Did you know if you support enforcement of immigration laws you're heartless and also support destroying families?
That was the over-the-top sob story offered yesterday by Geraldo Rivera on his "Geraldo at Large" show where he featured a man who was about to be deported, alongside his wife and three of his children.
"Look at these children. Do you want to
be responsible for separating these babies from their daddy?" Rivera emoted, making an especial plea to FNC's Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity along with the "most hysterical voice in the bunch," CNN's Lou Dobbs.
"Their hard-working daddy who's done
nothing but do good here in this country?" he asserted, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the man (identified as "Jean") had about 30 seconds earlier admitted that he'd been convicted of a drug offense in 1989.
Full transcript, video link, and fact check after the jump.
While the ABC and NBC evening newscasts led Tuesday night with President George W. Bush's veto of the Iraq funding bill with pull-out deadlines, CBS began with back-to-back stories trumpeting the cause of illegal immigrants and portraying them as the victims. “Tonight,” Katie Couric teased the CBS Evening News, “tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of America to rally in support of illegal immigrants” and then, over video of a teen girl and her little sister, Couric fretted, “she was born here, but her parents were deported and there are many more like her.” Of course, it was the choice of the parents to not take the kids with them back to Mexico.
Citing how “it's estimated there are as many as 12 million in this country illegally,” Couric framed CBS's coverage around their agenda: “What are they and their supporters demanding?” Bill Whitaker highlighted the protests and the views of their advocates before acknowledging “the chance for real immigration reform seems slim again this year, so these marchers plan to keep up the pressure to change the laws and stop the deportations, which they say are breaking up families.” The next report picked up the theme: “I'm Sandra Hughes in San Diego, where nine-year-old Adeline Munoz packs for her weekly trip to Tijuana, Mexico. It's the only place she can see her parents. In February, Abel Munoz and Zulma Miranda were deported by immigration officials.” After obligatory heart-rendering soundbites from the kids, Hughes featured the mom: “The deportation was inhumane. Our kids will never forget it. The little one always tells will me, every time I hear a knock on the door, I think it's Immigration." Not until the very end of her piece, about six minutes into the newscast, did viewers hear from someone not so enamored with the cause of the illegals. Hughes set up a clip: “Critics of illegal immigration concede it's a tough situation, but one the parents themselves created.”
Update: Video, audio links for interview below the jump.
It is rare for a mainstream media journalist to openly criticize the media’s coverage of a particular issue. But that is exactly what CNN’s Lou Dobbs did on Tuesday’s "American Morning." In an interview with co-host Kiran Chetry, Dobbs blasted the media’s coverage of illegal immigration, saying "They're selling an agenda. And they're not applying critical judgment. And critical judgment and skepticism is our job as journalists. We're talking about comprehensive immigration legislation as reform. We're using the word 'reform' as if it were true. There's no skepticism."
Dobbs’s interview was part of "American Morning’s" coverage of pro-illegal immigration rallies on May Day, the traditional socialist workers’ holiday. When asked if any progress had been made in the past year concerning illegal immigration, Dobbs said that "we're making, at the margin, progress, but it's at the margin, " and that there was some better enforcement at the border. He then criticized one of the Congressional immigration reform proposals, the Flake-Gutierrez immigration bill, calling it "an absurdity."
Surely, CNN doesn’t stand for Communist News Network. But CNN’s Soledad O’Brien went looking for the "grass roots" of the pro-illegal immigration movement in Chicago during Tuesday’s Your World Today at mid-day. She interviewed a man she described as "Shaun Harkin of the March 10th Movement." She did not describe him with ideological precision: he’s a fervent Leninist.
An instant Googling of "Shaun Harkin" quickly brought up an article from Socialist Worker Online, where "SHAUN HARKIN explains why the Russian revolutionary Lenin and the theory that Lenin developed about the rise of imperialism remains so relevant today." Harkin concluded: "The dynamics of imperialism that Lenin analyzed are still present. His approach continues to offer the best framework to understand imperialism -- and is an essential tool for revolutionaries today."
