On Saturday's CBS Evening News, anchor Jeff Glor reported on an immigration protest in Boston: "...hundreds opposed to Arizona's controversial immigration law protested the presence of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at a meeting there." One protestor held a sign that read: "Jan Brewer is a Bigot." Glor then turned to a report on a similar immigration law proposed in Pennsylvania.
Correspondent Elaine Quijano explained how a CBS News poll showed 52% of Americans support the Arizona's immigration law and that "other states are preparing to follow Arizona's lead": "In Pennsylvania, bipartisan measures to compel construction companies to check worker's status are moving swiftly through the legislature." She then warned: "Republican state representative Daryl Metcalfe wants to go further, introducing a tough measure modeled after Arizona's law." She went on to declare: "Metcalfe's proposal is already facing fierce opposition."
Quijano described one source of that "fierce opposition," the Democratic mayor of Philadelphia: "Michael Nutter says the solution lies with the federal government, not the states." Nutter repeated Obama administration talking points on the issue: "We should not have a patchwork of immigration policies for every state in the United States of America. That's insane." Quijano added: "Nutter believes the law could create problems for law enforcement, making illegal immigrants afraid to report crimes to police."
One reason to hope that the Big 3 networks continue to muddle through their awful evening news ratings and somehow hang around is that there's an alternative out there that would be much worse.
If any of the networks ever considered outsourcing their nightly newscasts to the Associated Press, the likely result could be bad enough to make some long for the (relatively) good old days of Brian, Diane, and Katie.
An object example of the AP's pathetically one-sided, biased and completely not-transparent video reporting came last Tuesday when it covered the Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona's illegal immigration enforcement measure. The 1070 law tells police to verify citizenship status in "contact" situations (e.g., traffic stops and other routine matters) if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that the person or persons involved aren't here legally.
AP's go-to "expert" acts as if it's a given that the United States government has decided that being here illegally ("without documentation") isn't a crime. Seriously. During the 104-second report (first go here, then type "Arizona immigration" in the search bar near the bottom, and select "Fed. Suing to Block Ariz. Immigration Law"), AP reporter Brian Thomas interviewed no one who defended the law's constitutionality.
Preconceived notions are dangerous things in journalism. They cause one to assume facts that aren't in evidence, leading to false or incomplete results.
A classic example has played out in the nearly three months since Arizona passed its "1070 law." Among other things, it mandates that law enforcement officials verify citizenship status in situations involving police contact if they have a reasonable suspicion that someone is not in the country legally.
It seems that virtually everyone covering the story has been assuming that Arizona's law is the first of its kind. Well, maybe as a "law" it is. But in Rhode Island, of all places, Boston Globe reporter Maria Sacchetti finally noticed on July 6 (HT Hot Air) that police have been doing what Arizona will start doing on July 29 since 2008 as a result of a gubernatorial executive order:
R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role In contrast to Mass., they report all who are present illegally
per·ni·cious \pər-'ni-shəs\ adj.: highly injurious or destructive : deadly
Sounds like a pretty harsh word to describe something, right? So whatever the word pernicious is describing must be pretty bad.
But leave it to The New York Times editorial board to throw this lingo around like it's no big deal. In a July 8 over-the-top editorial, the Times ripped the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law over its constitutionality.
"The Obama administration has not always been completely clear about its immigration agenda, but it was forthright Tuesday when it challenged the pernicious Arizona law that allows the police to question the immigration status of people they detain for local violations," the editorial said. "Only the federal government can set or enforce immigration policy, the government said in its lawsuit against the state, and ‘Arizona has crossed this constitutional line.'"
Seriously: is Bill Richardson trying to wreck John McCain?
Ask yourself: what would be the one thing most likely to undermine McCain with Arizona Republican Senate primary voters? Surely it would be the possibility that if re-elected, born-again immigration hawk McCain would revert to the squishiness that led him to partner with Ted Kennedy on a "path to citizenship" for illegals. Yet on this evening's Ed Show, that's exactly what the New Mexico governor—twice—imagined McCain might do.
Schultz set the stage, describing McCain's recent adoption of a hard line on immigration as "the biggest flip-flop of the year."
Then came Richardson, imagining a McCain re-reversal . . .
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."
Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:
Debating the fallout of the Obama administration's attempt to squelch Arizona's popular immigration law before it goes into effect later this month, CNN's Campbell Brown on July 6 challenged a chief advocate of the law with a multi-pronged assault, only to see her attacks thwarted and her "misinformation" corrected.
In a blatant contradiction, Brown dismissed State Senator Russell Pearce's (R-Ariz.) "anecdote" about ranchers who are under siege because of the federal government's failure to secure the porous border, but highlighted anecdotal evidence of opposition to the new law.
"Well, I want to stay away from the anecdotal and stick with the figures as much as we can here," instructed Brown when confronted with evidence of the Obama administration's inability to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
Later in the interview, Brown peddled the minority opinion among law enforcement groups to rebuke Pearce's assertion that courts have upheld the right of states to enforce federal law:
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. ---Thomas Jefferson, The United States Declaration of Independence.
Oops! So what happened to all that discrimination and violation of civil rights that the Arizona immigration law was supposed to cause? Apparently the federal government decided it was so lacking that they didn't include it in their lawsuit against the Arizona law. Jake Tapper of ABC News notes the distinct lack of a discrimination charge in the federal lawsuit:
As widely anticipated, Attorney General Eric Holder today filed a lawsuit against Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer over the state’s immigration law. The suit seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being implemented.
The court filing states that Arizona law is pre-empted by federal law and therefore violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The filing makes no assertion that the law is discriminatory or risks being applied in a discriminatory fashion, as the president and other officials said they feared would be the case. Interestingly, this suit makes no civil rights charges against the Arizona law.
Investigative journalist John Dougherty of Arizona deserves a hand from everyone concerned with liberal media bias, because he has given it up. Dougherty, pictured right in a photo from his website, has, shall we say, crossed the border from being biassed to seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate.
In the late 80's he was involved with uncovering Charles Keating's use of campaign contributions to five senators-including John McCain, whom Dougherty would most likely face in an election-in exchange for putting pressure on banking regulators. He also investigated Governor Fife Symington, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and Sherrif Joe Arpaio.
Whatever else he has done in the past, Dougherty has already succesfully morphed into a politician, writing a blog for the Huffington Post on illegal immigration and its relationship to crime that directly contradicts the conclusions he reached in an article he wrote for the High County News.
Violent protesters set fire to police cars and shattered store-front windows at the Group of 20 economic summit in Toronto this weekend. How did the New York Times, so skittish about the hypothetical threat of non-existent Tea Party violence from the right, react to actual violence committed by political protesters by the left-wing and anarchist groups? With more snort-worthy apologias for left-wing protesters being overwhelmingly "peaceful" in numerical terms
Reporter Randal Archibold made a similar claim in his April 24 story from Phoenix at a protest against Arizona's anti-immigration law, claiming that "hundreds of demonstrators massed, mostly peacefully, at the capitol plaza." Local news in Phoenix reported three people were arrested during the immigration rally, including two seen throwing water bottles at police, and videos showed more lawlessness on display.
The same defensive tone is present in Monday's Business section story from Toronto, with the ludicrous headline "Police in Toronto Criticized for Treatment of Protesters, Many Peaceful," by Ian Austen. Austen's story is illustrated with a photo from the European Pressphoto Agency showing two policemen arresting a woman, but not photos shown elsewhere of burning cars, like the Associated Press photo by Frank Gunn above.
Austen managed to fault the police both for initial passivity and subsequent overreaction:
An escalation of aggressive police tactics toward even apparently peaceful protests at the Group of 20 summit meeting led to calls for a review of security activities.
Liberals may like to boast of fighting the establishment and taking on the status quo, but it's conservative laws that are 30 times more likely to be deemed "controversial" - at least by the mainstream media.
In the past five years, when ABC, CBS, or NBC news reporters claimed a law was "controversial," they were most likely referring to legislation backed by the right.
This analysis looked at 110 news transcripts dating back to 2005 where the term "controversial" fell within three words of the term "law." Of these transcripts, 62 referred to policies that were clearly liberal or conservative. Of the 62 ideologically identifiable "controversial" laws, 60 were conservative and only two were liberal.
Whether it was NBC's "Today" on Jan. 2, 2008, referring to the "controversial new law in Arizona [where] businesses can be shut down if they intentionally hire illegal immigrants," or ABC's "Good Morning America" on Dec. 23, 2005, discussing the "extension of the Patriot Act just days before the controversial law was set to expire," conservative policies seemed to be more hot-button issues for the media than liberal policies.
On Sunday, New York Times reporter Randal Archibold offered up more of his slanted reporting on Arizona's pending new immigration enforcement law, suggesting that supporters of tough immigration enforcement are fostering fear by exaggerating the problem of violent crime on the border with Mexico: "On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas."
