Amber Alerts Continue Despite Right-Wing Media Claim That Government Shutdown Turned Them Off
Fox News and right-wing blogs falsely claimed that the federal government turned off Amber Alert, the child abduction broadcast service, because of the government shutdown. In fact, there have been several Amber Alerts since the shutdown began October 1 -- only a Justice Department website listing them has been shut down, along with the websites of many other federal agencies due to a lack of funding.
Before Republicans caused a government shutdown  beginning October 1 by refusing to fund the government unless Democrats accepted unrealistic demands, media reports explained  that numerous federal government websites would go offline or would not be constantly updated as a result.
A week later, right-wing media are highlighting the unavailability  of the Justice Department's AmberAlert.gov website to falsely claim that the government "shut off" the Amber Alert program. On October 7, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said "if somebody goes missing, and an Amber Alert should be issued, it won't be" due to the website not being available. Fox Nation's headline  read: "Amber Alerts Cancelled: WH First Targets Veterans, Now Targeting Children, in Shutdown." A Breitbart.com blog post claimed  in a headline, "Amber Alerts Shut Off." And the Washington Examiner claimed  that "somebody, somewhere in the Obama White House or the Obama Justice Department decided to shut down the Amber Alerts."
Contrary to the right-wing media's claims, Amber Alerts have continued to be issued since the shutdown began. On October 5, an Amber Alert in Miami , Florida for a missing two-year-old was made and then canceled. An Amber Alert was issued in Galveston County  in Texas on October 5 for four children, but was later canceled  when the children were found safe in Tennessee.
The government shutdown and the suspension of Justice Department websites did not stop Amber Alerts. As California Highway Patrol officials explained  to a NBC affiliate reporting on the shutdown of the Amber Alert webpage, local law enforcement agencies will still alert local media outlets about an Amber Alert.
UPDATE: The Justice Department's Amber Alert website AmberAlert.gov has been restored . A link on the website to view active Amber Alerts  shows that this website does not post any active Amber Alerts. A Justice Department spokesman explained  on Twitter that "[a]t no point has AmberAlert system been interrupted during shutdown":