On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.
Robert Gibbs on Friday appeared on all three network morning shows, as well as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, but only FNC quizzed the White House press secretary about whether the White House would try and force immigration reform without Congress.
Co-host Steve Doocy challenged, "There are some memos circulating...up on Capitol Hill, and probably at the White House as well, about how the administration is exploring the way to get around Congress by using discretionary authority to allow people who are in the country illegally to stay in the country."
When Gibbs dodged the question, Doocy pressed the subject: "Robert, if you haven't seen the memo, do you know whether or nor there is that talk? To use discretionary authority on the part of the administration to get around Congress to allow people who are in the country now illegally to stay?" All of the other cable and network morning shows ignored the topic.
“Anger in the streets and we’re there for the protests,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer teased in making reaction from a few opposed to Arizona’s immigration enforcement efforts her top story on Thursday night. She led: “Emboldened by a judge's rebuke of that law yesterday, hundreds of opponents of the crackdown took to the streets today. But the state's unyielding Governor stood by the law.” ABC’s Barbara Pinto touted over video which included a protester waving a Che Guevara flag:
Demonstrations started at dawn – hundreds of protesters, dozens of arrests, tempers flaring. Tensions are running high here outside this jail, where protesters have gathered and it's turned into a standoff with sheriff's deputies who are trying to push their way out of the building. Demonstrations were loud, disruptive, but mostly peaceful.
After a clip of a woman complaining “Joe Arpaio has picked the easy targets, the day laborers. Let's go after the real criminals and stop wasting our money,” Pinto fretted: “This afternoon, Sheriff Arpaio launched one of his controversial crime raids, targeting illegal immigrants.” She concluded with a warning: “Tonight's rally intended to send a clear signal to lawmakers and to Governor Brewer from those who think even a partial law is too much.”
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris played hardball with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the SB1070 anti-illegal immigration law in the state, while not asking one tough question with his other guest, pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia. Surprisingly, Harris did finally explicitly identify the pro-open borders organization that Garcia leads [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor brought on Pearce and Garcia to discuss a federal district justice's Wednesday injunction against key provisions in the Arizona law. He identified the state senator as the "lawmaker who co-sponsored the immigration bill," and his other guest's role as "co-chair of the Tucson-based Coalition for Human Rights." This contrasts with their earlier joint appearance with Harris on July 7, where the anchor merely identified Garcia as the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona." He still neglected to mention this organization's pro-illegal immigration stance (not to leave out their website, which features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico).
Good Morning America's Bill Weir on Thursday touted a court ruling that removed key portions of Arizona's immigration law. He announced the judge's decision as one spanning "from rage to relief." He derided the possible implementation of the legislation as "the day when reasonable suspicion would take on a whole new meaning."
Weir, who will soon take over as the new co-host of Nightline, chided Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. He asserted that she "seems ready to take an appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Goading President Obama and Congress all the while."
The ABC journalist's example of Brewer's goading? This comment: "They need to step up, the feds do, and do the job that they have the responsibility to do."
It's been more than three months since Governor Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) signed SB-1070 into law, but Larry King continues to misrepresent both the spirit and letter of the popular anti-illegal immigration measure. On his eponymous program yesterday, the CNN host asked a guest if the law codifies racial profiling and empowers police officers to arbitrarily question and detain those suspected of being in the country illegally.
"One of the things in this law that's puzzling that [Judge Susan Bolton] pointed out is – and a police officer was on a recent show discussing it – you can just stop a person on the street and just question who they are based on the way they look or their appearance?" asked King, directing his question at Jim Gilchrist, founder of Minuteman Project, a conservative group that supports the Arizona law.
Gilchrist attempted to correct King's faulty assumptions about the law, but the CNN veteran was recalcitrant: "So why were so many cops upset with this, saying it would put them in a difficult position?"
In nine short paragraphs, Los Angeles Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi offered readers a slanted look at how "Immigration demonstrations kick[ed] off in Arizona" yesterday, when the state's new anti-illegal immigration law went into effect [except for the portions ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge].
Reporting from Phoenix, Riccardi jumped straight away into loaded language (emphasis mine):
Opponents of Arizona's hard-line stance on illegal immigration launched a small religious procession from the state Capitol before dawn Thursday, the first of a series of demonstrations for the day the nation's strictest immigration law was due to take effect.
So who organized the religious procession? Is it purely a protest by otherwise apolitical religious folks, or were secular political interest groups involved? Riccardi didn't elaborate.
On Thursday's Early Show, correspondent John Blackstone reported on a federal judge blocking several provisions in Arizona's new immigration law: "The judge's ruling seemed to answer the prayers of many in Arizona's immigrant communities." Footage of two women crying and praying at a protest against the law followed his declaration.
Blackstone began his report by noting that protestors "are already beginning to gather for more protests today against Arizona's new law. They know that even with the court ruling yesterday...there will be an appeal, that their battle is not over." During the segment, the headline on screen read: "Border Battle; Judge Blocks Part of Controversial Immigration Law."
Continuing to highlight opposition to the law, Blackstone focused one woman: "Waitress Yessica Perez is a U.S. citizen, but she feared the law would make her a target for police." He then inaccurately claimed that the law "would have required police to check the immigration status of virtually anyone they suspected of being here illegally." Blackstone never explained that police could only question someone's status after stopping them for a legal violation. Meanwhile, a clip was played of Perez fretting: "I heard of people that they didn't want to go out, just grocery shopping. They were worried they were going to be pulled over just because – because of this law."
In the past couple of weeks, comedian George Lopez has made two noteworthy jokes during the monologue of his Lopez Tonight show on TBS with the premise that conservatives are racist. On Wednesday’s show, as he brought up President Obama’s interview recorded earlier in the day on ABC’s The View, Lopez took a swipe at right-leaning co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck as he cracked that she had "instinctively grabbed her purse and hit the imaginary door locks on her couch" when she saw Obama coming.
And on the Monday, July 12, show, Lopez portrayed the people of Arizona as racist for supporting the state’s new immigration law, as he suggested that Arizona would welcome Mel Gibson-style racism. Lopez: "Let’s see. He don’t like people of color, he don’t like Mexicans, he don’t like minorities, where can he go? Orale, Arizona!"
After acting out Gibson’s part by declaring, "I hate blacks, I don’t like Mexicans," Lopez then pretended to be an Arizona resident welcoming Gibson into the state: "Right this way."
Chris Matthews on Wednesday said a federal judge's ruling that struck down much of Arizona's new immigration law would be a killer politically for the Democrats in November and a huge windfall for the Right.
This surprisingly occurred in the same "Hardball" program that Matthews claimed deporting illegal immigrants would be the equivalent of the American government orchestrating a pogrom.
For whatever reason, in his final "Let Me Finish" segment, the perilously liberal host was seeing this judge's decision as being very bad for the Party he loves and shamelessly shills for on a daily basis under the guise of "journalist" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“In a matter of minutes, relief replaced dread, hope replaced fear,” ABC's Barbara Pinto trumpeted in framing a Wednesday night look, at reaction to a federal judge's ruling barring implementation of key provisions of Arizona's immigration enforcement laws, around those pleased by it.
NBC's Lee Cowan relayed how the ruling “certainly came as welcome news” for illegals, “but while some were relieved, others fear the crackdown may come anyway.” An unidentified woman despaired: “I'm worried for my family. I'm worried for my friends. I worry for my people.” Cowan then warned of danger posed by the majority: “And there are those who worry about a backlash from those angry the court undid what the people of Arizona largely approved.”
On ABC, a grocer exclaimed “it's a happy emotion” and “there's a hope,” before Pinto explained: “Rosario Peralta, who is here legally, watched customers at her family's grocery store disappear, frightened families moving out of state. This afternoon, some of them came back.”
Pinto moved on to “undocumented immigrant” Erika Andiola who “crossed the border with her mom, sister and brothers illegally when she was 11 years old, running from domestic abuse.” Andiola celebrated: “Yesterday, I went to bed really depressed, but, this morning, like everything just came back. Like, the hope, the faith, knowing that all these prayers are really, you know, working.”
Pogrom: etymology--Yiddish, from Russian, literally, devastation. "An organized massacre of helpless people; specifically, such a massacre of Jews." -- Merriam-Webster
Chris Matthews has pulled off the rare unassisted triple-play of inanity. On this evening's Hardball, he:
argued that enforcing the Arizona immigration law would put police officers in danger because illegals caught in a stop would be under tremendous "moral pressure" to use violence to escape;
repeatedly abused a Republican guest. For the sin of disagreeing with him on immigration law, Matthews variously slimed Arizona state Sen. Rick Murphy as a "B.S. artist," a "hopeless right-winger," and "not serious;" and
most egregiously, claimed that deporting illegal immigrants from the US would constitute a "pogrom."
The TV networks have aggressively demonstrated their dislike of Arizona’s state law “cracking down on illegal immigrants,” a law that “pits neighbor against neighbor.” An MRC review of morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC from April 23 to July 25 found the networks have aired 120 stories with an almost ten-to-one tilt against the Arizona law (77 negative, 35 neutral, 8 positive).
The soundbite count was also tilted over the last three months -- 216 to 107, or an almost exact two-to-one disparity. Network anchors and reporters sided against defenders of border control and championed sympathetic illegal aliens and their (usually American-born) children. In 120 stories, they never described “immigrants rights activists” as liberals or on the left.
Between them, the three networks described the Arizona law as “controversial” on 27 occasions, despite its popularity in opinion polls. The Obama administration’s decision to sue file a lawsuit against Arizona to crush the law was never described as “controversial.”
ABC on Wednesday continued to attack Arizona's tough new immigration law. Good Morning America devoted three segments to the subject, even misstating what the legislation does.
News anchor Juju Chang incorrectly asserted, "The law would allow police to question anyone suspected of being in the country illegally."
In fact, the law would allow police to check immigration status only if an individual has already been stopped for a legitimate police reason. An onscreen graphic derided, "Target: Immigrants: Arizona Law Set to Take Effect." Notice that, according to ABC, Arizona is simply focusing on immigrants, not illegal immigrants.
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.