On the June 12 "Early Show," anchor Harry Smith again pounded Tony Snow, and Tony Snow again responded with a reprimand. Smith, who recently offered a puffy interview of Al Gore, continued his harsh interrogation of the White House press secretary. When discussing the G-8 summit, Snow asserted that Bush has "taken the lead" on initiatives such as climate change. Smith interrupted Snow like wise.
The immigration bill crafted by U.S. senators and White House negotiators behind closed doors may have been Topic A on talk radio over the past few weeks, but after heavy positive coverage of the “landmark” deal on May 17 and 18, ABC, CBS and NBC provided surprisingly little airtime to the hot debate.
MRC’s Matt Balan and I examined the broadcast networks' morning and evening news coverage from May 17 through June 8. We found just 73 stories (36 full reports and 37 brief items) totaling 104 minutes, or one percent of available airtime.
Nearly half the coverage (45%) aired May 17-18 as the deal was introduced, after which the issue virtually disappeared. The CBS Evening News, for example, ran no stories from May 22 until June 7, when Katie Couric read a brief item on the bill's imminent failure.
Forget the banter about Paris Hilton among the panelists on last evening's Fox News Watch. A deadly-serious matter later arose. Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton flatly alleged that to promote multiculturalism and allay Americans' concerns about immigration, the MSM and the Department of Homeland Security spiked a story about a terrorist dry run by 12 Syrians.
Longtime readers of The Wall Street Journal's editorial pages know three things:
The paper's editorials and opinion columns are usually among the best anywhere -- and not just on business and economics.
The Journal has for years had every reason to be proud of the fact, as the late Robert Bartley noted, that it is one of the few papers readers would buy for its opinion pages.
The Journal has, for 23 years, held an uncompromising "liberal" viewpoint on immigration that almost all conservatives have long since abandoned. The Journal's point of view can be summed up in five words it used in a July 3, 1984 editorial -- "There shall be open borders."
A copy of that editorial, posted for fair use and discussion purposes only, can be found here (the title is "In Defense of Huddled Masses") in a post about Journal columnist Peggy Noonan's effective break on June 1 from The Journal's doctrinaire stance.
The 1984 editorial's defining sentence is:
If Washington still wants to "do something" about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders.
"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." - George Wallace, from his 1963 inaugural speech as Governor of Alabama.
"No amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever." - New York Times editorial, June 9th, 2007, describing opponents of the proposed immigration law.
If you oppose the proposed immigration law that, "pathway to citizenship" aside, would immediately give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, you're not merely wrong. In the eyes of the New York Times, you're a knuckle-dragging nativist, no better than hard-core segregationists of the Jim Crow era.
That is the message of A Failure of Leadership, the Times' editorial of today, lamenting the collapse Thursday in the Senate of the immigration bill.
ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Friday night lamented the lost “hope” in the defeat of the compromise “immigration reform” bill as Gibson fretted about how “polarization” killed it. “Immigration bust,” Gibson teased World News: “Is there still hope for immigration reform after a highly touted deal falls apart?” He then led the newscast by repeating his “hope” line: “Many had great hopes for the compromise.” Turning to George Stephanopoulos in Iowa, Gibson proposed: “The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive.” Stephanopoulos agreed as he held conservatives most culpable: “This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill.”
That prompted Gibson to ruminate: “So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?” Stephanopoulos confirmed: “Certainly not this big problem, Charlie, even though, as I said, a majority of Americans support it.”
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate’s immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment."
Cuomo’s overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda. The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"
ABC's Charles Gibson fretted Thursday night over the likely impending demise of the “landmark” immigration deal as George Stephanopoulos blamed conservatives and on NBC Chip Reid faulted “extremes on the left and the right.” Gibson teased World News: “Tonight, the landmark compromise on immigration is in big trouble on Capitol Hill. Some Senators saying if we can't pass this, we can't pass anything.” Gibson proceeded to assert that the bill “was considered the best hope for doing something on immigration.” After a story from Jake Tapper on the debate in the Senate, Gibson expressed frustration to George Stephanopoulos: “What's so counterintuitive to me, George, is that a lot of the Senators who think and say most strongly that something has to be done to reform immigration are the ones who are voting for these killer amendments.” Stephanopoulos held conservatives responsible: “They are getting a lot of cross pressures, Charlie, particularly on the conservative side.”
Meanwhile, on the NBC Nightly News, Chip Reid described how Democrats are opposed to the temporary worker program because of how it may take jobs from Americans and Republicans are opposed to what they consider “amnesty” for illegals -- both mainstream views in the two parties. Yet Reid applied an “extreme” tag: “You've got the extremes on the left and the right trying to kill the entire bill, rather than except the provisions they detest.”
