Less than two days before Arizona's immigration enforcement law is scheduled to go into effect, ABC delivered another installment in the national media's efforts to discredit it and paint the law as doing more harm than good as anchor Diane Sawyer warned that “undocumented immigrants – many working in this country for decades – are fleeing the state, or hiding in fear.” [Audio available here]
With the on-screen heading “PREPARING FOR WORST” over video of an abandoned house, reporter Bill Weir intoned: “There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight. More vacant apartments, more empty shops, more kids disappearing from school.”
Weir explained that “Latino activists are urging their community to check their taillights, not travel in big groups and even remove the Catholic rosary beads from their rear view mirrors” while “law student Daniel Rodriguez, undocumented since his mother brought him at age six, tells me of all the parents giving power of attorney to neighbors in case they're deported without their American-born children.”
ABC's "World News" on Sunday caught up to CBS and NBC in fretting about the potential problems caused by illegal immigrants who may be leaving Arizona before the state's new law takes effect on Thursday. Correspondent Barbara Pinto devoted her entire piece to lamenting the possible damage to small businesses whose customers are presumably now leaving the state, but offered less than a sentence to the idea that illegal immigrants are already an expensive burden on state social services.
"The loud and bitter battle over Arizona's immigration law has reached fever-pitch," claimed Pinto. "But Rosario Peralta worries about the quiet exodus – immigrant families already leaving the state in droves. In the past few months, she's seen business and customers at her family grocery store disappear."
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
“Fear Factor,” Diane Sawyer teased at the top of Thursday's World News in picking up a cause-celebre of the left, demanding: “Who leaked a list of people labeled illegal immigrants, naming children and pregnant women? Are these vigilantes at work?” She soon intoned that “an investigation is under way into what's being called 'The List' – thirteen hundred names leaked in an apparent campaign of intimidation.”
Reporter David Wright relayed how “we called at least fifty people on the list. Most of them declined to be interviewed,” but “one woman,” an apparent serial offender, “told us she's pregnant with her second child. She's scared she'll be deported and separated from her two-year old, a U.S. citizen.” He proceeded to another supposed victim: “Alma is on the list, and afraid.”
Wright reported “one common denominator -- they all sought help from Utah's Department of Workforce Services,” meaning they are illegals who sought pay-outs to which they are not entitled . “Plenty of Utah residents feel it's high time authorities cracked down,” Wright acknowledged, but after a soundbite from an outraged leftist advocate the ABC correspondent ran stock footage of a man with a gun as he ominously concluded:
The fear in Utah: the vigilantes may take action themselves, just as they did by circulating the list in the first place.
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:
The MSNBC bloviator melded immigration reform, the military industrial complex, and congressional gridlock into a scatter-brained diatribe at the top of his eponymous program on Thursday.
In the wake of President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform earlier in the day, Ratigan railed against "Arizona's latest anti-immigration law" and praised Obama for "doing a good job, and a better job than almost any politician I've seen in a long time, in drawing our nation's attention to the major broken systems in this country."
The former CNBC anchor who fancies himself a financial guru also babbled about a "War on Drugs that feeds money into the military complex but does nothing to defeat drug use or, for that matter, protect the border."
Then, interviewing Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Ratigan excoriated a Senate full of "weasels" that perpetuates an "utterly frozen process that allows the special interests to destroy our country and freeze our government."
Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, invited on AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to comment on Barack Obama's immigration policy speech, but the segment ended in typical fashion as the two blamed the Republicans for thwarting true reforms with Matthews accusing them of playing the race card as he boiled down their efforts as merely "pandering to angry white people." Matthews also went on to say the GOP was "locking themselves in" to alienating the Latin-American voter as he asked Trumka: "How can the Republican Party kiss them off?" For his part the AFL-CIO president claimed the GOP was also on a mission to turn off the unemployed and senior citizens as he charged: "They're blowing the elderly off."
The following exchange was aired on the July 1 edition of Hardball:
When it comes to Barack Obama, MSNBC is the network of thrills and chills . . .
Chris Matthews famously felt a thrill going up his leg listening to an Obama speech. Now, MSNBC anchor Alex Witt has been similarly moved by Obamian oratory, declaring this morning "I got a few chills" listening to PBO's "very powerful" speech on immigration.
Witt described her sensations to MSNBC DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker.
The "struggle" illegal immigrants face as they seek the same benefits and services afforded to U.S. citizens is the same that faced civil right activists in the middle of the 20th century, according to the Associated Press.
"Students fighting laws that target illegal immigrants are taking a page from the civil rights era," reporter Rusell Contreras wrote, "adopting tactics and gathering praise and momentum from the demonstrators who marched in the streets and sat at segregated lunch counters as they sought to turn the public tide against racial segregation."
Contreras cited several illegal immigrant activists comparing themselves to protestors of the civil rights era. He compared the fact that undocumented students "don't qualify for federal financial aid and can't get in-state tuition rates in some places" to the segregation of black and Mexican-American students in the 1950s.
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.
Mexican drug cartels have been a problem along the border for a long time. However, in Nogales, Arizona, the cartels have taken things one step further by threatening to shoot police officers with snipers from across the border.
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.
The special election in Fremont on Monday was the latest proposal in a series of immigration regulations taken up by communities around the country. About 57 percent of voters supported the measure, which is expected to be challenged in court.
Supporters say the measure is needed to make up for what they see as lax federal law enforcement. Opponents fear it could fuel discrimination.
According to local paper the Fremont Tribune, turnout was high:
In a commercial, President Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis tells illegal immigrants that she will help them get paid a "fair" wage. Solis insisted that it doesn't matter if a worker is documented or undocumented they still deserve to be paid "fairly".
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.
Eeek! I said the forbidden term. For the past few years the "preferable" but less accurate term to describe that group has been "illegal immigrants." Even that modified term has been too harsh for many advocates of amnesty who prefer the completely inaccurate term, "undocumented workers." However, in order to cynically sell the public on amnesty, the Democrats are willing to temporarily swallow their pride and use "illegal immigrants" according to a Politico article written by Carrie Budoff Brown who reveals a lot more cynicism on the part of the Democrats than she probably intended:
Long pilloried for being soft on illegal immigration, top Democratic officials have concluded there’s only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill:
Talk more like Republicans.
They’re seizing on the work of top Democratic Party operatives who, after a legislative defeat in 2007, launched a multiyear polling project to craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue.
The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.
In an article published yesterday afternoon, CNBC news associate Joseph Pisani took note of something the rest of the media mostly hasn't, or at least hasn't highlighted: the terrible job market for teenagers. The headline and text indicate that this is the worst such market in 41 years. That's true, based on the stat Pisani presented. But barring a near miracle in the next three months, in terms of the stat that matters most, the unemployment rate, it's the worst ever.
Give the CNBC reporter props for doing something almost no other journalist has done, which is to use the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) employment numbers as his factual source. As I have discussed several times, including here, the reported NSA numbers represent the government's best estimate of what really happened in a given month, while the seasonally adjusted (SA) numbers published (and appropriately labeled) by the government and reported (but usually not labeled) by the press represent the result after smoothing out seasonal fluctuations.
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.
The Associated Press's Karl Ritter clearly doesn't recognize how close to parody his report ("Rightist group jolts Sweden's tolerant self-image") on the mini-rise of the right-leaning Sweden Democrats Party is (I'll use "SD" as an abbreviation in this post).
Ritter is not afraid to label the SD, but won't label others. He begins by telling us that the SD is "far-right" because it is "preaching sharp cuts in immigration and calling Islam the greatest threat to Swedish society" -- conveniently, I believe, omitting the term "radical" in describing Islam. Other parties, of course, are "mainstream."
The AP reporter describes Sweden as having "a self-image of being more tolerant."
Self-image notwithstanding, a reader who gets as far as the nineteenth paragraph of Ritter's report learns that "tolerance" is a decidedly one-way street (bolds are mine):
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.