USA Today's Emily Bazar wrote a long article Wednesday ("Strict immigration law rattles Okla. businesses") on the early impact of Oklahoma's recently-passed immigration reform legislation, apparently now well-known as "1804," or "House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, arguably the nation's toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants," which became effective November 1.
Bazar's report is dominated by plenty of downbeat anecdotes and dire warnings to relay to her readers from employers and others. Here are a few:
..... workers at the sprawling Greenleaf Nursery were prepping for deadly frosts. They needed to ship plants, erect greenhouses and bunch trees together to protect them against the cold.
But in late October, about 40 employees disappeared from the 600-acre nursery about an hour's drive from Tulsa. "Some went to Texas, some went to Arkansas," nursery President Randy Davis says. "They just left."
Why did the workers, all immigrants, flee? "Those states don't have 1804," Davis says.
On December 30, NewsBusters voiced its displeasure with the Dallas Morning News naming the illegal immigrant as its 2007 Texan of the Year.
As it turns out, Morning News readers were just as offended.
In fact, according to Saturday's "Ask the Editor" piece on the subject, 95 percent of readers that sent in letters or e-mail messages were highly negative about the paper's choice (emphasis added throughout, h/t Tim Graham):
In her Sunday column, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell addressed how the Post reporters and editors respond to complaints about their work on the website and in E-mail. Most Posties she talked to tried to sound receptive to public criticism. But not Darryl Fears, who wants "intolerant" and "ignorant" comments scrubbed off the website:
Web site comments can be more than ugly and are often aimed at private citizens quoted in stories. National reporter Darryl Fears would stop them. "Comments attached to stories about race, ethnicity and related issues such as immigration often reek of racism, intolerance and ignorance. To ignore them, in my opinion, is to endorse them."
Neither Fears nor Howell provide actual examples of what an "ignorant" comment is. The article also leaves the reader confused as to whether Fears the Censor would scrub comments about private citizens, or prevent all comments on stories about race and ethnicity.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The press corps, for the most part, there are exceptions, loathe Mitt Romney. And the press corps loved to see all of the Republicans [at the ABC debate this past Saturday night] kicking the tar out of him, and they were all sitting there smirking. But I thought it was too much. I think if you're sitting at home in New Hampshire, you sit back after a while and you say, first of all, why does John McCain hate personally so much. But secondly, why are they all attacking Mitt Romney? He must be the guy with the ball; he must be the guy who's ahead.
Here's a story from the Miami Herald that's worth keeping track of for coverage in the larger mainstream media, particularly the networks. I highly doubt this story will be a priority for the MSM, although I'm sure conservative bloggers and perhaps immigration reform activists will make sure the American people become aware of it:
Hundreds of wannabe truckers took a detour on the way to the DMV and got bogus commercial driver's licenses, thanks to an Army National Guard sergeant.
Friday morning, authorities threw up the stop sign.
In a series of early morning raids throughout Miami-Dade County Friday, authorities from federal, state and local agencies arrested five people they say obtained licenses fraudulently. Two others were taken into custody later.
Despite recent campaign flubs that have significantly challenged the inevitability of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) winning the Democrat nomination for president, the supposedly smartest woman in the world continues to go after prominent media members.
After highly-publicized attacks on NBC's Tim Russert and David Gregory last year, Hillary has now set her sights on CNN's Lou Dobbs, referring to "commentators who are doing well for themselves by making [immigration] a hot issue," while asking "does all that hot air solve anything?"
On Wednesday's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," the host marvelously struck back by stating that "candidates that pander to both extremes, are, as far as I am concerned, abject fools" who "will pay a price for it in the general election when they have to answer to the great center of the country":
Here's a guy that really misses the point of a debate. In New Jersey's Home News Tribune, columnist Roger Hernandez is asking why everyone is so hot and bothered about English Only legislation and claims that Spanish being spoken... well, everywhere... should be no problem for anyone. In fact, he claims that it isn't really happening that much, anyway, so fear about it is unfounded. But, his view on the matter misses the point that it is government forcing the Spanish language via lawsuits and government intervention on the nation that English Only supporters are trying to oppose, not just the evolutions of society itself.
Writing about Lamar Alexander's proposed legislation, the Protecting English in the Workplace Act of 2007, and using that as his springboard to lambast the English Only trend, Hernandez scoffs at anyone interested in protecting our national character via protecting English.
A subscription-only editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Monday propagated a carefully-worded whopper, but at least made a small change to the paper's insufferable 23-year "There Shall Be Open Borders" mantra (bolds are mine):
A recent paper by the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group, notes that "Numerous studies by independent researchers and government commissions over the past 100 years repeatedly and consistently have found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native born." Today, immigrants on balance are five times less likely to be in prison than someone born here.
None of this is to argue that illegal immigration doesn't have costs, especially in border communities and states with large public benefits. In the post-9/11 environment, knowing who's in the country is more important than ever. That's an argument for better regulating cross-border labor flows, not ending them.
The Immigration Policy Center's use of 100 years averages things out quite a bit, doesn't it?
Could it have been just a couple days ago that Chris Matthews claimed that the media had made a "mascot" out of Mike Huckabee? You wouldn't know it from this morning's Today show.
Weekend host Lester Holt kicked off the show's political segment by implying that among presidential candidates, Huckabee was the big loser in his handling of the Pakistani situation.
LESTER HOLT: The murder of Benazir Bhutto is having a big impact on the presidential race here in this country, where we now stand just five days from the first contest, in Iowa, and it's forcing Republican Mike Huckabee to do a bit of backtracking.
The wire service began by deliberately mischaracterizing the Cubans as “migrants” instead of calling them “refugees” or even “passengers.” Labeling them “migrants” ignores Cuba's political and economic straitjacket, and more importantly links Cuban refugees to the issue of illegal immigration.
The media are beginning to call everyone who comes to America with the intent to stay, “migrants,” whether here legally or not, which erases any distinctions. People who are anti-illegal immigration often support Cuban refugees remaining in the US, and linking the two issues can reduce opposition to illegal immigration.
While explaining why the Cubans risked their lives coming to the US, Reuters ignored Castro's totalitarian regime (bold mine throughout):
The Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, issued a press release announcing that their cost study on immigration will be released tomorrow during a news conference at Iowa's 2007 Talk Radio Row.
FAIR's press release states that “previous state and private studies over-estimated tax receipts and under-estimated costs.”
The details of this study are sure to be controversial, and the Des Moines Register reported last week that “immigrant-rights groups” are already critical and calling for the upcoming radio event to be scuttled.
Here is part of FAIR's press release promoting the event (bold mine throughout):
It's a Christmas tradition: Times Watch has selected its worst Quotes of the Year from The New York Times for 2007. Here's a sampling of the categories and some of the most bizarre examples of liberal bias. For all the quotes, plus the picks of our Times-dissecting judges for their "favorite" quote of the year, visit Times Watch.
Oh, Those Awful Conservatives
"Could adversity temper a jurisprudence that critics of the chief justice have discerned as bloodless and unduly distant from the messy reality of the lives of ordinary people who fail to file their appeals on time?" -- Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse's August 1 "Supreme Court Memo," the day after Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his house.
Barely four years after California's historic recall of sitting Governor Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger's landslide election to replace him, the Golden State is, again, in a budget crunch of its own making.
The state's Old Media, as would be expected, is moaning about cuts that might have to be made, obsessing over the possibility that "universal health care" might be derailed, and of course giving visibility to anyone and everyone who thinks even more taxes will solve the problem.
As has been the case for well over a decade, nobody that I know of in California's Old Media is considering the idea that the state is paying the price for failing to sufficiently go along with the rest of the country in aggressively reducing welfare rolls. But the numbers support the idea that if the state had done what the rest of the country has "somehow" done without visible suffering, it would be in a much better situation.
(A table and graphs illustrating the situation are after the jump.)
US border agents have been increasingly suffering physical attacks at the hands of drug traffickers and illegal entrants across the southern border, "nearly 1,000 times during a one-year period," AP reports. Naturally, this has caused the US border patrol to step up their replies and the levels of force they use to subdue these attacks -- after all, should our agents just take being attacked by flying rocks and bullets without reply? But, what does the AP report in theirs titled, "Border Patrol’s counteroffensive riles Mexico"? They report that the Mexicans are mad at us. AP makes it appear as if we are at fault because they are increasing in their level of violence to which we are forced to reply.
Check out the sympathy that the AP offers Mexicans living near the border...
As far as Geraldo Rivera is concerned the GOP presidential candidates are guilty until proven innocent on whether or not they "hate" Hispanics. On Sunday's "Geraldo At Large," the Fox News host teased a segment on the GOP Univision debate this way:
GERALDO RIVERA: In the current anti-immigration climate did these Republican debates convince Hispanics that they don't hate them?
Later, on the December 9 show, Rivera continued the slurs against the GOP candidates when he introduced the Carl Cameron report on the debate:
Apparently, the Philly Inquirer wants us to know that the GOP candidates for president are drooling, half sentient, Bible thumping, gun toting, racists. Oh, and Fred Thompson is stupid and lazy. Just as apparently, the Philadelphia Inquirer is having trouble finding writers for their rag. I mean, what else could explain their giving a teenager a shot at filling space in the Sunday issue? Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that Dick Polman only writes like a 15-year-old. Worse, Polman seems to have sold himself to the Inquirer as some sort of comedian with "The American Debate, For the love of guns, God and Reagan," too. But, if he IS an adult and really does think his Sunday piece is funny, well, there's no accounting for taste -- or sense -- on the far left, I suppose. I guess the joke is on the readers of the Inquirer.
The Christmas season is upon us, which means it’s that special time of year for the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State to make sure no wayward city council will allow a whiff of frankincense on government property. They must send out direct-mail fundraising letters asking "Help Us Crush a Creche at Christmas!"
The Christmas season is also that time of year when the business world implores us to consider the material as more important than the spiritual, all in the spirit of “the holidays.” So we celebrate instead the arrival, on Christmas Day, of iPods and DVDs.
This year there’s a new twist. The Nativity scene has become commercialized – but in a way you would never imagine.
Baltimore Sun reporter Arin Gencer gave readers of the December 5 paper a slanted treatment of a move by a Taneytown, Md., city councilman who wants to clarify that his city is not a so-called "sanctuary city" where illegal immigrants can count on local officials actively failing to report immigration violations to the proper federal authorities.
Gencer pitted resolution proponent Paul Chamberlain Jr. against Taneytown's Mayor Jim McCarron, who dismissed the resolution as "mean-spirited" and "a slap in the face to anybody that has ancestors who were immigrants, or is currently an immigrant."
The Sun reporter failed to allow Chamberlain to rebut that allegation, although he quickly moved on to a pundit who dismissed resolutions like Chamberlain's as political posturing, and later to an official from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which Gencer simply tagged a "Latino civil rights and advocacy organization."
Perhaps seeking to paint a sympathetic portrait of a woman charged with illegally voting in a federal election before naturalizing as a U.S. citizen, the Chicago Tribune's Antonio Olivo buried the lede in his story, "Citizenship in sight, but then she voted."
In the midst of lamenting the plight of one Beth Keathley, Olivo uncovered concerns about so-called motor-voter registration and how it can lead to non-citizens successfully registering to vote, although doing so is against the law. Of course, this information didn't start to come to light until the 10th paragraph in Olivo's story, well after he mentioned how a deportation could tear Keathley from her 9-month-old daughter (emphasis mine):
Demonstrating how out of touch he is with conservatives in the Republican base, on Sunday's Face the Nation Bob Schieffer, who conceded the “surge” has “frankly” made “more of a difference than I would have thought,” expressed his frustration with the focus on immigration over Iraq in the Republican campaign. He fretted to guest John McCain: “Why immigration? I mean, we've got a war going on in Iraq, Americans are dying there, it costs what, about $10 billion a month....An enormous amount of money. And yet, every Republican debate it seems to come down to a shouting match over immigration. We saw this last one with Romney and Giuliani going at it hammer and tong. Why immigration?” Of course, the candidates were only responding to the YouTube questions selected by CNN, so Schieffer's beef with the lack of focus on Iraq would better be directed at CNN.
In his closing commentary, CBS's chief Washington correspondent acknowledged how “the additional troops the administration put into Iraq this year have made a difference -- frankly more of a difference than I would have thought,” but “the whole idea of sending those troops in was to quiet things down so the factions within the Iraqi government could work out ways to share power” yet “they haven't moved an inch.” Schieffer concluded with an admonition: “Immigration has dominated the recent presidential debates, and it is important to be sure, but Iraq is still the place where Americans are dying. We need to be hearing more about that.”