Earlier this morning on the Fox News Channel, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell talked to the gang at "Fox & Friends" about the poor ratings at the "CBS Evening News" since Katie Couric took the helm. VideoReal (2.5 MB) or Windows (2 MB) plus MP3 (1 mb)
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Katie Couric, who makes a lot of money, is just about 15 blocks from here. Her ratings have never been lower. What's going on?
BRENT BOZELL: Well, I mean, I wasn't Nostradamus when I said, as said others when she got the job, that she was going to fail. It's the wrong match. She's the queen, the master of morning talk shows with, because of her perky personality and the pop culture format. You put her on the "Evening News" where there's gravitas that is necessary. It's got to be far more serious. There wasn't a match there. And we knew there wasn't a match. It was going to be one of two things. Either they were going to change the whole format of the news to fit her, or it would fail because she doesn't fit in.
It's been eight weeks since Time magazine redesigned itself, and part of that refurbishment is handing over the "Ten Questions" interview inquiries to the readers instead of Time's reporters. In the June 11 edition, Time's interviewee was Rep. Tom Tancredo, a presidential contender and one of the nation's leading opponents of illegal immigration. Among the questions Time selected for Tancredo was a whopper from Ubaldo Padilla of Oroville, California: "Why do you hate Mexicans?" It wasn't the only snotty question Time picked. There was also James Smith of Phoenix, who asked: "I recently found out my family came from Holland without permission in the 1600s. Should we be sent back?"
Since Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel introduced the new format in the March 26 edition, there haven't been any Democrats interviewed. But in the March 12 edition, Time's Massimo Calabresi had ten (mostly softball) questions for Ted Kennedy, one of the nation's leading advocates of an amnesty for illegal immigrants. No one at Time asked him about immigration and why he supposedly hated Americans. Instead, Calabresi's list of questions included these soft touches:
On February 28 (second item at link), New York Times business reporter David Leonhardt infamously wrote the following:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only one to "notice" a recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist. In fact, the latest related report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth straight month. That would include February, when Leonhardt made his "recession" call. The ISM reading of 55.0 (any reading over 50 indicates expansion) actually inched up a bit from the previous month's 54.7.
Though it's not possible to tell for sure because of the TimeSelect subscription wall, a Times search on "manufacturing recession" (not in quotes) shows no apparent retraction of Leonhardt's call, but does include plenty of references to other reasons why a recession might be possible.
Leonhardt's "less than perfect" reporting has apparently continued.
This is something that must truly be seen to be believed. "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith concluded an interview with former Vice President Al Gore by attempting to pin a Gore ‘08 button on the politician. Why stop there, Harry? Why not slap a bumper sticker across your suit? (Be sure and check out the NB video clip.)
Sometimes the media make it very clear what they would like you to believe. On Tuesday’s "Today" show, various NBC reporters described senatorial candidate and former liberal radio host Al Franken, as "smart," "Harvard smart" and a "smart guy." Now, try and imagine if Ann Coulter ran for elected office. Think Meredith Vieira would laud her intellect?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured an extensive segment on the root causes of why Rosie O’Donnell left "The View." They covered every angle of the story. Well, except for the fact that the comedienne insinuated that American troops are terrorists.
The three charts at the end of this post from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should be cause for concern.
They show the unemployment rates for Blacks (African-Americans), all teens, and African-American teens during the past 10 years.
Each low unemployment-rate point achieved in 2000, when the overall unemployment rate reached its low point of 3.8%, was much lower than it is currently. Specifically:
The Black/African American unemployment rate is 1.5% point higher (8.5% currently, 7.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-Americans who are unemployed is still 21% higher (8.5/7.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.
The teen unemployment rate is 3.4% point higher (15.7% currently, 12.3% in June 2000). The percentage of teens who are unemployed is still 28% higher (15.7/12.3) than it was at its low point in 2000.
The Black/African American teen unemployment rate is 10.4% point higher (30.4% currently, 20.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-American teens who are unemployed is still 52% higher (30.4/20.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.
If the 2007 unemployment rates in the these categories were the same as they were in 2000, the overall unemployment rate would be about 0.3% lower, and much closer to its 2000 low.
Chris Matthews began his interview of Dan Bartlett by singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in his honor. He ended with an apparently heartelt plea that Bartlett, who today announced that he will be leaving his position as counselor to President Bush, not join Fox News.
Bartlett was a guest on this afternoon's Hardball. In a segment beginning at 5:24 pm EDT, Matthews first sparred with Bartlett over the rift between President Bush and his conservative base over immigration reform. At the end of the interview, talk turned to Bartlett's future plans.
