It's old news now: In the election to replace Randy Cunningham, Democrat congressional candidate Francine Busby appears to have told a crowd of supporters that illegal aliens could vote and otherwise aid her campaign against Republican Brian Bilbray.("You don't need papers for voting," she said. "You don't need to be a registered voter to help.") The Washington Post apparently found this too boring to mention in Sunday's Election in California a Cliffhanger by Chris Cillizza on A4.
Busby's comments, circulated in San Diego by radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock, have been widely reported around the blogosphere. Expose the Left posted the news and an audio file on Friday, June 2, as did Michelle Malkin. Many righty blogs linked and commented thereafter, including Wizbang, Powerline,Stop the ACLU and others June 3. The San Diego Union Leader reported the story June 3, including Busby's entertaining explanation that she intended only to say that the under-18 set could work in her campaign. But the Post? Nada. Its story used some of that room instead to falsely describe the Minutemen, in the classic Post Style, as "anti-immigrant." As the old Hertz rent-a-car ads used to say, Not exactly:
Robert Samuelson has an interesting column today (hat tip Captain's Quarters) on how the media have completely failed to report a significant fact about the Senate's recently passed immigration bill, that it likely will double the number the number of legal immigrants coming into the United States each year. Nowhere was this fact prominently reported.
The Senate passed legislation last week that Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-Mass.) hailed as "the most far-reaching immigration reform in our
history." You might think that the first question anyone would ask is
how much it would actually increase or decrease legal immigration. But
no. After the Senate approved the bill by 62 to 36, you could not find
the answer in the news columns of The Post, the New York Times or the
Wall Street Journal. Yet the estimates do exist and are fairly
startling. By rough projections, the Senate bill would double
the legal immigration that would occur during the next two decades from
about 20 million (under present law) to about 40 million.
The national media are completely allergic to associating the anti-war movement with communist groups, even as Trotskyites like International ANSWER organize the big rallies. But protest illegal immigration, and it becomes an occasion for the media to find every faction and fraction of the Klan and the Nazis. Time's Jeffrey Ressner became this week's publicity agent for liberal "anti-hate" groups. The headline was "Rousing the Zealots: Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and militiamen are revivified by the furor over illegal immigration."
Translation: shut up, border enforcers. You're bringing out the kooks. Ressner began associating the Minutemen to the hate groups:
With immigration perhaps America's most volatile issue, a troubling backlash has erupted among its most fervent foes. There are, of course, the Minutemen, the self-appointed border vigilantes who operate in several states. And now groups of militiamen, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are using resentment over the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a potent rallying cry. "The immigration furor has been critical to the growth we've seen" in hate groups, says Mark Potok, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Jim Rutenberg nabs a front-page byline in Friday's New York Times with his news analysis, “G.O.P. Draws Line in Border,” in which he pits “compassionate” conservatives like Bush who favor some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants against those “doctrinaire” meanies who actually want to enforce and strengthen America's border and immigration laws.
“The negotiations between the White House and Congress that will follow the Senate's passage on Thursday of an immigration bill could decide not just how the nation confronts illegal immigration but also what strain of conservatism the Republican Party carries into the midterm elections and beyond.
On tonight's CBS Evening News, David Martin reported on a story about Specialist Kendell Frederick and his quest for citizenship. Martin interviewed Specialist Frederick's mother, Michelle Murphy, about the red tape that delayed the approval of his citizenship application. The delay was due to a lack of a signature on his fingerprint form. Specialist Frederick was serving in Iraq and went to Camp Anaconda to have another fingerprint form completed. On the way back to his base, the convoy was hit by an IED. Specialist Frederick died on October 19, 2005.
Mrs. Murphy showed Martin a letter from Specialist Frederick's Commander explaining that her son was in the convoy solely to get his fingerprint form completed. At this point in the report Martin was shown speaking with a representative of USCIS. David Martin actually claimed that Specialist Frederick was "killed by red tape". Martin went on to say Specialist Frederick "had to die to get his citizenship".
Imagine that Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank were profiling a Democrat who was as steadfastly liberal as Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is conservative. The column virtually writes itself. We can imagine the liberal described as "putting principle above expediency", "courageous," perhaps even "speaking truth to power."
But when it comes to a conservative such as Sessions, that same adherence to principle is cast in the most negative light. Consider these excerpts from Milbank's column of today, Forget Politics. This Battle Is Personal. which focuses on Sessions' stand on immigration:
"Jeff Sessions sure knows how to nurse a grudge."
"Now he is turning his prodigious anger on legislation."
"A stream of epithets about the legislation flowed from his mouth."
"He argues his points not with the courtly Southern tones of the late senator Howell Heflin (D), his predecessor, but with the harsh twang of a country tough -- which, in a sense, he is."
On the same morning that Katie Couric was twinkling and giggling over Al Gore in some flowery garden, her co-host Matt Lauer took another senator from Tennessee to task: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Near the end of the interview, Lauer pressed Frist on how "critics" say his choice of legislative issues coming up shows he's "pandering to the conservative base" for a potential presidential campaign:
"Alright let me move on briefly for a second. The House has approved a constitutional amendment to make flag burning illegal and passed a bill to crack down on the practice of minors traveling across state borders to seek an abortion to avoid restrictions in their own state. You've said the Senate will look at those things this year as well as a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Now critics have said there's no chance that any of those things are going to pass and they go a step further and say you are pandering to the conservative base preparing for a run for the presidency in 2008. How do you respond?"
What is he afraid of? Vicente Fox, the president of Mexico, announced that he would be taking "no questions" during his trip to the U.S. Is he afraid the media will ask him why Bush is being so cruel to illegals?
A news conference that was scheduled in Utah was canceled, as well as reporters' questions at five other events in the state. Events in Seattle and California will also bar reporters' questions. One organizer of the Utah events, Joe Reyna, says, "President Fox is not giving any exclusives (to anyone) in Utah, Seattle or California due to the heated ... debate over immigration."
The media will no doubt not make an issue of his ducking them, as they sympathize with his plight and understand the trying times he is in, with incessant attacks from his northern neighbors.
As keynote commencement speaker, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr."apologized" to graduates at the State University of New York at New Paltz on Sunday for the failure of his generation to stop the Iraq War and to sufficiently promote "fundamental human rights" like abortion, immigration, and gay marriage.
Paul Kirby of Kingston's Daily Freemanquoted from Sulzberger's address, which he began with a facetious "apology" to the class for being part of the generation that let them down due to insufficient liberal activism.
"'I will start with an apology,' Sulzberger told the graduates, who wore black gowns and hats with yellow tassels. 'When I graduated in 1974, my fellow students and I ended the Vietnam War and ousted President Nixon. OK. OK. That's not quite true. Maybe there were larger forces at play.'"
On the Sunday shows, three top journalists mocked and ridiculed the Thursday Senate vote to make English the official national language, and thus prevent demands for government agencies to provide official forms and processes in other languages. On ABC's This Week, Cokie Roberts dismissed it as “a very silly debate” and Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International, castigated the bill as “nonsense” and “nativist populism that is distasteful." In his end of show commentary on Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer also derided the vote as “silly.”
Criticizing Americas for speaking too few languages, Zakaria demanded: “What is the great problem in the United States?...That we speak too many foreign language languages, there are too many signs -- Americans are too multi-lingual? Have we forgotten what language we speak?" Zakaria soon charged: “It's a political football that has nothing to do with the real problem. It is simply one more way to try to assert a certain kind of nativist populism that is distasteful." Schieffer mockingly asked: “Were you like me and thought English was our national language? Sort of like we know the Washington Monument honors George Washington even though it doesn't have a sign on it that says 'Official Monument to George Washington.'...Of course new citizens should speak English, but why would the Senate spend hours debating whether to make English our national language? Let me break it to you gently: because it gives Senators something to do while they avoid addressing the real problems...” (Transcripts follow.)
In its segment on illegal immigration and the proposed amendment to make English the country's official language, this morning's Today show pitted the following against a sole Republican senator: another senator who just happens to be the Minority Leader, the director of a school that teaches English to immigrants, the head of the association of immigration lawyers, and the NBC reporter himself, Mike Taibbi, who described the current atmosphere as 'nasty' and implied that the English language amendment was unnecessary. Along the way, Today even managed to coin a new euphemism for 'illegals.'
Taibbi began the segment reporting from what appeared to be a private-sector school in Queens, NY called the New York Language Center. Taibbi pointedly observed that at the school: "they learn one language. English. America's official national language, if a Senate amendment to a new immigration law passes." Not-so-subtle sub-text: "See, immigrants are already learning English. No amendment necessary."
On NBC's "Daily Nightly" blog, Senior Producer Gena Fitzgerald noted the Senate's passage of an official-English bill as a sad occasion, and she puzzled about "what this means to a nation that’s always seen itself as a cultural melting pot." But Gena, how does the country "melt" together without immigrants learning a little English? She made it sound like one of those annoying Republican initiatives like renaming "freedom fries," and decided to mock it:
But it does give us pause to wonder: If the Congress succeeds in making this an English-only nation, perhaps they should start on Capitol Hill and see how it goes first. They’ll have to begin with the nation’s motto: "E Pluribus Unum." That would be Latin, and means "One from Many." Senators, if you all pitch in on weekends, it should not take long to redo all those government office buildings, and then the country's currency.
On Friday's Countdown show on MSNBC, substitute host Brian Unger lived up to Keith Olbermann's habitually liberal standards as he portrayed recent efforts by Senate Republicans to declare English America's official language and to ban gay marriage as a "hard turn to the right." He hearkened back to the "exclusionary rhetoric" of the 1992 Republican convention that spelled a "political disaster" for Republicans, and wondered if it could be "1992 all over again." Regarding the proposed gay marriage ban, Unger referred to it as part of the "far right's greatest hit list," and characterized the Senate Judiciary Committee vote for a constitutional amendment as "tossing social conservatives a straight-as-an-arrow bone."
In spite of a recent Zogby poll showing 84 percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Hispanics, support making English the nation's official language, Unger teased the show wondering if Republicans would "alienate the American middle": "Could these two right turns alienate the American middle? What playing to the Republican base could mean for the President and voters come midterm election." He introduced the show by recounting the 1992 Republican convention which renominated former President George H.W. Bush: "The 1992 Republican convention was widely regarded as a political disaster in which the party's social conservatives managed to alienate swing voters with their exclusionary rhetoric. A new cultural war was launched, and not coincidentally, it was the Democratic ticket that managed to win the '92 election. Our fifth story on the Countdown, could it be '92 all over again?" (Transcript follows)
All the networks got a few minutes Thursday afternoon with President Bush at an outdoor setting along the Arizona-Mexico border, and while ABC's Martha Raddatz, CBS's Bill Plante, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and FNC's Carl Cameron all stuck, as least as aired, to immigration questions, NBC's David Gregory compared Bush's approval to Nixon's, suggested the public has reached a “final judgment of disapproval” and pressed Bush to name more “centrist” policies he'll adopt. And when Bush named tax cuts, Gregory made clear he didn't consider that centrist.
