On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Mara Liasson conspicuously excluded conservatives who are opposed to "comprehensive" immigration reform proposals, such as those forwarded by former President George W. Bush, during a report on Utah's new and "milder" immigration law. Liasson emphasized the state's "conservative politics," but couldn't find any conservatives who opposed the law.
Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by highlighting how "Arizona's tough immigration law has received extensive coverage, and there's been a lot of talk about similar measures in other states. Yet, one of Arizona's neighbors, also known for its conservative politics, has taken a very different approach." Liasson set up her report by underscoring Utah's conservative credentials: "If you were to choose a state that would allow illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows, work and drive without fear of deportation, you probably wouldn't pick Utah."
Thursday’s National section of The New York Times led with “Arizona Lawmakers Push New Round of Immigration Restrictions.” Phoenix Bureau Chief Marc Lacey did not sound pleased with the prospect, pitting unidentified opponents against "immigration hardliners." Never mind that the proposals would target illegal immigration, not legal immigration.
Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens.
The National section of Thursday's New York Times led with “Arizona Lawmakers Push New Round of Immigration Restrictions.” Phoenix Bureau Chief Marc Lacey did not sound pleased with the prospect, pitting unidentified opponents of the proposals against "immigration hardliners." Never mind that the proposals would target illegal immigration, not legal.
Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens.
Some of the bills, like those restricting immigrants’ access to schooling and right to state citizenship, flout current federal law and are being put forward to draw legal challenges in hopes that the Supreme Court might rule in the state’s favor.
Arizona drew considerable scorn last year when it passed legislation compelling police officers to inquire about the immigration status of those they stopped whom they suspected were in the country illegally. Critics said the law would lead to racial profiling of Latinos, and a federal judge agreed that portions of the law, known as Senate Bill 1070, were unconstitutional.
MSNBC's Chris Jansing, referencing a report by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on "active U.S. hate groups," asked Wednesday if the rise of radical right-wing groups coincided with the motives behind Jared Loughner's assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
When asked about the "hate groups" report, guest Mark Potok of the SPLC immediately pointed to the rise of "radical right-wing groups" and attributed the rise to "resentment over the changing racial demographics," "frustration over the lagging economy," and "mainstreaming of conspiracy theories."
"The economy since the fall of 2008, of course, has really played into this in terms of unemployment, anger with the bailouts, and so on," added Potok. "It's really ginned-up anti-government feeling, in many ways."
ABC and reporter John Quinones on Thursday stretched the bounds of journalism, hiring an actor to play a racist security guard as a way of testing how the people of Arizona would react to the state's "anti-immigration law."
Previewing the network's "What Would You Do?" segment for Friday's Primetime Live, Quinones explained the undercover concept: "So, I go undercover, pretending to be someone who is about to be arrested and deported, simply by the way I look."
The piece featured a cartoonish "security guard" harassing Mexican actors in Tucson, Arizona. Presumably, ABC chose a security guard because impersonating a police officer is illegal. The actor walked into a restaurant and spewed, "I'm just looking to make sure these guys are legal citizens. And if they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."
Of course, having this man pretend to be a security guard really makes no sense. (A security guard is going to deport people?) Secondly, for journalists that often attack conservative sting operations, it's rather odd to see ABC manipulate such a scenario.
As he hosted a special two-hour edition of Countdown on Saturday night to cover the violent attack on Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended up delivering a "Special Comment" in which he called for an end to the use of violent imagery by political figures of all ideologies, even apologizing for his own history, but he also at one point seemed to describe Sarah Palin and other conservative public figures as "slightly less madmen" than the gunman who attacked Giffords. Olbermann:
We will not because tonight what Mrs. Palin and what Mr. Kelly and what Congressman West and what Ms. Angle and what Mr. Beck and what Mr. O'Reilly and what you and I must understand was that the man who fired today did not fire at a Democratic Congresswoman and her supporters. He was not just a madman incited by 1,000 daily temptations by slightly less madmen to do things they would not rationally condone.
Although the MSNBC host only provided one example of his own past misdeeds - which involved a comment he made about Hillary Clinton in April 2008 - Olbermann’s own history also includes a June 2006 case in which he depicted an image of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, and in October 2008 when he showed a cartoon image of FNC’s Bill O’Reilly being beaten bloody by the Stewie Griffin character from a Family Guy DVD extra scene. And just in November of last year, Olbermann complained that President Obama would likely negotiate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over tax policy "instead of kicking him in the ass."
Ending Sunday's "Face the Nation" in poetic fashion, CBS's Bob Schieffer gave a year-end commentary where he portrayed John Boehner as the flustered "orange-faced" leader of a divided House GOP. Schieffer also snidely criticized the Arizona immigration law.
"His face was bright orange, a sun-tan hall-of-famer. / I knew in a flash – it must be John Boehner," spoke Schieffer, painting the soon-to-be Majority Leader as the head of a herd of reindeer, the House Republicans. "He hollered, cajoled, oh how he did plead, / But the deer wouldn't listen, each wanted to lead."
Composing his end-of-show commentary to verse, Schieffer summarized the 2010 political scene and provided some insight of his own as to how the next two years in Washington will unfold. Though Democrats met a bitter fate this November, Schieffer implied a possible downfall for the GOP with a split between Tea Partiers and incumbent Republicans.
Condemning everyday Americans as racist, anti-immigrant Islamophobes was a favorite media theme in 2010, as documented by the Media Research Center's year-end Best Notable Quotables of 2010. Polls showed most Americans supported Arizona's effort to curb illegal immigration and opposed building an Islamic center near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers — but on both scores the media elite stacked their coverage against the public.
Winning the "Hazing Arizona Award for Denigrating Immigration Enforcement" was longtime New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who summoned images of resistance to Nazi occupation in an April 27 op-ed hoping for protests of the "police state" she claimed Arizona had become for trying to protect itself from illegal immigration.
Chris Matthews called it "the quote of the night," so let's see how our NewsBusters readers respond. Here was Barney Frank, reacting to the assertion by a young Marine that they are a macho bunch whereas gays are "girlie":
"I will confess that I left my purse at home."
Later, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, in a stunning non sequitur, was incapable of understanding how John McCain could oppose DADT repeal while having some years ago apologized for initially opposing the creation of Martin Luther King Day. Huh? For good measure, Bernard called McCain "the male Palin" and accused the entire state of Arizona of being "anti-immigrant."
For much of the spring and summer, the big broadcast networks threw staff and airtime at covering Arizona's attempt to control its borders against rampant illegal immigration. Liberals detested Arizona's "harsh" new law, so the media elite reflexively treated it as a scandal in their coverage.
But now, Congress is debating a liberal immigration plan, the so-called "DREAM Act," that would amount to amnesty for possibly one million illegal immigrants, and cost taxpayers up to $6 billion in higher education subsidies. Yet over the last five weeks, the three major networks have offered almost no coverage of the DREAM Act, which may be up for a vote as early as today.
In contrast, when Arizona was considering stricter enforcement of illegal immigration, the networks "aired a whopping 120 stories in a little over three months, with an almost ten-to-one tilt against the Arizona law (77 negative, 35 neutral, 8 positive)." For more, see the MRC's July 28, 2010 Media Reality Check.
On Thursday’s Fox and Friends, FNC hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy gave attention to a University of Virginia study which found that, since Prince William County in Virginia became more strict in dealing with illegal immigrants in 2007, the jurisdiction has enjoyed a substantial drop in crime - including a 32 percent drop in violent crime - while neighboring Fairfax County has seen crime levels remain steady.
Introducing an interview with Prince William County board of supervisors chairman Corey Stewart, co-host Doocy began: "Back in 2007, Prince William County in Virginia became the first large jurisdiction in the country to adopt a strict immigration enforcement policy. That move was widely criticized."
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
In early September, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was raked over the coals by her Democratic opponent Terry Goddard and by the mainstream media for a statement she had made about decapitated bodies found in the Arizona desert due to illegal immigration.
"It's a good bill. We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings," Brewer said in a debate. "Which beheadings in Arizona were you referring to?" a reporter asked. "Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer replied.
While there had been numerous gruesome discoveries of decapitated bodies in Mexico related to Mexican drug trade, at that point there had been evidence of such gang-related beheadings on Arizonan soil. The media made it up to be a mini-scandal at the time.
Fast forward a littler over a month to October 10, and the discovery of the decapitated body of one Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy in his suburban Phoenix apartment.
Comparing her latest campaign spot to a "Hitler Youth commercial," "The View" co-host Joy Behar angrily pronounced that Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) is a "bitch" who will "go to Hell" for her ad.
While none of the four co-hosts agreed with the tone of Angle's ad, Behar was the most vicious in her attack on Angle, calling her a "moron" and insisting she should try out her campaign rhetoric in the south Bronx [Video embedded after the page break]:
Catching up on an item from the Thursday, September 9, The View on ABC, Barbara Walters was at odds with her co-hosts over the issue of whether racism was the primary motivation of the Arizona illegal immigration law as well as opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Whoopi Goldberg raised the question of whether "there may be an undercurrent of racism in the USA that’s building up," leading co-host Sherri Shepherd to assert that "you certainly hear racism a lot more, I think, than you ever heard it." Walters soon jumped in to voice dissent:
I think that we're kind of mixing things up. When you say there's more racism now, oh, there's so much less racism than 20 years ago or 50 years ago. ... There is racism in this country. That's not new. There is racism against the President. That's not new. But I disagree with putting the mosque and the Arizona laws. I think the Arizona laws have to do with losing jobs and people coming across the border to get those jobs.