But does his evidence stand up? Two conservative writers say no, pointing to FBI statistics that show crime has increased substantially in towns outside major metropolitan areas and rural counties.
When Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, announced that the Obama administration would send as many as 1,200 additional National Guard troops to bolster security at the Mexican border, she held up a photograph of Robert Krentz, a mild-mannered rancher who was shot to death this year on his vast property. The authorities suspected that the culprit was linked to smuggling.
"Robert Krentz really is the face behind the violence at the U.S.-Mexico border," Ms. Giffords said.
It is a connection that those who support stronger enforcement of immigration laws and tighter borders often make: rising crime at the border necessitates tougher enforcement.
But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. While thousands have been killed in Mexico's drug wars, raising anxiety that the violence will spread to the United States, F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.
Where does a 1990s rap star fall on your list of immigration law experts? For the media the answer is: pretty high.
Rapper "Chuck D," whose real name is Charles Ridenhour, has released a new single criticizing Arizona's controversial immigration law, which he says "brings racial profiling to a new low."
In the song, "Tear Down That Wall," Chuck D compares Border Patrol agents to the Gestapo and equates immigration law to "modern day slavery." In a statement explaining the song, he called Gov. Jan Brewer's decision to sign the law "racist, deceitful ... and mean-spirited." He has even said "the governor is a Hitler."
Putting aside his misinterpretation of the law - likely due at least in part to media mischaracterization - one has to wonder what qualified Chuck D as an expert on immigration law enforcement. According to ABC, it's his past "very public feud" with Arizona.
Network anchors can’t resist misconstruing Arizona’s upcoming immigration enforcement law. The latest instances came Friday night when ABC and NBC caught up with news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in Ecuador that the Obama administration will sue to block the law.
Diane Sawyer erroneously described the anti-illegal immigration measure as “Arizona's controversial new anti-immigration law” while Lester Holt, filling in on the NBC Nightly News, characterized the law as “harsh,” relaying:
There's been a stir this week over something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Ecuador earlier this month. She suggested the federal government would sue Arizona over its harsh new immigration law designed to identify and deport people here illegally.
In the middle of a typical Full House rerun on Teen Nick this morning, the network ran a 90-second promo for their website Get Schooled.com promoting Barack Obama, and how students at Kalamazoo Central High School were overjoyed and amazed to meet him. Students hugged and yelled and held their hands out like they'd never touch anything again after meeting Obama. [embedded Vimeo video at right via Get Schooled]
Seniors are being asked to provide their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks could be performed. Such a check is required for anyone who gets within an arm’s length of the president, students were told at their senior breakfast Friday.
Nagourney argued that Arizona's strict new immigration enforcement law has "hijacked this contest" and "stirred worry" that the Republican nominee will be weakened against Democrat and former California Gov. Jerry Brown. (Yes, that Jerry Brown.) He portrayed being on the strong side of a popular issue as a stumbling block for California's G.O.P. gubernatorial candidates:
CNN's Larry King completely left out the major topic of the White House's continuing obfuscation on the Sestak and Romanoff controversies and barely mentioned the economy during his interview of President Obama on Thursday. While King did ask extensively on the Gulf oil leak and touched on the Middle East and immigration, he also tossed softballs on LeBron James and the President singing with Paul McCartney.
The CNN host aired his interview with the chief executive during the first half of the 9 pm Eastern hour. King spent the entire first two segments asking about the oil leak issue. Other than one question, where he asked whether the President had any responsibility for the disaster, the journalist asked softball questions (remember, CNN claimed just under two months ago in April that it was the only "non-partisan" cable network, and how King hounded Carrie Prejean during an interview in November 2009):
NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on WMAL's "Grandy Group" shortly after 8 a.m. this morning.
The Media Research Center President discussed the media's anti-Israel bias flaring up afresh after the Gaza flotilla incident (click image at right for MP3 audio):
FRED GRANDY, host: You follow this more closely than do I. Um, over the last three or four days, has al-Jazeera acquired NBC, CBS, ABC, all the major outlets, because it seems there's such a clear media bias against what Israel did that it's hard for the truth to get out. Who ever thought that Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden would be the two guys speaking truth to power on this?!
BRENT BOZELL: You know, it's very sad but this is a continuation of a narrative we've seen since the late 1980s with the intifadas that Palestine was launching against Israel where Palestine was always the innocent one and Israel was always the aggressor. You've got to put the story into context.
The Los Angeles Times gave free press to artists who are against the Arizona immigration law on June 2. In “Arizona Law Spurs Backlash Among Artists,” author Reed Johnson documented what lefty artists are doing to help overturn the law, without presenting a single quote dissenting from the liberal artists’ positions.