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the December 3 "America's Newsroom" program about a reality dating show in the works in which the contestants are immigrants (some potentially in the U.S. illegally) seeking to gain permanent resident status by marrying a U.S. citizen.
Update 12-03 | 1:55 PM: Barack fires back; claims Hillary becoming "more desperate and negative by the day." See complete update at foot.
Are Hillary's internal polling numbers telling her staffers that she's in big trouble? That's the provocative theory that Chris Matthews floated on today's Morning Joe.
Host Joe Scarborough asked what could have caused Hillary and her senior aide Howard Wolfson to go on the attack against Barack Obama this weekend, respectively questioning his character and accusing him of maintaining an improper political "slush fund." In response, Matthews conjectured that Hillary's helpers have looked at the polling data . . . and seen her support "crashing."
View video here [with apologies for mediocre video quality.]
"A camel is a horse designed by committee." -- ascribed to Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis.
Perhaps the only thing more likely to yield ungainly results than a committee designing a horse is a Democrat designing a Republican presidential ticket. David Broder tries his hand at it in his WaPo column today, "Principles Amid the GOP Pack. The result is a double-humped dromedary known as McCain-Huckabee.
According to the Associated Press, folks who are "foreign-born" are "newcomers" who "feel anything but welcome" in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, Illinois. The AP piece leads the reader to imagine that several of the town's laws have been specifically written to chase out Mexicans and that the immigrant community (legal or otherwise) in Waukegan is feeling pressure to get out. Yet, upon close examination of this AP piece, one cannot help but realize that the AP does not offer any statistics to prove that Mexican residents are leaving in any numbers, they don't cite any rise in arrests of Spanish speakers there to indicate possible harassment, nor do they even quote anyone to "prove" their contention but one Yolanda Torrez, a lawyer who specializes in criminal, DUI traffic violations, Social Security and DWL traffic violations cases for Spanish-speaking clients. In the final analysis, the AP offers no proof whatsoever that "foreign-born" residents are afraid or truly being discriminated against at all. They just state it as a fact using a single, biased person's words to assert it.
In his "Final Word" at the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer made the cliched charge:
Candidates now race to tell us what we want to hear. They load us down with spin, tiptoe around controversial issues, and give us tortured explanations of how a change in their position really wasn't a change at all.
This pandering to popular public sentiment toward politicians was brought on by Schieffer quoting a November 20 Op/Ed piece by "New York Times" commentator David Brooks, who wrote of Rudy Giuliani’s recent shift to a tougher stance against illegal immigration. Schieffer took the last line of the "Times" article, where Brooks lamented how "Some day Rudy Giuliani will look back on this moment and wonder why he didn't run as himself." How dare Giuliani pander to those right-wingers who want secure borders.
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
On yesterday’s CBS "Sunday Morning," reporter Steve Hartman demonstrated why illegal immigration is actually a good thing: "Good news about an illegal immigrant...By all accounts this man they call Dr. Q is one of the best up-and-coming neurosurgeons in the country." Interestingly, this story was actually first aired on the May 18 "Evening News." Apparently CBS is really going green, it even recycles its own biased reporting.
The segment began by Hartman actually admitting to the mainstream media’s usual doom and gloom reporting: "Because it never leads the news...because war and scandal and planet melting always make for catchier headlines...It's easy to forget all the good stories that happen every year." Hartman decided to focus on three "good" stories for a change, which included a brief profile of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa:
Clinically brilliant, relentlessly charming. His patients say it's almost like he was born to be a doctor. If they only knew...Just 20 years ago this renown neurosurgeon was about as anonymous as a human being can get in America. An illegal immigrant working the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley...after he jumped the U.S.-Mexico border and took up residence in this leaky old trailer, Alfredo says the moon seemed closer than medical school.
Consider yourselves warned. Should conservative and Republicans hold fast to strong stands on illegal immigration in the coming election year, and if they ultimately do well at the polls because of it, look for the Boston Globe to lament the tactic as a cynical "wedge issue," rather than a reaction to valid concerns from the electorate.
The Boston Globe editorial board may be sharpening their knives for the coming election season with a November 25 editorial, "A wedge issue for our times." The Globe laments that immigration is proving a "radioactive" issue and in one passage made an odd characterization of how Democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's backpedaling on illegal immigrant drivers licenses "rescued" Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) from twisting in the wind over her contorted answer on the topic of licenses for illegals.