The mainstream media has a tendency to turn to prominent conservatives whenever a significant portion of the conservative movement and President Bush have a policy disagreement. On Friday, it was Laura Ingraham's turn, when she was interviewed by John Roberts on CNN's "American Morning." When Roberts asked her about President Bush's recent slam of opponents of the immigration "reform bill," Ingraham turned the tables and took a shot at CNN itself.
If you knew an institution was incapable of keeping tabs on one, crucially-important, person, why would you believe it could track 12 million? And yet . . .
The government knew that one man in Atlanta had a highly-infectious, potentially fatal, disease that puts the lives of untold numbers of people at risk. The MSM is quick to point its finger at the government for its failure to keep track of him. But the same MSM is largely supportive of an amnesty-based immigration bill that would require that same government to keep tabs on untold millions of immigrants and administer a highly-complex "pathway to citizenship."
The MSM is turning the tale of the Georgia man with TB who roamed over Europe and flew back to the US, endangering his fellow passengers, into a story of government misfeasance. Typical of the MSM take was that of Chris Cuomo on today's "Good Morning America." Cuomo spoke to ABC medical consultant Dr. Tim Johnson at 7:04 am EDT this morning.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program attempted to justify and explain away the booing that Miss USA, Rachel Smith, received in Mexico City during Monday night’s Miss Universe pageant. In a tease for the segment, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer even wondered aloud, "Was it fair?"
New York Times reporter Michael Luo’s Tuesday profile of Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, the GOP leader in shepherding through Congress a Bush-style immigration bill unpopular among Republicans, followed some familiar patterns of bias.
“Angry calls poured into Senator Jon Kyl’s office this week by the thousands, expressing outrage beyond anything he said he had witnessed in his 20-year political career. The callers were inflamed by Mr. Kyl’s role in shaping the bipartisan immigration compromise announced May 17, which lawmakers continue to debate.
On the May 19th edition of Fox News Channel's Geraldo at Large, host Geraldo Rivera went on another pro-illegal immigrant rant. Commenting on the debate over the new immigration bill Rivera declared: "The deal beefs up border security, at the same time it allows millions here, illegally, to emerge from the shadows." Rivera then went on to spotlight the story of one illegal that was stuck in the "shadows."
The following is the full segment as reported by Geraldo and his brother and fellow Fox News reporter, Craig Rivera:
Geraldo Rivera: "So now up-front tonight the President praised senators of both parties for crafting a potential fix for the nation's broken immigration policies. The deal beefs up border security, at the same time it allows millions here, illegally, to emerge from the shadows. But whether Congress will pass the controversial bill into law is far from certain. Here's the President from his Texas ranch where he and the First Lady are spending the weekend."
While Friday's New York Times underlined "broad support" for current immigration "reform" proposals, selectively highlighting the positive poll results, this is not how the Times reported the Bush tax cuts of 2001. Back then, Times reporters tried to dismiss their own poll numbers as meaningless and growing more irrelevant by the hour.
On March 14, 2001, the Times report by Richard Berke and Janet Elder highlighted how Bush had a decent approval rating, but he and Vice President Cheney also drew lots of negatives. The headline was "60% In Poll Favor Bush, But Economy Is Major Concern." This, in paragraph eight, is how they pooh-poohed the public support for tax cuts:
On the immediate agenda, Mr. Bush should be encouraged that most Americans endorse his signature blueprint to cut taxes. Yet they do not seem deeply enthusiastic. Most see the plan as favoring the rich and doing little, if anything, to help average, middle-income people or to stimulate the economy.
On the top right of Friday’s front page of The New York Times is a story headlined "Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support In Poll: Majority Favors Path to Legal Status for Illegal Aliens." Reporters Julia Preston and Marjorie Connelly wrote the story in a way that framed the poll like a memo to Congress, saying "Please pass the bill, the polling water’s warm."
The reporters claim the American public is "taking a pragmatic stand on a divisive issue," which could be interpreted to mean they change their answers based on how the poll question is phrased. It's so divisive individual voters have two different opinions depending on the pollster's lingo. But Preston and Connelly began by insisting: "As opponents from the right and left challenge an immigration bill before Congress, there is broad support among Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike – for the major provisions in the legislation."
The American left loves to chant "no blood for oil." But those same liberals would eagerly sacrifice American interests in the name of . . . a cheaper Caesar salad.
Take this morning's report on CNN which came at about 7:35 am EDT. Entitled "Farm-Fresh Problems," the segment, narrated by CNN's Chris Lawrence, focused on the lack of illegal immigrant labor to harvest California's fruit and vegetable crops.
CNN REPORTER CHRIS LAWRENCE: California harvests about half the nation's fruits and vegetables and every summer, farmers need half-a-million workers to pick those crops. But the crackdown on illegal immigrants is keeping workers out of their fields, leaving unpicked fruit left to rot.