MSNBC's Hardball carried the entire interview while viewers of the NBC Nightly News and MSNBC's Countdown only saw a few excerpts. In the NBC Nightly News/Countdown piece, David Gregory reported: "The President brushed off the fact that his poll ratings are now similar to Richard Nixon's when he resigned the presidency." Gregory featured this question he had posed: "Do you think it's possible that, like Nixon and Watergate, that the American people have rendered a final judgment of disapproval on you and your war in Iraq?" Those watching the 5 and 7pm EDT Hardball heard all that, as well as how Gregory proposed: “You've said and have said in this immigration debate that you want to find 'rational middle ground' on this issue. What other areas can the American people expect you to urge a more centrist approach to policy?" Bush replied that “cutting people's taxes is rational.” To which Gregory retorted: "But is that middle ground?" (Transcripts follow)
Also from the Washington Times—the kinda thing that makes you grateful for newspapers like the Washington Times:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who was the only person to argue against the proposal on the floor yesterday, worried that it would cost too much. The San Diego fence, he noted, wound up being 200 percent over budget. "The real cost ended up being $3.8 million per mile," said Mr. Kennedy, who has been the principal backer of Boston's "Big Dig," a highway tunnel funded largely by the federal government that has run about $1 billion per mile.
Last week, the Minutemen came to town to protest illegal immigration, but The Washington Post shunned them to the inside of the Metro section, to page B-3. Their crowd was estimated at just 150. On Wednesday, the pro-illegal immigration advocates came to Capitol Hill again, and the Post estimated the gathering at about 400. That's also what you might call an inside-the-Metro-section crowd.
Think again. The rally itself made page A-13 today, complete with yet another color photo of American flags in the sun. The story by Karin Brulliard and Krissah Williams was headlined "Immigrant Advocates Take Their Case to Capitol Hill: Activists Lobby Members of Congress, Aides on Legislation." But its most prominent placement was the dominant story on the top of the front page of the Style section by the very protester-friendly David Montgomery. It was titled "An Up-the-Hill Battle: Even Without Citizenship, Immigrants Embrace a Chance to Become Activists," but should have said "Illegal Immigrants" were the lobbyists celebrated.
"Here's the big difference between us (the Democrats) and the right-wing bill that passed the House with the President's support: This is a President who can't find a six-foot-four Saudi terrorist. How's he gonna find 12 million undocumented people and send them all back across the border? That's what he wants to do."
The truth, as Bill pointed out in his "Ridiculous Item of the Day" tonight (Tue. May 16, 2006), is that President Bush has never advocated finding and "sending back" illegal immigrants by the millions. The President made this perfectly clear in his address last night:
Geraldo Rivera slammed the President's immigration policy on the Fox News syndicated Geraldo At Large. Rivera said the National Guard wouldn't be effective in stopping illlegal immigration but warned if they were successful: "Who will mow our lawns, pick our apples, patch our roofs, sew our garments? You can bet it won’t be those screamers demanding the National Guard. What we need is a sensible and humane approach to immigration. What we need is what the President has advocated up until now. The deployment of the National Guard is political baloney. Get ready everybody for $10 artichokes."
Following President Bush's Monday night prime time address on immigration, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ruminated to Chris Matthews: “Could he also be kind of back-dooring changes in the personnel totals in Iraq with this because, as Dick Durbin did point out in the Democratic response, an assignment of 6,000 National Guards troops is not just 6,000 guys going to the Southwestern borders of this country, it involves a lot more people and could provide at least a reason to bring people back from Iraq and Afghanistan out of the Guard. Could it not do that? Could he not be, in a sense, saying that?" Matthews called Durbin "generous in his math" in estimating 150,000 National Guard members will be needed over two years to maintain 6,000 on the border, before Olbermann again prodded Matthews with his contention: "Don't they have to come from Iraq? In other words, could this be the way, you know, as I said, a backdoor way for the President to say, 'Well, I've got to bring these people in for this pressing urgent issue on the Mexican border and we have got to just coincidentally reduce troop levels by removing the National Guard from Iraq and Afghanistan?'"
Co-opting liberal rhetoric in the immigration debate, ABC's Dan Harris asked viewers, "What is the higher biblical priority, being a Good Samaritan, or upholding the law," while heading out to commercial on the May 14 "World News Tonight."
Aside from displaying a simplistic liberal agenda-friendly interpretation of Christian Scripture, the rhetoric Harris borrowed came straight from the mouth of woman featured in his story.
