While reporting from a town near the Mexican border, Fox News contributor Lawrence Jones wore what appeared to be a tiny bulletproof vest—and the internet can’t stop memeing it.
Jones was in Laredo, Texas, to report on the border for Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, touring the area with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and interviewing them about their views on crime in the area. During a live portion of Jones’ segment, he wore what looked like a small bulletproof vest with a CBP patch. Jones tweeted a photo of him wearing the vest, and the internet had a field day.
Many journalists, activists, and ordinary people go near the border every day without any need for bulletproof vests. In particular, reporters who have worked in the same area as Jones called b.s. on the need for such gear when reporting on migrants simply trying to seek asylum.
Done a lot of stories w/CBP in my career. Also grew up on the border in the #RGV - And I’ve never worn a bulletproof vest.— Mireya Villarreal (@cbsmireya) April 5, 2019
Several times we’ve been there as groups of migrants are apprehended.
Safety is key for any journalist, crew or agent.
But so is true perspective. pic.twitter.com/55HwR8wcws
Dude. Why are you wearing a bulletproof vest. YOU ARE NOT IN A WAR ZONE. Here I am reporting from the border recently WITHOUT a bulletproof vest, but WITH a coat of fabulous hairspray! pic.twitter.com/ftmBzjTBVT— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽 (@4lisaguerrero) April 4, 2019
Besides there not being a real need to wear a bulletproof vest at the border, the vest Jones wore just doesn’t appear to be very protective. Its small size leaves a large, vulnerable portion of his torso exposed, and one veteran stated that even when he zoomed in he couldn’t see any protective plating in the “bulletproof vest.” Some argued it looked more like a child’s backpack or a costume than any kind of defensive gear.
What is this? A vest for ants? https://t.co/WW5SfBkR1n— Jessica Luther (@jessicawluther) April 4, 2019
If you dont take off that Walmart hiking baby carrier with the diaper and bottle pockets , who you think you going to war with Dora the Explorer , Boots is better equipped , you aint even prepared for whats in the BackPack— T22J✨ (@Toyj22) April 4, 2019
Jones claimed CBP told him to put it on, replying to one journalist, “Border patrol made me wear it. Now, who’s the fool?” For some, the idea that CBP intentionally gave him an ill-fitting tactical vest, or even a backpack, made the whole situation even more hilarious.
Someone with CBP doesn’t like him very much.— Robert MacLellan🇨🇦 (@robmacphotog) April 4, 2019
It's like when they give kids little wings when they fly on an airline. Makes you feel special.— Blake Rea (@Cackmagic) April 5, 2019
While Jones may claim that he was wearing the “bulletproof vest” at the behest of CBP officials, some Twitter users felt this picture, taken during the same “live from the border” report, shows that CBP officials didn’t actually require him to wear protective gear.
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H/T BuzzFeed News