After Goldberg responded, "Then why don't they say that?" Walters continued:
Hours after being featured on this morning's edition of "Morning Joe" program, liberal filmmaker Rory Kennedy sat down with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts for a softball interview shortly before 2:30 p.m. to promote her new documentary "The Fence."
Kennedy argued that the fence being built along the U.S. border with Mexico was a waste of money, both in its actual construction and in the money required for its maintenance and upkeep over its lifetime.
At no point did Roberts challenge Kennedy by pointing out the conservative argument that border security and national security are fundamental responsibilities of the federal government under the Constitution.
Robert closed the interview by asking Kennedy about her views on "what the Tea Party is doing to American politics." The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy painted the movement as borderline anarchistic and simplistically anti-government, as well as bigoted [MP3 audio available here; WMV video for download here]:
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, actor Jon Voight condemned Time magazine for the cover on its September 13 issue which provocatively displays the words "Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace" in the middle of a Star of David made from daisies. Voight charged that there must be anti-Semitism at Time magazine if such a cover could be devised. Voight:
Listen, if Israel falls we all fall. Did you see the Time magazine, did you guys see the Time magazine cover? Cover? It was amazing. Here's a cover with a Star of David on it, and it says Israel doesn't care about peace. ... But this is anti-Semitism. This is, who are the anti-Semites who are running Time magazine? And their prior cover, you know, they alluded to the Islamophobia, they're calling America Islamophobic.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, Time managing editor Richard Stengel bizarrely seemed to see a down side to fewer terrorist attacks against Israelis when he appeared on the Thursday, September 2, Morning Joe on MSNBC, as he suggested that it was a "sad truth" that the low level of recent violence from terrorists -- including the "Hamas folks" -- had made Israelis feel less urgency about negotiating with Palestinians. Stengel:
Our friends at BulletPeople.com have come out with another awesome Jack Webb parody video. This time the famed "Dragnet" detective Sgt. Joe Friday is taking on President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder over his treatment of Arizona in their attempt to deal with illegal immigration:
Twenty-two states are now in the process of drafting or seeking to pass legislation similar to Arizona's law against illegal immigration. This is occurring despite the fact that the Obama administration has filed a lawsuit against the Arizona law and a federal judge has ruled against portions of that law - a ruling that is now being appealed.
Next month, two Rhode Island state lawmakers, a Democrat and a Republican, will travel to Arizona to speak with Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, local sheriffs, and other officials about how to better craft their own bipartisan immigration bill for Rhode Island, which already has been enforcing some federal immigration laws.
Meanwhile, 11 Republican state lawmakers from Colorado traveled to Arizona this week to meet with officials there on how to craft legislation for the Mile High state.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., is issuing an invitation to President Barack Obama: If the president will come and spend a half hour with Babeu in Arizona, the sheriff says, he will convince the president he can succeed in securing the border and thus make himself into a hero who transcends partisan politics.
Babeu's southern Arizona county, while not contiguous with the border, has been designated by the Justice Department as part of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking region that is a major route for drug and alien smugglers bringing narcotics and illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Babeu has joined with Sheriff Larry Dever of neighboring Cochise County, Ariz.-which does sit on the border-as well as with Arizona's two senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, in endorsing a ten-point plan for securing the border.
In a report on Arizona's immigration law for CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent John Blackstone declared: "In the heat of the Arizona summer, America's long-simmering immigration debate is boiling over." He portrayed it as the latest wave of anti-immigrant sentiment: "The often-angry debate....whether yet another influx of outsiders can be accepted into a nation of immigrants."
At the top of the program, the Early Show's Harry Smith, filling in for host Charles Osgood, teased Blackstone's report this way: "'The New Colossus' is the name of the Emma Lazarus poem about the Statue of Liberty, the poem that speaks of a 'golden door' for immigrants to America. S.B.1070 is the name of the Arizona law that critics say betrays that promise, but which supporters say is necessitated by a tide of illegal immigration."
As Blackstone introduced his report later, a series of newspaper headlines flashed on screen: "Ariz. immigration law creates rift; Obama Blasts Arizona Law; Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration." He then profiled one illegal immigrant: "...the immigration debate...means everything to 23-year-old Hermann. He's an undocumented immigrant we met at a church gathering....The current atmosphere leaves Hermann nervous but eager to tell his story." A clip was played of Hermann fretting: "For eight years, I've been in the shadows, you know. It's been to a point where you're almost paranoid, walking around."
Anytime La Raza or any of the other Latino immigration groups start to define our illegal problem, they inform us that the aliens streaming across our southern border are just hardworking folks looking for a better life for them and their families.