"Anyone who believes" Jesus's parables "should be
outraged that … the government is making it a crime to be a Good
Samaritan," activist Maryada Vallet was quoted in a January 20 Religion News Service article.
Vallet's work for "No More Deaths"-- a group which refuses to alert the Border Patrol to the location of illegal immigrants -- has been documented elsewhere in print, including the Scottsdale Times.
In April and May, the Washington Post devoted very heavy resources to covering pro-illegal immigration protests. When a contingent of the Minutemen came to Washington for their turn – and a much smaller group it was, estimated by the Post at "about 150 people," awfully tiny by D.C. standards – how would the Post greet their chance to speak? In Saturday’s Post, they did get a small box at the top of the front page, on how they were "fired up over a proposal to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship."
Consider that a remedial shout-out, following behind the massive coverage the amnesty rallies received. But the actual story was on B-3, not even the front of the Metro section.What went on the front of the Metro section instead? To a Minuteman from out of town, it must have looked awfully puzzling. Hogging the attention on B-1, with large color photos, was a story about prom-goers in New Orleans. New Orleans? The story by Annie Gowen was a followup to a A-1 story on Friday, also with color pictures, and it wasn’t until you turned inside the B section that you discovered what on Earth would make proms in New Orleans a D.C. "Metro" story – an 18-year-old girl from Beltsville, Maryland held a local dress drive that provided 2,800 gowns.
If you're not outraged by the NSA program that monitors phone-calling patterns, you're probably . . . too dumb to understand its implications. That, in a nutshell, and I do mean nutshell, was Ellen Ratner's argument on this morning's 'Long & the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend. Oh, well, that - and opening our borders with Mexico.
Host Julian Phillips [who expressed his personal opposition to the NSA program] put it to Ratner that "most Americans don't care about this. They say the NSA should do that to keep our security intact."
"Until some neighbor who might work at a spy agency gets their phone records and starts spewing it around town that somebody is talking to somebody or divorce records get subpoenaed or something like that. You know, most people don't understand the impact of how bad this really is."
It's the weekend, so under the more relaxed weekend rules, permit a somewhat aged item. Like a nice cheese. MRC's Geoff Dickens just recently found a Geraldo Rivera rant from the end of his syndicated show on the night of the May 1 work-boycott protest for illegal immigration.
They are demonstrating for justice and fair play for the 11 or 12 million living and working in the United States illegally. Many taking to the streets for these May 1st rallies are drawn from the community of the undocumented, others are citizens of the U.S. who, like myself, believe this nation of immigrants has room for more. Driven in part by the hysterical response of vigilante groups like the so-called Minutemen and by opportunistic congressmen who’d make felons of all those who are here illegally. Millions more of us today ask our fellow countrymen to treat the undocumented as honored guests.
Bob Schieffer opened the May 9 edition of the CBS Evening News by trumpeting a new poll that suggested disaster for the Republicans in November. As usual, any information that didn’t support the liberal talking points was ignored or minimized. The network anchor made sure to point out that "President Bush's ratings have hit another all-time low."
A few of the results, however, somehow escaped mention. According to the poll, 39 percent of Americans supported drilling in ANWR in November 2002. A separate survey, conducted in February of 2005 found a similar 38 percent approval for the idea. CBS puts the current level of support at 48 percent. Now what could be the cause of this 9 point increase? Perhaps the media’s relentless pounding of the "gas crisis," 183 stories in three weeks, had unintended consequences? Schieffer omitted any reference to ANWR in his report.
The Big Three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC already pay for lobbyists on Capitol Hill, although they usually spend their time trying to influence communications legislation. But ABC sent lobbyists to push a different issue: a multicultural national anthem.
"The Star Spangled Banner" — our national anthem — is under attack. Or so you would think by the rush to defend it on Capitol Hill last week.
As millions marched for immigration rights, the U.S. Senate introduced a resolution to ensure that the national anthem would be sung only in English. A day later a similar measure was introduced in the House of Representatives.