In Sunday’s paper, the L.A.Times has a piece that mourns a downturn of a portion of Mexico’s economy and, naturally, the Times blames the USA for it. How is it that the USA is responsible for this downturn? New home construction is down in California and illegal Mexicans have found themselves out of work because of it. This means that these out of work Mexicans cannot send US dollars to Mexico and, therefore, Mexican families back home are finding less money in their family incomes.
So, according to the L.A.Times, the US is unfairly hurting Mexican families because of a downturn in new home building in the USA. Why are we Americans so darn mean to those innocent illegals, anyway? For shame you selfish Americans!
For the last two days, The Washington Post has placed a small anti-illegal immigration rally on the front page of its Metro section – a Sunday story previewing the protest, and another front-pager on the events of the Sunday rally on Monday. Why the prominent play, given they estimated the protest crowd at 400? It could be a little pre-emptive publicity to head off complaints when the pro-illegal immigration rallies arrive on May Day, the socialist fun day. Last year’s left-wing rallies in Washington drew earth-shaking, flood-the-zone Post coverage in April and May.
Pamela Constable’s Monday report is fairly straightforward, and gives opponents of illegal immigration their say. (You might quibble that the quotes sound defensive, but is that the Post’s selection of quotes, or were the speakers largely defensive?) The other quibble would be the photo in the paper with a large poster of Sen. John McCain grimacing like he’s getting his chest waxed.
The Sunday preview report by Constable and N.C. Aizenman was more interesting, particularly this: they dug into the finances and interlocking directorates of the anti-illegal immigration movement – something the Post has failed to explore in all the breathless coverage of left-wing "immigrants rights" marches.
Scratch a radical environmentalist, find a radical, full stop. Case in point: Boston Globe columnist James Carroll. In his New thinking to save the earth [is that all?], Carroll calls for nothing less than the end of the United States as we know it, and a yours-is-mine socialism.
Carroll claims that "if the earth is to survive as a human habitat," the meaning of four subjects "must be transformed." Among the things Carroll wants to redefine are "nation" and "property." Ominous enough, but getting down into the details is even more chilling.
Simply wow, is all I can say to the segment on last night's O'Reilly Factor. Both of them lost their cool in the extreme.
O'Reilly screams that Geraldo wants "anarchy", Geraldo yells that O'Reilly wants to take illegal aliens and "do something to them" over the infuriating story of a drunk illegal who killed two teenaged girls in a Virginia Beach car accident.
(Click Image to go to video)
I have to say, in my opinion they were both wrong a little and right a little, but neither did his case any good by getting into a shouting match. O'Reilly made it solely an illegal alien issue, and Geraldo completely excused illegals of all wrongs. O'Reilly had the better point, of course, but both tried to make it a single issue discussion with Geraldo accusing O'Rielly of, in effect, being a racist and O'Reilly screaming that Geraldo might not care about his own teenage girls.
Whatever happened to the notion of the "favorite son"? You know: the idea that a candidate's home state rallies around him. When it comes to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Boston Globe seems to be adopting a mirror-image attitude. Call it the "disfavored son" approach to politics.
In perhaps the lamest bit of investigative journalism to stumble down the pike in a long time, months ago, as I noted here, the Globe breathlessly revealed not that Romney had hired illegal immigrants, but that the landscaping company tending his home had done so. Remember to run a thorough INS check on the guy who takes your order next time you drive through McDonald's -- wouldn't want to undermine your future candidacy.
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.
In much of the mainstream media reporting on the firing of eight U.S.
attorneys, the focus has been on stoking a political controversy from the story, ruminating on Alberto Gonzales's shelf life as attorney general, etc.
Largely left by the wayside in mainstream media reporting have been legitimate deviations the fired attorneys exhibited from Bush Justice Department priorities, such as immigration enforcement -- for instance, San Diego-based attorney Carol Lam's prosecution of immigration cases reportedly bothered the decidedly unconservative Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- and pushing for the death penalty in capital cases.
It took a while but at least one major media outlet is reporting that a reluctance to pursue the death penalty might have been a factor in at least three of the firings. [continued...]
On his official Web site Fox News' Geraldo Rivera, yet again, went on a pro-illegal immigrant, anti-GOP tear. In an article entitled "GOP Immigration Extremists," Rivera declared: "The GOP was hijacked by extremists," claimed, "various hate groups have declared common cause with the Minutemen," and opined that anti-illegal immigrant Republicans, "fueled the rise of radicals like Venenzuela's Hugo Chavez."
The following is the full March 15th dated rant as it appeared on the Horizons section of Geraldo.com:
Until the last election cycle, Republicans had a reasonable chance of becoming the permanent majority party in this country. But in the lead up to the November 2006 elections, the GOP was hijacked by extremists on the immigration issue.
Why is it every time I see a newspulper headline about Barack Obama I envision the editors in near orgasmic delight over the "multiculturalism" they perceive in Obama, or the "connection" he has with all the peoples of the world? Or the near hero worship of his "clean and articulate" abilities they wallow in, for that matter? And how come I get a corresponding feeling that all I am getting is delightful puffs of air but no substance when I'm done reading the piece that goes with the sweetness and honey that is the headline?
The New York Times surprised on Wednesday with a front-page article by James McKinley Jr. suggesting that tougher border security in the form of new barriers and more guards was actually reducing illegal immigration along the Mexican border ("Tougher Tactics Deter Migrants At U.S. Border").
"All along the border, there are signs that the measures the Border Patrol and other federal agencies have taken over the last year, from erecting new barriers to posting 6,000 National Guardsmen as armed sentinels, are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants.
The NFL has a long history of rejecting overly political ads during game programming. However, it went too far recently in refusing an ad from a government agency during the Super Bowl. Sound improbable? Not when you learn that the agency in question was the Border Patrol (HT: bulletproof):
The National Football League refused to run a recruitment ad for the
U.S. Border Patrol in last week's Super Bowl program, saying it was
"controversial" because it mentioned duties such as fighting terrorism
and stopping drugs and illegal aliens at the border.
"The ad that the department submitted was specific to Border
Patrol, and it mentioned terrorism. We were not comfortable with that,"
said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL. "The borders, the
immigration debate is a very controversial issue, and we were sensitive
to any perception we were injecting ourselves into that."
The NFL's rejection didn't sit well with Border Patrol agents,
who called it a snub of their role in homeland security and said it was
"more than a little puzzling."
"The NFL missed a golden opportunity to reach countless
patriotic citizens who want to answer the call to help prevent another
terrorist attack on American soil," said T.J. Bonner, president of the
National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agency's
nonsupervisory personnel. [...]
As previously reported on Newsbusters, the mainstream media overlooks fringe groups at anti-war rallies, pro-illegal immigrant rallies, or even extreme anti-American hatred at anti-Bush rallies overseas. However, when it comes to opposition against illegal immigration, the mainstream media tries to connect it to fringe hate groups where ever they can find it.
On Tuesday’s Paula Zahn Now, host Paula Zahn described the "frightening new trend" that the very small Ku Klux Klan has increased recruitment. This increased recruitment is largely, of course, to blame from alleged immigrant baiting from some Republicans. Zahn was giving free, unquestioning publicity to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. Reporter Deborah Feyerick asserted that the increase in recruitment is "which some believe is the result of the heated debate on immigration, which at times uses hateful language."
WFAA TV in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas market has been touting a story that they obviously think is some sort of tragedy. So bad, in fact, that the first words of their story are, "'Inhumanity' and 'atrocity' are just two words being used to describe news..."
One would think that the world was ending, wouldn't one?
The TV station is wracked up in high dudgeon over a family of Palestinians who are in the country illegally and were scooped up by Immigration officials and remanded to a rather posh housing center to await the outcome of the machinations of government officials trying to determine their fate.
