If Ken Burns ever decides to stop making documentaries, he could always go into comedy . . .On today's Morning Joe, Burns claimed he was non-political, despite repeatedly attempting to draw parallels between Prohibition, the subject of his current film, and themes in current conservatism, particularly immigration. At the same time, Burns ignored the modern-day prohibitionist sitting right across the table from him--Mika Brzezinski--the neo-Carrie Nation who would ban everything from cigarettes to soft drinks, transfats to fast food. Video after the jump.
On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Erica Hill advocated for a liberal pet cause, urging Michele Bachmann to allow children of illegal aliens to receive in-state college tuition. Hill also spotlighted Gov. Rick Perry's attack on his competitors in the GOP presidential race on this issue: "Basically, [Perry is] saying to the other eight folks on the stage there, including yourself, that you don't have a heart."
The anchor raised the immigration issue towards the end of her interview of the Minnesota representative. Hill first quoted Gov. Perry's line on the in-state tuition issue from the previous night's debate: "He said, 'If you say we should not educate children who come into our state by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart.'" She then made a budget-based appeal to the Republican: "I know you said you don't want any resources to go to illegal aliens or their children. Why not, though, give them a tuition break now, rather then, perhaps, down the line, having to hand over unemployment, or even welfare?"
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.
The U.S. Department of Labor told CNSNews.com in a written statement on Wednesday that it will enforce the federal wage laws on behalf of anyone working in the United States “regardless of their immigration status.” The statement was in response to a written question from CNSNews.com.
The written statement backed up a video statement that Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made to CNSNews.com on Monday in which she indicated that “partnership” agreements she had signed that day with a group of Latin American countries will obligate the U.S. government to protect the working conditions for both “documented and undocumented” migrant laborers here in the United States. (See earlier story.)
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Gonzales slanted towards homosexual activists who laud the Obama administration's recent move to slacken its deportation policy and allow foreign-born nationals in same-sex "marriages" to stay in the United States without a green card. Gonzales found an opponent of the new policy, but noted that "his objection has nothing to do with sexual orientation."
The correspondent highlighted the plight of Bradford Wells, a resident of San Francisco's infamous Castro district, whose Australian partner's permission to stay in the country is about to expire. He stated that Wells "has good days and bad days....[He] has AIDS and a host of related ailments. His primary care-giver....Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia....entered this country legally.... he's applied for a green card. But he's been rejected because under the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the federal government doesn't recognize their marriage....So, he's left in a legal limbo, and the upsets Wells."
What Would You Do?, an ABC News hidden camera program that often engineers scenarios to expose the supposed bigotry of Americans, was asked on Wednesday to stop filming by the town of Greenwich, Connecticut.
The ABC program uses a hidden camera to see how people react. On February 4, 2011, host John Quinones explained how the show hired an actor to play a security guard and pretend to harass Mexicans. The piece, billed as an investigation of Arizona's immigration law, featured the faux-security guard spewing, "...If they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."
Preston has a reputation for sympathetic coverage of illegal immigration policy. In December 2010 she lamented a Senate vote blocking a bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrant students as a “painful setback.”
NBC has yet to cover a major shift by the Obama administration that would halt deportation of illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime. According to the Washington Times, up to 300,000 cases could be impacted by this decision.
Despite ignoring the development, NBC did find time to cover the story of Boris, the 550 pound pig. Natalie Morales explained, "His owners have him on a diet and he's dropped an impressive 75 pounds."
The Washington Post barely covered the Obama administration’s declaration to go all soft on deportations on Friday. They ran a 320-word Reuters dispatch on A-5 with zero opponents in it, and no suggestion this new policy was a bald-faced political move for Obama to improve his sinking approval ratings among Hispanics.
But in a front-page story Monday, Post reporter Peter Wallsten calmly explained that this is exactly what it was: “While most of Washington was embroiled in the debt-ceiling drama last month, about 160 Hispanic leaders from across the country filed into the White House one day, largely unnoticed. For two days, they enjoyed full access to top presidential advisers, Cabinet members and administration officials from across the government.”
Arizona governor Jan Brewer says she was "censored" by Facebook after a posting she made on the social network was removed by the site's staff. In her post, Brewer had criticized the Obama administration's recent decision to halt prosecutions of many illegal immigrants.
"Facebook censored the post and removed it because the photo apparently violated their 'Facebook Community Standards.' Before it was removed, it had received over 10,000 likes and comments," Brewer said in a subsequent post.
New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson reported Sunday from Cullman, Ala., “Alabama Law Criminalizes Samaritans, Bishops Say.” The Times showed an unusual and convenient respect for Southern Christians who are taking a liberal and paranoid stand on a new state law against illegal immigration -- the issue perhaps most likely to bring out the Times’s liberal bias.
On a sofa in the hallway of his office here, Mitchell Williams, the pastor of First United Methodist Church, announced that he was going to break the law. He is not the only church leader making such a declaration these days.
For MSNBC, Gov. Rick Perry's (R-Texas) record of enforcing existing law, protecting the border, and implementing "only a limited version" of the DREAM Act constitutes an "aggressive stance" on immigration that "may cost him some votes" in the Hispanic community, even though Perry's position on the DREAM Act is considered moderate within the Republican Party.
MSNBC fill-in anchor Craig Melvin on Tuesday quoted a Democratic mayor in Texas who called Perry's record "easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation" and brought on an adviser for the National Council for La Raza (NCLR) to criticize the presidential contender.
First, to be fair to Associated Press reporter Christopher Sherman, because there is no equivalent reference in the 3:34 p.m. version of his report on Rick Perry's immigration positions, the headline which will follow the jump does not appear to be of his doing.