Good, progressive journalists are naturally alarmed by such legislation. CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer has already denounced having the anthem only in one language.
Every week Bob Schieffer ends his Sunday political talk show "Face the Nation" with commentary. Yesterday he praised the virtues of putting America's national anthem "in a hundred languages."
Finally today in the ongoing effort to make our national debate about all the wrong things, we may have reached a milestone with a controversy whether over it is all right for the national anthem to be sung in Spanish. The blogs went nuts about it, of course. Going nuts is their natural state. Talk radio saw danger ahead, `Cover the children's ears.'
Now I'm with them on insisting that everyone who wants to be a citizen should learn English, and in an increasingly diverse country, common experiences have become rarer and rarer, and our language is one of the few things we all share. There is strength in that. But the anthem in English only? I don't get it.
An LA radio station is fed up with CNN anchor Lou Dobbs' constant attacks on illegal immigration. Lalo Alcaraz and Esteban Zul host the "Pocho Hour of Power" on KPFK, and don't like Dobbs' "soft bigotry in a three-piece suit." So far there have been no takers, despite prize offers.
"He used to have a business show, and now it's all-immigrant, all the time," Alcaraz told us. "Call me crazy, but if I had a TV show, I'd do different topics. And what he's doing is a kind of cultural bigotry that [immigrants] are inferior in some way. In reality, they're working their asses off. It leads viewers to think, 'Now I can discriminate against Panchito.'"
Last month, the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting called Dobbs' "tone on immigration consistently alarmist," with the Space.com founder claiming that Mexicans are "an army of invaders" who want to reannex parts of the U.S. for Mexico; that "illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures," and that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like malaria — and even leprosy.
Thank goodness Zacarias Moussaoui came along to capture the headlines. The lollipop coverage by the mainstream media given to illegal aliens got to be a bit too sugary, especially on the day of that big march. Wall to wall, from airwaves to newsprint, the message was this: Oh come let us adore them.
Talking heads made it clear that if you believe in preserving our sovereignty, you are a bigot.
So what about the millions (including Mexicans!) waiting properly in line to get here by following the rules? Suckers, like me.
Though I haven't tried, because it's useless, no "respectable" newspaper would publish this side of the story, my side, which respresents millions.
Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “Countdown,” host Keith Olbermann once again demonstrated why he is one of the most unprofessional and undisciplined journalists on television today. In his regular “Worst Person in the World” segment, Olbermann chose conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. In this case, Ingraham won the award because Olbermann clearly has no understanding of how race impacts television viewing habits in America, in particular, those of Hispanic Americans: “But our winner, Laura Ingraham, having already reached the dubious conclusion that the mainstream media is supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants she offered this tortured logic as support quoting ‘NBC, ABC and CBS, throw in CNN and MSNBC. They think these are, you know, new viewers, new listeners, new customers to the more liberal viewpoint.’”
Olbermann then shared with his viewers a false conclusion while demonstrating why he should go back to analyzing sporting events (emphasis mine):
“Um-huh. And the fact that most of these folks seem to prefer hearing and seeing the news in their native languages? How did you rationalize that part of it again? Laura Ingraham today`s worst person in the world.”
The problem is, Keith, you once again appear to have pulled data from...thin air. For instance, according to a survey done by the Pew Hispanic Center on this very subject (emphasis mine):
A few weeks ago, the pollsters for NBC and The Wall Street Journal asked this question: "If thousands of immigrants in the U.S. do not show up for work on May 1st in protest of immigration policy, do you think this will do more to help their cause, do more to hurt their cause, or have no real effect either way?" Fifty-seven percent said it would hurt their cause. Only 17 percent said it would help.
But that point is being roundly and deliberately ignored by the national media. Tossed and turned by internal diversity police who demand a greater minority presence and minority consciousness in the newsrooms, those who report the “news” are doing their level best to ensure that the protesters for “immigrant rights” get the best possible publicity boost.