Johnson inaccurately characterized the public as “deeply deeply divided over the Arizona law…” He must not have seen the Pew poll that found 59 percent of Americans approve of the law or the Wall Street Journal and NBC poll that discovered that 64 percent surveyed approve of the law. In an election, either number would constitute a landslide.
One of the most popular stories at Yahoo! News on Monday featured Daisy Cuevas, the Peruvian girl who told Michelle Obama her mother was an illegal immigrant. In a story with no space for border-enforcers, AP reporter Carla Salazar relayed that the girl is famous in Peru, and Peru's president sounds just like Mexico's president in lecturing Arizona:
Daisy, meanwhile, has become a celebrity in Peru. "I'm really proud that a young girl of Peruvian origin is highlighting the enormous problem with Latin American immigration in the United States," President Alan Garcia told reporters last week.
He said it would be scandalous if her parents were deported. "Do you know how much President Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama would stand to lose?" he said. Garcia called the Arizona law a "completely irrational response" to the illegal-immigration question, and said he would express his thoughts on the matter to President Obama during his visit to Washington.
For over a year, America's media have been depicting Tea Partiers as homophobic racists citing inflammatory signs at rally events as evidence.
On Saturday, pro-illegal immigration supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, carried signs quite similar to what our press found repulsive and extreme when present at conservative protests.
Will swastikas and the Arizona governor being referred to as "Adolf Brewer" be equally unacceptable to America's media?
Before you answer, consider the following news segment from NBC12 in Phoenix wherein an anti-SB 1070 protester was interviewed holding a sign emblazoned with swastikas claiming "Republicans Breed Ignorance," and the reporter didn't even bat an eye (video follows with commentary and additional pictures):
Another pro-illegal alien protest and, once again, the networks champion the cause. Four weeks after the broadcast network evening shows trumpeted May Day marches against Arizona’s effort to enforce federal law, another round of marches prompted ABC and NBC on Saturday night to push the left-wing cause.
“Day of outrage, anger on the streets of Phoenix and across this country tonight,” ABC anchor David Muir declared, pleading: “Will an army of protesters be heard?” Reporter Jeremy Hubbard began his story for World News: “In their most massive numbers yet, a deluge of adversaries rally and rail against what could soon be the law of the land in Arizona.”
On NBC, Telemundo’s Janet Rodriguez also presented the subject through the prism of those against the popular law: “Critics say the law unfairly targets Hispanics who make up about a third of the state's population. Recent college grad Martin Moreno worries about racial profiling” while another protester claimed “this law violates our fundamental principles of human dignity,” before Rodriguez featured a woman holding a sign from ANSWER LA, the far-left/communist-affiliated group. Rodriguez, however, described her simply as “from Long Beach.” The woman smeared as “racists” the majority of Americans who support the law.
Catching up on an item from the Thursday, May 20, The View on ABC, comedian George Lopez appeared as a guest and made a few anti-Sarah Palin cracks as he joked with the group about the new immigration law in Arizona, asserting that if Palin were to become President, he and other Latinos would flee the country: "This is the answer to immigration, I'm going to tell you right now. This is how to get every Latino to go back to where they came from: Elect her President in 2012. ... We will leave voluntarily. We'll leave. We'll go voluntarily and take Canadians with us."
He soon joked about Palin fitting the "profile" of a Latina: "Sarah Palin needs to be careful because she fits the profile of a Latina. ... Her and her daughter have a kid the same age. ... She works and her husband don't. ... She talks a lot of smack and he don't say one word. That's very Latino. But he's a stay-at-home dad. Where I come from, if you're a stay-at-home dad, your ass is unemployed."
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared again on last night's "Hannity" for the weekly look at the MSM's liberal pathology in a segment entitled "Media Mash."
The first topic: the liberal media are slowly waking up to the president's incompetent handling of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Mr. Bozell compared that to how it took a mere 72 hours after Katrina's landfall in New Orleans for the media to slam then-President Bush.
The NewsBusters publisher also addressed how Sam Donaldson compared Mexican President Felipe Calderon's scolding Arizonans for their anti-illegal immigration law to how President George H.W. Bush rebuked the Communist Chinese after the Tiananman Square Massacre.
For the full segment, click the play button on the embed above at right.
Despite the latest NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll showing 61 percent of Americans support Arizona’s new immigration law, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on May 26 failed to interview a single supporter for MSNBC’s special, “A Nation Divided.” She did, however, manage to scrounge up plenty of vocal opponents, including two high-profile Democrats who believe the law is unconstitutional.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed that the legislation Arizona Governor Janet Brewer (R) signed into law in April divides the country along racial lines and think the federal government should pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“But the fact of the matter is this is a divisive measure, it’s unconstitutional,” insisted Villaraigosa, who supports the Los Angeles City Council’s decision to boycott Arizona. “It violates the rights of people in Arizona and it’s the wrong way to go.”
Instead of asking Richardson and Villaraigosa to explain how the new law is unconstitutional and divisive, Mitchell fired off bursts of piercing, penetrating questions, such as:
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, FNC host O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters item which highlighted ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts defending Mexican President Felipe Calderon using his speech in Congress as a forum to criticize Arizona’s effort to enforce laws against illegal immigration. In their defense of Calderon on Sunday's This Week show's Roundtable segment, the the two ABC News veterans brought up past American Presidents criticizing communist dictators in China and the Soviet Union.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Reality Check" from the Monday, May 24, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
MSNBC’s May 26 special on immigration reform, “A Nation Divided,” was replete with unbalanced interviews with liberal activists and one-sided segments featuring only liberal positions on the controversial issue.
MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer pitched softballs to Democrats Michael Nowakowski, vice mayor of Phoenix, and Raul Castro, former Arizona governor, without brining on guests to counter their liberal perspectives.
“The other thing that this really does is it puts businesses in the enforcement business, and responsible for making sure that their employees are here legally,” Brewer told Nowakowski. “The consequences for which could mean business owners lose their livelihoods.”
In the same interview, Brewer set up Nowakowski to bemoan the supposedly high cost of enforcing Arizona’s new immigration law, which empowers state authorities to inquire into a person’s legal status if there is reasonable suspicion that a person is in the country illegally.
NBC's Natalie Morales, on Wednesday's Today show, introduced Telemundo's Maria Celeste Arraras to tell the story of a South Florida family that has been separated by immigration laws in a segment that painted plight of the illegal immigrant in the most sympathetic tones. The tale of a Colombian mother deported back to her home country because she overstayed her visa, was part of, as Morales put it: "an NBC wide look at A Nation Divided." Arraras interviewed the children of Claudia Ramirez who were, as the story seemed to intimate, forced to fend for themselves in the U.S. after, as her daughter Kathy described, two "big guys with I.C.E. jackets" took their mom away.
Arraras mainly focused on the perspective of the family as she interviewed Claudia, her three children and an immigration lawyer, and only allowed one dissenting voice, a former INS agent who pointed out if "we find all these exceptions for people to be able to stay here, even though they violated the law, why should anybody ever go through the legal system?" Arraras, herself, did point out to the daughter "Some people may say, 'Well, this is a very sad case but too bad, your mother should not have come here in the first place.' What, what would you say to that?" To which Kathy guilt-tripped Today viewers by responding: "Have a heart." [audio available here]
The following is a transcript of the full story as it was aired on the May 26 Today show:
Durring a protest against the Arizona immigration law and for open borders, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis was arrested. Apparently she believes in purposely breaking the law in order to advocate for those that purposely break U.S. immigration laws.
CNN did its part to perpetuate the liberal talking point about Arizona's supposedly racist campaign against illegal immigrants by airing a report three times on Monday that spun the state's standards for English teachers as an "accent ban" or "crackdown." Anchor Kyra Phillips even opined that it was "just wrong to judge a teacher by his or her accent as to judge on their hair or skin color."
The network's American Morning program first aired correspondent Thelma Gutierrez's report 27 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour. Three minutes earlier, anchor John Roberts previewed the upcoming segment by noting that "some schools in Arizona [are] cracking down on English teachers who have accents." Roberts then introduced Gutierrez's report, stating that "state education officials want immigrant teachers with heavy accents removed from classes for students who are still learning English. They say they're simply following federal guidelines that were set up by the Bush administration back in 2002. But critics are calling it an ethnic witch hunt."
The "guidelines...set up by the Bush administration" line by Roberts was actually a reference to the No Child Left Behind law which passed with bipartisan support in Congress in 2001, and signed into law by then-President Bush in January 2002. Gutierrez mentioned this during her report as she introduced the Arizona state education official defending his state's guidelines: "State School Superintendent Tom Horne says, as part of No Child Left Behind, he's been monitoring ELL teachers for bad grammar and mispronounced words for the past eight years." But instead of mentioning this detail, the CNN anchor labeled it as being from the Bush administration.