The CNN.com article "Mistake Costs Dishwasher $59,000" details the trials and tribulations of Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. The article explains that:
Two years ago, Zapeta was ready to return to Guatemala, so he carried a duffel bag filled with $59,000 -- all the cash he had scrimped and saved over the years -- to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
So an illegal immigrant (who, by the way, doesn't speak English) tries to leave the country on an airplane with $59,000 cash stuffed in a duffel bag. How could this plan go wrong?
The article goes on to paint Zapeta in the most sympathetic light possible, pointing out that Zapeta, "lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country." The article claimed that Zapeta had worked in this country for 11 years.
This is one of those times when I really, really wonder about traditional media reporting.
You see, the Cleveland Plain Dealer spent almost six years, going all the way back to November of 2001, covering the saga of ultimately deported Cleveland Islamic leader Fawaz Damra. I count over 45 stories at the PD's Damra collection.
Can the Associated Press distinguish between racial supremacy groups and civil rights groups? Apparently not. AP writer Maria Sudekum Fisher covers the appointment of 73 year old Frances Semler to Kansas City's parks board, which Fisher opposes because Semler is a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. As Fisher writes,
But Frances B. Semler's appointment could now cost the city millions of dollars because she is a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a group that advocates vigilante patrolling of the Mexican border and reports illegal immigrants to authorities.
In a September 10 Big Blog entry, Seattle Post-Intelligencer online reporter Monica Guzman filed an interview with an illegal immigrant from Peru.
While it's arguable there's a place for her softball questions about the hopes and dreams that compel illegal immigrants to come to America for opportunity, a balanced interview would call for some harder questions about the laws broken by immigrants who do so.
Unfortunately Guzman didn't offer any such tough questions, although the P-I encourages readers to submit questions for reporters to ask in future interviews here.
In Monday's New York Times, reporter Patrick Healy described how Democrats pandered to a Latino audience during their debate on the Spanish-language channel Univision (although candidates spoke in English): "They expressed concerns that Republicans were enabling anti-immigrant feelings and even racist attitudes, or at least not taking a tougher stand against them." Hillary Clinton blamed media people for those anti-Latino and even racist attitudes:
Mrs. Clinton said legislative proposals to overhaul the immigration system, which all the Democrats at the debate endorsed, had been used by Republicans and some in the news media to "bash immigrants" and engage in demagoguery. Later, Mrs. Clinton added: "There are many in the political and frankly in the broadcast world today who take a particular aim at our Latino population. I think it’s very destructive." A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said after the debate that she was referring to the CNN anchor Lou Dobbs and the radio host Rush Limbaugh, among others.
Which would you find more desirable in your community: a group that advocates to abide by U.S. law, or one that advocates to break U.S. law? Well, leave it to an American newspaper to present a story as if a member of a group that advocates for America is a less desirable person in the community than a member of a group that promotes ideas against America. In a story on the La Raza Council's threat to move their annual convention out of Kansas City, Missouri, the Kansas City Star has labeled the patriot group The Minutemen a "militant group" yet nowhere is there harsh labels in their story for La Raza, the Hispanic illegal immigrant advocates. In fact, La Raza is treated like a completely respectable organization throughout the story with the Minutemen treated as if they should be something to be ashamed of.
As an MRC study has proven, liberal broadcast media has a strong record of skewed coverage of illegal immigration. Print coverage in major metropolitan broadsheets in no different. In her August 30 article, Washington Post staff writer Pamela Constable featured English-speaking illegal immigrants lamenting "hateful talk against immigrants."
"Many have no legal documents," Constable conceded of the day laborers waiting at 5:30 a.m. outside a Gaithersburg, Md., work center operated by "the nonprofit CASA de Maryland." Constable failed to note anywhere in her article the pro-illegal immigration, pro-amnesty stance CASA consistently promotes.
Indeed, Constable's mission was not to report both sides of the immigration debate, but rather to paint a stark, emotional account full of loaded language, including comparing the plight of illegal immigrants to Jews hiding from Nazi persecution:
Back in July, Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff wrote a front-page report on conservative Virginia blogger Greg Letiecq, suggesting he was a "mouse-pushing crackpot" and a "fringe extremist" for claiming, among other things, that his opponents in a local fight over illegal immigration were "unassimilated marxist radicals." In Monday’s Post, on the front of the Metro section (at least in Virginia), Miroff has finally explored the left-wing side, specifically "Mexicans Without Borders" leader Ricardo Juarez, and acknowledges that the Marxist Zapatista Army of National Liberation "have shaped Juarez’s worldview and inspired his organizational strategies – minus the ski masks and the AK-47s." So Letiecq was right, raising the question: why didn’t Miroff do the elementary work of testing Letiecq’s claims before he wrote up the "crackpot" story in July?
Steyn takes on the lunacy of sanctuary cities, media-report tiptoeing, and the apparently hopelessly-in-denial political elites:
..... there's been a succession of prominent stories with one common feature that the very same pundits, politicians and lobby groups have a curious reluctance to go anywhere near. In a New York Times report headlined "Sorrow And Anger As Newark Buries Slain Youth," the limpidly tasteful Times prose prioritized "sorrow" over "anger," and offered only the following reference to the perpetrators: "The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects – two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru – have been arrested."
Last week, I described Gail Collins' condescension to what she sees as the bumpkins of Middle America. The New York Times columnist is back at it again this morning, suggesting that illegal immigration is not so much a problem as an issue exploited by Republican candidates to stir the passions of gullible Republican rubes. And yes, to Collins' ear,"sanctuary city" has a nice ring.
The jumping-off point for Collins' [p.p.v.] Of Mitt, Monks, and Mowers is the criticism Mitt Romney has levelled at Rudy Giuliani for the latter's embrace of New York's status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants when he was Big Apple mayor. Note that Rudy has since toughened his stance, vowing to end illegal immigration.
In Collins' eyes, telling police and others to ignore the fact that people they encounter in the course of their duties are in the country illegally is "a perfectly rational position."
The headline to today's lead story in the New York Times by Jim Rutenberg and Steven Lee Myers on the impending resignation of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political advisor, included the subhead "A Bare-Knuckle Style of Politics."
Rove as ruthless partisan brawler was indeed a theme that permeated both Tuesday's lead story and chief political reporter Adam Nagourney's accompanying analysis.
From Rutenberg and Rove's lead:
"With his voice breaking at times, and with President Bush at his side on the South Lawn of the White House, Karl Rove said Monday that he would resign as a deputy White House chief of staff at the end of the month. The decision ends Mr. Rove's role as the president's longest-serving and closest aide, and the one who most personified the bare-knuckle brand of politics Mr. Bush favors."
The New York Times' reliably pro-illegal immigrant reporter Julia Preston, fresh from using a survey compiled by a (unlabeled) Hillary presidential pollster to make a pro-illegal immigrant argument, returned to the beat Saturday with "Farmers Call Crackdown On Illegal Workers Unfair," which located another odd angle to defend amnesty for illegals -- it will hurt agribusiness.
"Facing the prospect of major layoffs of farmworkers during harvest season, growers and lawmakers from agricultural states spoke in dire terms yesterday about new measures by the Bush administration to crack down on employers of illegal immigrants.
"'This is not just painful, this is death to the American farmer,' Maureen Torrey, who runs a family dairy and vegetable farm in Elba, N. Y., said in a telephone interview.
U.S. hostility to amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexico is not only hurting illegals here, but crippling poor Mexicans in Mexico as well. So says the New York Times, taking its talking points from a survey performed by a pollster.
To be precise, a Democratic pollster who studies Hispanic voting trends for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign -- a tidbit that didn't get into reporter Julia Preston's sympathetic story on Mexican immigrants no longer sending cash home because of a hostile climate in the U.S.
A year after state lawmakers passed what they called the toughest illegal-immigration laws in the nation, there is no proof illegal immigrants have been caught taking advantage of taxpayers. Instead, there are abundant stories of citizens eligible for services who can't prove it because they lack the required ID.
Of one side, the side that wants to prevent illegal aliens from taking our tax dollars, "proof" is demanded. From the other, anecdotal evidence comprising "abundant stories" is sufficient. Of course, abundance is also in the eye of the reporter.
Aren't the MSM and the Dems the "let every vote count" clan? But when the Dems snuff out a GOP win on the House floor in a manner that would send the New York Times into the mother of all snits were the shoe on the other foot, the Gray Lady camouflages the facts, and even manages to place blame on the Republicans.
Take the headline from the Times' story on the way in which the Democrat wielding the gavel somehow transformed a 215-213 Republican win into a 214-214 tie resulting in the motion failing: "Partisan Anger Stalls Congress in Final Push." The Times neatly switches the focus away from the Dems' theft of the vote, and onto those angry old Republicans, who are letting their anger stand in the way of progress. To that end, the article worked in a quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) [file photo]: “Their party has been hijacked by people who don’t really have an agenda but to stop progress.”
With the same sentiment that originally brought the spotted owl to fame, Reuters is now concerned that the proposed border fence between the U.S. and Mexico will harm butterflies and other creatures (see also Joe Steigerwald's prior post).
Upon further examination of its July 25 article, Reuters has concentrated on a realtively small forest area in Texas - described as being a "few miles" along the border - which is the habitat for ocelots (wild cats), birds, and over 300 species of butterflies.
My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.
Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...
If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:
In the lead-up to Monday night’s YouTube debate with the Democrat presidential candidates, CNN ran prime-time specials previewing videos that might be featured during the debate, and most of those featured came from the liberal side. It should be no surprise then that video clips featured left-wing clips by almost a 3 to 1 margin versus the conservative clips - 17 liberal clips to 6 conservative clips, out of a total of 38 video question clips.
Video of 10 of the liberal questions (6:20): Real (4.53 MB) or Windows (3.79 MB), plus MP3 audio (2.15 MB).
Appearing live on the "Hardball Plaza," leftist film-maker Michael Moore pitched his movie "Sicko" and called for Bush and Cheney's impeachment, all in front of live audience and sympathetic "Hardball" host Chris Matthews. On tonight's edition of "Hardball," Matthews devoted the entire hour to Moore and praised "Sicko" as "amazing film-making," wondered why Americans were afraid of "socialized" medicine and stood by as Moore charged Bush and Cheney should be led out of the White House on a "perp walk" and be imprisoned for their war crimes.
The following are some of the more over-the-top moments from the July 23rd edition of "Hardball:"
For all of those lefties who were enraged at Howard Kurtz granting publicity to conservative blogger Michelle Malkin a few months ago, they can now rest easy. On the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post, reporter Nick Miroff warned that a conservative "mouse-pushing crackpot" was tapping into ire against illegal immigrants – or more precisely, Miroff writes that he can’t be dismissed as a crackpot if he’s actually shaping public policy in suburban Prince William County. (This is the same Nick Miroff who couldn’t find the Democrat party label on the local mayor charged with running a brothel.)
The targeted blogger was Greg Letiecq, who runs a blog called Black Velvet Bruce Li. Consider as you read Miroff’s copy: can you imagine the Post using words like "crackpot" and "extremist" to describe positively anyone who stands on the opposing side to Letiecq? Would anyone who thinks the borders of the United States should be erased and that capitalism needs to be eradicated in America be subjected to a front-page story like this, with a message of: "Don’t look now, but hateful blogging kooks are running your local government!" (Here’s a hint: for a look at how the radical left gets covered in the Post, see Sunday’s cutesy gossip column item on the radicals with Code Pink "agitating for peace" and looking for a wardrobe at the Marshall’s discount shop.)
As if allowing this anti-American Bush-hater to have his own series wasn't enough, the brilliant folks at HBO decided to give Bill Maher another comedy special to rail against all things conservative.
For those on the left hoping for some truly vile attacks on the GOP, Saturday's "Bill Maher: The Decider" surely must have hit the spot.
In fact, of the 60 minutes Maher was given, upwards of 40 were spent eviscerating the President, his staff, Republican presidential candidates, and religious figures. In reality, this was a virtual campaign video for Democrats.
With that in mind, what follows are some of the lowlights in no particular order. However, the reader is cautioned that this is not edited for content, and contains some truly vulgar language.
Mayor George Darden, of Spring Valley, New York, is a Democrat who has been caught hiring illegal immigrants to work for his suburban village but you wouldn't know he is a Democrat by the coverage his story is getting. In fact, of the several stories thus far, not one even mentions his Party. But, an even bigger mystery is why this story isn't getting wider notice?
On the 17th this story of a Mayor of a New York city personally approaching illegal immigrants on street corners and hiring them to work for the village was first reported in local papers. It seems awfully shocking that an elected official would personally violate so many US immigration and work laws all at one time, yet no mention of the man's Party has surfaced nor have we heard much from this story on a national level. How much hype would this story get from the AP, do you imagine, if this Mayor had been a Republican? And why has several days gone by with so few MSM outlets picking this story up? Perhaps that this Mayor isn't a Republican the national media finds it less than compelling?
Last week, the New York Times ran an article feeling sorry for an illegal immigrant turned immigrant's "rights" activist who was discovered by a random immigration check on an Amtrak train and subsequently slated to be deported back to Chile, his homeland. The Times tried to massage readers into feeling bad for the man because he had been here since 1984 when he illegally crossed the Mexico/US border -- apparently the Times imagines that time bestows legality as opposed to obeying laws serving that purpose.
An axiom has resonated throughout the country that the NYT doesn't seem to grasp; "What part of illegal don't you understand?"
Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a Sunday column (HT The Daily Bellwether) that was a withering attack on the blandness, lack of local coverage, and political correctness of chain news.
Bronson, at least for the moment, works at The Enquirer, which is owned by mega-chain operator Gannett Co., Inc. Gannett publishes 85 local newspapers and USA Today.