Well I'll submit to you that it isn't mom, dad and grandma climbing those high border fences with the razor wire at the top. It takes an able-bodied, athletic person to scale those heights.
The people who scream the loudest against an Arizona type law are those who either have a vested interest in keeping the price of basic labor down, those seeking political gain or those interested in increasing the Latino population of America.
I personally have nothing against any law-abiding citizen seeking a better life coming to this country, but I am against anybody who makes their first act on American soil to break our laws.
Out of the millions of illegals who have crossed our border how many are members of violent gangs, how many could have terrorist ties, how many are carrying dangerous diseases and how many are ferrying the drugs that are destroying our culture.
The truth of the matter is that we just don't know and that's just insanity.
Christiane Amanpour elevated a liberal British journalist, with little U.S. television experience, to the This Week roundtable where she presumed the government must run the economy and distribute the economic pie while she took pot shots at how the efforts to control illegal immigration proves America’s descent into a “culture of hate.”
Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of the London-based Financial Times newspaper, began by insisting, that to respond to stagnant employment numbers: “The big question now is can the economy keep growing if the government doesn't keep pumping in money?”
Applying a European economic model, Tett fretted “that so much of America in the last few decades has been about trying to focus on growing the pie, not worrying about how to divide it up” as Americans didn’t “worry about social equity and things like that.” But, showing little faith that Obamanomics will work, she ruminated, “if we are entering a period when the pie is stagnant, the question that’s going to be very political is how do you divide that pie up?”
The 1,200 National Guard troops that are being deployed incrementally to the southwest border "will not be doing direct law enforcement," said U.S. National Guard Bureau Director of Communications Jack Harrison when asked if the forces would be interdicting drugs and undocumented immigrants.
"The two mission sets are criminal analysts and enter-identification team," Harrison told CNSNews.com. "I can tell you that guardsmen will not be doing direct law enforcement on the southwest border."
In other words, the National Guardsmen will not be used to actually stop and detain illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border into the United States.
Harrison made his comments on Friday during a "bloggers roundtable" sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD).
Warning: Readers are strongly advised to remove fluids from their mouths as well as from proximity to their computers before proceeding any further!
Ed Schultz on Monday accused Sarah Palin of making a sexist remark about President Obama.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the former Alaska governor on Sunday said, "[Arizona governor] Jan Brewer has the cojones that our president does not have to look out for all Americans, not just Arizonans, but all Americans in this desire of ours to secure our borders and allow legal immigration to help build this country as was the purpose of immigration laws."
On the MSNBC program bearing his name, Schultz took exception to this comment in a fashion destined to leave many readers gasping for air in hysterics (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, in an interview with CNN's Larry King, compared the suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning with witnesses of Nazi atrocities testifying at Nuremberg.
"He essentially followed the Nuremberg principles," Moore claimed, "which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it."
Moore thought that Manning "is exactly who we want in our armed forces," and deserves the Profile in Courage award for helping to make the WikiLeaks public knowledge. "You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do," Moore said in defense of Manning's audacity.
The liberal filmmaker appeared on King's show last Tuesday, and the news hour was re-aired Sunday night. Moore answered questions from King and from viewers themselves on topics ranging from the BP oil spill to the Arizona immigration law to the WikiLeaks scandal.
On the July 30th edition of Bloomberg's "Political Capital," former Time magazine reporter Margaret Carlson made every rationalization for the federal government to continue to not enforce federal immigration law.
First, Carlson spouted off the notion that Americans are only upset with illegal immigration because, "there is an economic downturn and during that period you find somebody to blame, they are blaming immigrants." Carlson seems to disregard history and the fact that former President George W. Bush was faced with this same problem in 2006, before the recession.
Second, Carlson alludes to unsubstantiated statistical evidence citing that, "Crime has dropped," "Illegal immigration has dropped dramatically" and that "Phoenix is one of the four safest cities in America." Several searches of Internet databases showed no reference to a study naming Phoenix as the fourth safest city. However, a 2010 report done by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) concluded that, "Arizona's violent crime rate ranks 13th highest in the U.S. and Phoenix has the second highest kidnapping rate in the world behind Mexico City."
The Lady doth protest Arizona's immigration law - Lady Gaga, that is.
Gaga went political about immigration reform at a sold-out Arizona concert on July 31, telling cheering fans that she found the situation in Arizona "disgusting" and a "state of emergency."
"We have to actively protest," Gaga said. "And the nature of the Monster Ball [concert tour] is to actively protest prejudice and injustice and the bulls*** that is put on our society."
Although Gaga promised to "peaceably protest" immigration in Arizona, she went on to tell fans that she "will yell and I will scream louder," according to the New York Daily News. Gaga told her adoring fans that she staunchly supports immigration because "if it wasn't for all of you immigrants, this country wouldn't have sh**."