We all know the face of real terror. Nick Berg getting his head sawed off by a knife wielding Islamist, suicide bombers laying waste to mass transit in Israel, the World Trade Towers collapsing on the morning of 09/11/01. That is real terror.
But, to Reuters, enforcing U.S. immigration laws is terror.
Words like "fearful", "shock", "afraid" and "terrified" are sprinkled all through the article leaving the impression that something mean and violent is occurring to these poor people. One would think that we are rounding up Mexican and Central and South Americans who are in this country illegally and herding them off to torture camps or to some Holocaust redux.
Loyal NB readers might recall that on the eve of President Bush's recent address on the new way forward in Iraq, I had the chance to participate in a conference call for bloggers with White House press secretary Tony Snow and Brett McGurk of the National Security Council.
With the State of the Union Address just a few hours away, Tony Snow - after a long day making the media rounds - organized a similar event in which your faithful NewsBuster again took part.
I had a chance to ask a question this time around, and chose to focus on recent events in Iraq. After referring to the headlines that have been made by the recent arrest of some 600 militiamen in Iraq, I noted a lesser-publicized report that the Iraqi army had arrested a senior aide to Moktada al-Sadr, Sheikh Abdul al-Hadi Darraji. He was arrested last Friday in a raid on a Baghdad mosque near Sadr City.
I asked Snow whether those events signal that we have in some way turned the corner in obtaining the willingness of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki in going after Shia militias, and if so, how have we been able to achieve this?
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be campaigning to be the liberal media’s favorite Republican office-holder. On Tuesday, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today publicized his "bold" new plan to offer billions in new state government subsidies to provide "universal" health coverage, even to millions of illegal immigrants. ABC co-host Robin Roberts openly endorsed it: "there is definitely a crisis, and it's good to see at least trying something, something, especially to help those that are uninsured." While ABC seemed to offer no opposition, except to frame it briefly as a potential "budget buster," NBC at least noted critics in small business and opponents of subsidizing (and attracting) illegal immigrants.
MRC’s Justin McCarthy reported that ABC promoted the California health plan as a challenge to President Bush and the new Democratic Congress to follow up and do something similar nationwide:
Just to prove that Fox News Channel doesn't live up to the liberal stereotype of Music to Conservative Ears, angry E-mailers are demanding someone denounce Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke for slamming conservatives who staunchly oppose illegal immigration. In their year-end Beltway Boys "awards show" this weekend, there was this clip of agreement:
Kondracke: "Our 'Dumbest Move' award of the year is Republicans trashing immigrants. And this - this has disastrous consequences for the, in the election. The Hispanic vote, which is the fastest-growing element of the population, went 55 to 42 percent Democratic in 2004. This time, it went 76 to 26. And it's all because of this stupid wall that the House Republicans wanted to build, and rejected their own president's plan for a comprehensive immigrant reform in preference to cozying up to radio talk show hosts."
Appearing on this Boxing Day edition of the Today show to plug tonight's airing of "In the Shadow of the American Dream," the latest in the “Tom Brokaw Reports” series, the former Nightly News anchor offered a variety of views on the subject of illegal immigration straight out of the amnesty-crowd playbook.
The Boston Globe can't put two and two together on immigration. Just last week it wrung its editorial hands over the fact that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from. But naturally it didn't make the logical connection and call for a crackdown on illegal immigration. Then today, the paper lends its pages to a union official who, when it comes to illegals, sees only employers, with nary an illegal immigrant to be found.
Could multiculturalism be on its way out at the New York Times? Yesterday, one columnist extolled classically Western Hellenic values over those of historical Judaism. Today, another columnist flatly asserts that freedom is "a distinctive product of Western civilization."
In the subscription-required God's Gift, Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson criticizes the Bush administration for formulating its Iraq policy on the "erroneous assumption . . . that freedom is a natural part of the human condition."
Continued Patterson: "A basic flaw in the approach of the president and his neoliberal (a k a neoconservative) advisers was their failure to distinguish Western beliefs about freedom from those critical features of it that non-Western peoples were likely to embrace."