Here's Bronson on blandness:
I wonder if a steady diet of junk-food news causes high blood pressure, indigestion and poor circulation.
Bronson on local non-coverage:
Wherever the population density can support more than one freeway exit, the chains move in and sterilize any hint of local flavor. ..... Being dropped in the middle of a chain newspaper can be like being taken to a Waffle House blindfolded, then trying to figure out if you're in Iowa or Idaho.
But the Enquirer columnist gets in his best licks criticizing newsroom political correctness, serving up three examples of what surely has driven many NewsBusters readers to distraction over their own local papers:
Fox News resident liberal blowhard Geraldo Rivera used his Saturday program to skewer conservative blogger and illegal immigration critic Michelle Malkin on the issues of illegal immigration and border enforcement.
If you want ignorant ranting about immigration and the Zina Linnik
case, go watch Geraldo Rivera (thanks to readers for e-mailing me about
it over the weekend and AP for clipping the vid). Utterly shameless.
Geraldo teased his Saturday night segment on the case by claiming that
Zina’s uncle, Anatoly Kalchik, would argue that Zina’s accused murderer
should be called a “monster” instead of an “immigrant:”
The tragic story was twisted to aggravate the immigration debate… A
little girl snatched and brutally murdered. Tonight her family speaks
out on why his “immigrant” label should be replaced by "monster."
only thing twisted, though, was Geraldo’s big tease. Mr. Kalchick did
not say what Geraldo said he would say. Geraldo didn’t even ask him
about the immigration angle in the interview that aired.
On last night's Fox News Watch, panelist and conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton mentioned that, when it came to analyzing the reasons for the collapse of John McCain's candidacy, Media Research Center [MRC] got it right: it was the Arizona senator's avid support for the amnesty-based immigration plan, and not his backing of the Bush Iraq policy, that did him in with GOP primary voters.
FOX NEWS WATCH PANELIST JIM PINKERTON: The mainstream media said "[McCain's] toast because of the Iraq war. In fact, he's toast because of the immigration bill, and it was only the MRC that caught that, saying the real thing that hurt him with the Republican base, the people in the primaries, was immigration and not Iraq.
It doesn’t seem to matter how small it is, a left-wing protest can always draw a national network TV camera. On CNN’s Newsroom program on Wednesday morning, the network founded by Ted "Call No One Foreign" Turner presented a northern Virginia controversy over illegal immigrants through a familiar lens -- highlighting a few hundred protesters charging racism in the supposedly outrageous demand that government officials have the right to inquire into the immigration status of potential illegal aliens in police custody.
A Republican proposal before the Prince William County Board, modified and softened after consulting with county police and legal counsel, was approved unanimously on Tuesday night – but mysteriously, the story by Brian Todd on Wednesday morning was never updated (it also ran late Tuesday). The Washington Post story from Nick Miroff on Wednesday is here. While CNN focused on the small group of protesters, it typically ignored how county supervisors voted unanimously with what they believed the majority of their constituents -- not a minority chanting for TV cameras -- wanted.
If I hear one more MSM outlet ascribe the implosion of John McCain's candidacy to his support for the war in Iraq, I'm going to scream . .
Let's see. Why don't we check out this morning's "Today"?
NBC REPORTER CHIP REID: He's been falling steadily in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from 29% in December to 24 in March and last month just 14%. His unwavering support of the Iraq war is unpopular with moderate Republicans and he insists he won't change his position for political purposes.
Reid did go on to mention McCain's support for "immigration reform" [read amnesty] as another issue hurting his campaign. But anyone who thinks McCain's support for our Iraq policy [a position shared by the frontrunners] is his main problem with GOP primary voters is as out of touch with the Republican base as only the MSM can be.
Over the weekend, the New York Times covered the fallout from Bush's failed amnesty-for-illegal immigration bill, finding that the GOP has doomed itself among Hispanics by its harsh talk radio rhetoric, while devoting space to the disappointment of illegal immigrants and Mexicans who want to be, and interviewing two of the few conservative activists that actually supported the bill, apparently without interviewing the myriad conservative activists aligned against it.
"But the bill's demise may have greatly damaged the party's ability to meet its enduring goal of attracting a large percentage of the growing number of Hispanic voters -- thousands of whom are ostensibly in line with the party on a host of other issues, said many Republican lawmakers, consultants and Hispanic voters."
Sometimes a newspaper story is so bizarre that you have to review it twice just to be sure you really read what you had just read. Such was the case with this Palm Beach Post column, "Immigrants new right-wing fear factor," by Frank Cerabino (pictured at right). We enter the surreal zone with this report:
I feel bad for Jennifer Lasko, the Delray Beach firefighter who made a significant sacrifice for her favorite presidential candidate.