HENRY VEGA [California farmer]: They're definitely worried about being raided and deported.
If an illegal immigrant can openly show his face on national television and divulge many details about his life and circumstances, apparently without fear of detention or deportation, how can Americans have any confidence that the government will enforce the proposed new immigration law?
At 6:43 am EDT this morning, CNN ran a segment sympathetic to illegal aliens, suggesting that the proposed immigration law created too many hurdles for them. "American Morning" host Alina Cho narrated the piece, which focused on an illegal Mexican immigrant in New York City. Among the details about him that were, with his obvious cooperation, revealed:
His name, apparently not an alias, is Juan. He is from Mexico. We saw and heard him in a completely open and undisguised manner throughout the segment.
He is a cashier in a wine store in New York City, where he earns $400/week. Considerable footage of the interior of the store and the street on which it is located were aired.
Juan has a "long-time partner," Reina, and two children. Footage of Reina and the interior of his apartment were shown.
If you believe the hype from the open-borders crowd about how illegal immigrants "are doing jobs other won't do," you would have to wonder how this ever happened (the following is from a May 11 company press release):
Swift & Company Announces Return of Standard Staffing Levels at All Four Domestic Beef Processing Facilities
Pork Processing Facilities Resumed Normal Production in March
Swift & Company today reported its return to standard staffing levels at all four domestic beef processing facilities after the detention and removal, on December 12, 2006, of approximately 950 Swift Beef employees by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") division.
The December 2006 ICE event also involved two Swift Pork processing facilities. As the Company announced on April 10, 2007, Swift's domestic pork operations returned to normal levels in March 2007. ICE detained and removed a total of nearly 1,300 Swift Beef and Swift Pork employees during the December 2006 event.
A terse Associated Press story on the announcement that gained very little circulation made sure to remind us that "Operations at Swift plants in Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Hyrum, Utah, were suspended for several hours on Dec. 12 while immigration agents arrested 1,217 workers. No company managers have been charged."
Somehow, AP "forgot" to tell us that, as reported by the Greeley, Colorado Tribune the previous week (requires free registration), that at just one of the facilities involved:
The Formerly Mainstream Media is favorably transfixed on the proposed immigration "reforms" being whipped through Congress -- legislation that opponents characterize as "amnesty."
"Somehow," they have managed to virtually ignore immigration-related legislation that has actually become law in Oklahoma.
Perhaps it's because Oklahoma's reforms have nothing to do with "amnesty," and everything to do with enforcement.
Specifically, from a May 8 Associated Press story on the bill's passage:
Governor Henry today signed a sweeping immigration reform bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Oklahoma Legislature, but described it as a stopgap measure until the federal government takes action on the issue.
Among other things, the bill contains employment, labor law and civil rights provisions to protect citizens and legal immigrants who lose their jobs at companies that employ illegal immigrants to perform the same or similar work.
Beginning in November, public agencies will be required to use a program that screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with a job applicant's name.
A One News Now story provided more detail. It also makes it clear that the sponsor of the legislation believes that the states have more power to enforce immigration law than the "it's the Feds' problem" types would like us to believe (bold is mine):
This is the first step. We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that
this issue can be caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible. -- Sen. John McCain [R-AZ], May 17th.
Now is probably the last window for action on comprehensive reform before presidential politics thwart any rational debate. -- Boston Globe editorial, May 19th.
That the Boston Globe would want to ram through the amnesty-based immigration bill comes as no surprise. But what does it say about Republican presidential hopeful John McCain that the Globe's entreaty tracks McCain's so closely?
Hugh Hewtt has described the operative sentiment as "a repulsive attitude of contempt towards the voters who elected the senators."
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
Appearing on Good Morning America today, Geraldo Rivera claimed that illegal aliens in the United States are "law abiding." Is he right?
In a debate moderated by GMA co-host Diane Sawyer that began today at about 7:15 am EDT, Geraldo faced off against Glenn Beck. Rivera made a case for letting the estimated 12 million illegal aliens remain in the country.
GERALDO RIVERA: We have 12 million people who are gainfully employed; the vast majority of them are. I submit to you that these people are a vital part of the American economy. That they are doing jobs that essentially Americans don't want. Americans are fully employed. To lose these 12 million hard-working people, law-abiding, family people, socially-conservative people in many ways, I think would be a travesty.
When Beck challenged Geraldo's law-abiding claim, pointing to the three illegal aliens who were among the al Qaeda-inspired terrorists planning to attack Fort Dix, Rivera retorted that the fence Beck favors wouldn't have kept them out, since they came in through JFK airport.
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.