Unlike CBS 'Evening News,' 'Early Show' Report Fails to Cite Any Supporters of Arizona Immigration Law

Bill Whitaker, CBS On Friday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Bill Whitaker reported on protests against Arizona's new immigration law, citing several opponents of the new measure, but failing to feature a single supporter. On Thursday's Evening News, Whitaker filed a nearly identical report that included a clip of at least one proponent of the legislation.

In the Early Show report, footage was show of an immigration law protestor declaring: "We are America. Get over it." Whitaker followed by proclaiming: "Opponents say requiring police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect is un-American. Even the mayor of Phoenix is suing to have the law overturned." A clip was played of Mayor Phil Gordon ranting: "Arizona and Phoenix is not the Arizona or Phoenix that you have seen portrayed by some individuals that have brought this racist, this hateful law to the state."

Whitaker noted how "protesters turned up the star power. Pop star Shakira voiced her opposition." A clip was played of the singer fretting: "I'm worried about the impact that the implementation of this law will have on hard working Latino families." Whitaker added: "Mexican American singer Linda Ronstadt spoke out, as well." Ronstadt remarked: "Gee, I better pack my passport, you know, coming to Tucson."

In his Evening News report, Whitaker cited Ronstadt and other opponents of the new Arizona law, but also cited Republican Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle, who is considering proposing similar legislation for her state: "The citizens are sick and tired of political correctness. They want, they want to take their country back."

So while soundbites from the lopsided Evening News report were 4-to-1 against the Arizona law, Whitaker's Early Show report was even worse, with 4-to-0 against. 

In both the Early Show and Evening News reports, Whitaker pointed out the arrest of 105 illegal immigrants along the Mexico-Arizona border on Wednesday as bolstering support of the law.

Here is a full transcript of Whitaker's Early Show report:

7:12AM

BETTY NGUYEN: This weekend, protests against Arizona's new immigration law are planned in more than 70 cities. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker is in Phoenix with more. Good morning, Bill.

BILL WHITAKER: Good morning, Betty. Now, one week after Arizona gained notice and notoriety with the toughest anti-immigration law in the country, protests are building, opposing sides are hardening, and outside pressure is mounting. Supporters of the tough new anti-immigration law need no more reason than this, 105 immigrants arrested Wednesday, crossing the border from Mexico to Arizona illegally.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Border Battle; Arizona's Immigration Debate]

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [IMMIGRATION PROTESTOR]: We are America. Get over it.

WHITAKER: But now the legislation is going to be challenged in court. Opponents say requiring police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect is un-American. Even the mayor of Phoenix is suing to have the law overturned.

PHIL GORDON: Arizona and Phoenix is not the Arizona or Phoenix that you have seen portrayed by some individuals that have brought this racist, this hateful law to the state.

WHITAKER: Arizona is being hit in the courts and the pocketbook. Cities across the country are threatening to boycott the state. Eight conventions have pulled out of Phoenix already. Each could cost the city up to $45,000. Yesterday, protesters turned up the star power. Pop star Shakira voiced her opposition.

SHAKIRA: I'm worried about the impact that the implementation of this law will have on hard working Latino families.

WHITAKER: Mexican American singer Linda Ronstadt spoke out, as well.

LINDA RONSTADT: Gee, I better pack my passport, you know, coming to Tucson.

WHITAKER: But there's just as much passion in support of the legislation. According to a new poll, 70% of Arizona residents are in favor of the law. And legislators in a number of states, including Ohio and Texas, say they plan to introduce Arizona-style laws there. On the other side, hundreds of thousands of Latinos and their supporters are expected to take to streets in cities across the country tomorrow calling for immigration reform. Betty.

NGUYEN: CBS's Bill Whitaker in Phoenix. Thank you.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC