NPR Guesses There Were 'Half a Million' Protesting for Amnesty Across America

On Sunday morning's Weekend Edition, National Public Radio anchor Liane Hansen claimed a huge turnout for amnesty rallies nationwide: "An estimated half million immigrants and their supporters turned out yesterday to rally for immigration reform and against Arizona's tough new immigration law."

NPR's Ted Robbins offered a story from Phoenix loaded with four opponents of Arizona's new immigration law, but he seemed stunned at story's end when he asked a Minuteman what should happen:

ROBBINS: Both [Reza] Romney and [Javier] Ojeda says they're tired of people lumping all immigrants together with drug smugglers and criminals.

BOB MORRIS: I know a lot of them are hard working people.

ROBBINS: Bob Morris knows that, but he says he doesn't care. Morris stood slightly apart from the crowd. The short, older white man from Lake Havasu, Arizona, wore a cap and T-shirt saying: "Minuteman Civil Defense Corps."

MORRIS: They came the wrong way in.

ROBBINS: So what should we do with them?

MORRIS: Well, I think they need to go to the back of the line and come in the right way.

ROBBINS: Even if it takes decades?

Mr. MORRIS: However long it takes.

ROBBINS: Morris was among just a handful of pro-1070 folks. This was a day for thousands here and tens of thousands across the country to use Arizona's new law to prod the Obama administration and Congress into action on a national level.

Robbins even translated one protester's lament from the Spanish: "He says, I think the Arizona law is a violation. It's racist because it's like apartheid, because it singles out brown. Being Latino means we will be discriminated." On NPR, protesters don't even have to speak  English to be honored as an important voice in American democracy.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis