn’t exactly the object of a international bidding war. Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog notes that reviews on Google and TripAdvisor suggest the rooms have mold, insect, plumbing and staining problems; those who do find the accommodations acceptable cite such things as proximity to shopping outlets, not black-tie caviar orgies. But hey, it’s got internet access, cable TV, and a pool — fit for the Queen!
This line: “The Obama administration has awarded a $50 million contract.” The Obama administration has not “awarded a $50 million contract” to a charitable group to buy some dump hotel off the highway. That claim just … well, who even knows? We can, at least, trace this “$50 million” figure to a story in the local Valley Morning News paper:
Hidalgo County leaders, including Judge Ramon Garcia and Pct. 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, have been proponents of the project.
“I think we could use something like that in Weslaco,” Cuellar said. “Anytime that humanitarian problems happen I’m interested, especially when it involves kids.”
He added that the project, which BCFS said will employ 650 people and have an annual economic impact of some $50 million, would be a major development boon.
BCFS would not have been taking home $50 million in this project. That’s not how “charities” work. What they would be doing is purchasing the facility, renovating it to serve its needs, and hiring staff, something county leaders suggest could “have an economic impact of some $50 million.” As in, it could spur $50 million in economic activity in the area. Now, of course, it won’t.
And it won’t because these lies caused BCFS to cancel the project. So the lying wingnut assholes get what they want, which is more suffering for child refugees. Because that’s exactly what Jesus would do, isn’t it?