The New York Times' "Immigrants' Families Figuring Out What to Do After Federal Raids" clearly sees illegal immigrants as sympathetic victims, putting the wet-eyed focus not on the criminal acts that resulted in the raids by immigration authorities, but how the raids have made immigrants afraid to venture out in public.
Julie Preston's Saturday story is set off with a four-day-old AP photo of a weeping mother who "held her 3-month-old son on Tuesday as her husband was held at a Swift meat plant in Greeley, Colo."
Filling in for Lou Dobbs on Friday night, CNN's Kitty Pilgrim highlighted a case of bias at the “supposedly objective” Associated Press, which led a dispatch about the federal roundup Tuesday of workers at meatpacking plants, by referring to how “hordes of police” had “stormed” the plants, but “the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims.” Pilgrim marveled: “That's right, the Associated Press calling illegal aliens -- including some charged with stealing the identities of hundreds of Americans -- it called them 'victims.'"
Indeed, in a Friday morning AP dispatch as posted by Yahoo, "Immigration raids may affect meat prices," the AP's Roxana Hegeman led her Wichita-datelined story: “When hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants in six states this week, the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims. Consumers and the industry itself may be feeling the repercussions in a shortage of meatpackers, higher wage costs and, ultimately, higher prices for the beef that lands on America's tables at home and in restaurants....”
Geraldo Rivera, who established himself as a crusader for illegal immigrants, ventured in to The O’Reilly Factor to pick a fight with host Bill O’Reilly on the issue. First, Geraldo did concede that an illegal immigrant with a criminal record who murdered a Marine should have been deported. However, he quickly moved to defend the 11 million people currently breaking our country’s immigration laws.
He first called the recent raid at an Iowa meat packing plant "the biggest jive mast bust." Geraldo then insulted the American workers exclaiming, "Do you know why they’re working there? They’re almost exclusively illegal, because no citizen will take that crappy job." He then connected those who favor immigration enforcement with bigots and xenophobes calling them "nativists."
You can lead the Boston Globe to the facts about immigration, but you can't make it think. The focus of the Globe's editorial of today, African-Americans need apply, is "the disappearing African-American hotel worker." Precise figures for the Boston hotel industry aren't available but the Globe notes that in Los Angeles, African-Americans "comprise only about 6 percent of workers in downtown hotels."
The Globe acknowledges that "new immigrant populations . . . have been replacing African-Americans in hotel service jobs for about a decade." So you'd think that perhaps the Globe would take the next logical step and call for a clampdown on immigration, particularly illegal immigration.
I don’t know about you, but almost nothing can make my Friday evening better than a guest on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” smacking around the loony liberal host. Such was the case on December 8 when California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was invited on to discuss an interesting border patrol case. For a little background, Colmes set the segment up (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated):
Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were convicted of shooting an admitted drug smuggler in the buttocks as he ran away from them near the Rio Grande River in February of 2005. They're now both sentenced to up to 12 years in jail, in which they will begin to serve next month. And now, 48 lawmakers are asking President Bush to pardon the agents, because they believe their actions stopped more than $1 million in illegal drugs from being sold in the U.S. Joining us now, the lawmaker leading the campaign for the pardon of California -- for this particular pardon, California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
Sounds reasonable, right? However, after introducing the Congressman, Colmes chose to add the following thereby immediately turning what should have been an informative interview about this subject into an argument:
In its zeal to undercut the presidential ambitions of its home-state governor, the Boston Globe engages in some blatant intellectual dishonesty this morning. Last week, the Globe breathlessly broke the story that a lawn care company that provides services to Mitt Romney has employees who are illegal immigrants. As the Globe archly put it: "as Governor Mitt Romney explores a presidential bid, he has grown outspoken in his criticism of illegal immigration. But, for a decade, the governor has used a landscaping company that relies heavily on . . . illegal Guatemalan immigrants." The Globe headlined its story: "Illegal immigrants toiled for governor." Toiled. Nice touch. Tote that rake, lift that lawnmower.