But whoever at the wire service decided on the headline to use at Sherman's piece definitely has a problem with anyone who questions the need for illegal-immgrant amnesty, is against the granting of in-state tuition for college students who are illegal immigrants, or supports robust border enforcement:
The illegal immigrant advocates at CASA de Maryland have really called in the big guns with their lawsuit in Maryland aimed at thwarting a popular voter referendum on the so-called Maryland DREAM Act, which provides for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
The NBC News Investigative Unit has devoted considerable resources to uncovering "scandals" ranging from Marcus Bachmann's health clinic to Newt Gingrich's credit line at Tiffany to the Sarah Palin document dump, but continues to ignore a botched Justice Department operation that contributed to the death of a U.S. border agent.
Examining the trove of reports filed by NBC News national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff over the last few months reveals a fixation on investigations involving Republican politicians and an aversion to probes concerning the Obama administration, even as other media outlets expose the controversial ATF practice of letting guns purchased in America slip across the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes the trail would lead federal agents to drug kingpins.
Looking for updates on the Connecticut state budget mess earlier this afternoon, I searched the Associated Press's national site on the last name of Democratic Nutmeg State Governor Dannel Malloy, and found nothing recent (graphic saved here for future reference).
But there were two stories originating from the state which the wire service, the nation's de facto news gatekeeper, deemed worthy of national attention. Brace yourself.
With great fanfare and elite media sympathy, Jose Antonio Vargas publicly declared himself an "undocumented immigrant" this week. "Undocumented" my you-know-what. In the felony-friendly pages of The New York Crimes — er, Times — the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist turned illegal-alien activist spilled the beans on all the illegal IDs he amassed over the years. He had documents coming out of his ears.
The Times featured full-color photos of Vargas' fake document trove — including a fake passport with a fake name, a fake green card and a Social Security card his grandfather doctored for him at a Kinko's. He committed perjury repeatedly on federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. In 2002, while pursuing his journalism career goals, an immigration lawyer told him he needed to accept the consequences of his law-breaking and return to his native Philippines.
Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.
Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”
Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu said the Obama administration’s decision to extend the deployment of 1,200 U.S. National Guard troops along the U.S. border with Mexico until Sept. 30 is “pandering” and that those numbers “fall far short” of what military power is needed to keep the country safe.
In a report on the Arizona wildfires on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer touted how "The Forest Service says this historic wildfire season is caused in part by climate change." After promoting that politically charged claim, Almaguer declared that Senator John McCain had created a "firestorm" by noting that illegal immigrants have contributed to past wildfires.
At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "Heated controversy. A debate blows up over John McCain blaming some wildfires in Arizona on illegal border-crossers." Later, she framed an interview with McCain this way: "Now to more on that controversial comment by Arizona Senator John McCain....We spoke to the Senator earlier this morning. We began by asking him if he was trying to use this current tragedy for a political purpose."
Good Morning America's reporters on Tuesday hyperbolically attacked John McCain for creating a "firestorm" and a "political calamity" by suggesting that illegal immigrants have been responsible for fires in the southwest.
Reporter Clayton Sandell recounted the blaze in Arizona and hyperventilated, "Now, a political calamity has flared after Senator John McCain blamed at least some of the fires on illegal immigrants." He ignored mentioning the documented proof that illegals have been the cause of past fires.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) conducted hearings on Wednesday to investigate a highly controversial ATF operation that led to the death of a U.S. border agent, but neither NBC nor ABC covered the story on their nightly newscasts.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman lambasted a Justice Department official who claimed to be cooperating with the investigation but offered not much more than severely redacted documents. "You should be ashamed of yourself," scolded Issa. "How dare you offer an opening statement of cooperation."
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz denounced Republicans last week for believing illegal immigration “should in fact be a crime.” “I think the president was clearly articulating that his position – the Democratic position – is that we need comprehensive immigration reform,” said Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. House member from Florida at a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast on May 26.
“We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy and this is not only a reality but a necessity. And that it would be harmful – the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrested them all.”
The comment has drawn attention among conservative commentators and bloggers. During the comments, the chairwoman referred to legislation in 2006 by then Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Mich.) that would increase border enforcement and make illegal immigration a criminal offense instead of a civil matter.
Borrowing the phraseology of left-wing bloggers, NBC Justice correspondent Pete Williams has (so far) thrice invoked Nazi terminology to describe SB-1070, the Arizona immigration law that continues to be the object of liberal scorn.
The first reference occurred today during the 10 a.m. EDT hour of "Jansing & Co.," when Williams called the state measure the "show us your papers law."
Moments later, Williams led the top of 11 a.m. EDT hour of "MSNBC Live" by repeating the "show us your papers" line.
The NBC correspondent took a break for about an hour before rephrasing the legislation during the 12 p.m. EDT hour as the "round up the usual suspects law."
As readers are likely aware, former Vermont governor Howard Dean is a contributor to CNBC, and in this role, he continues to say the darnedest things.
On Monday's "The Last Word," Dean said of the far-right, "They hate Muslims, they hate gays, they hate immigrants, and the rhetoric in the primaries shows that" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), when talking to Capitol reporters, said that Fox News makes it difficult for him to garner support for his stance on immigration reform, which includes a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens already living in the country.
The senator, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that Fox News using the word “amnesty” during the 24-hour news cycle has hindered support for his position on reforming the U.S. immigration system, which lawmakers on both sides say is broken.
“In today’s world, it’s very hard for bi-partisan agreements to be formed,” said Graham, “because those who don’t like what you’re trying to do are able to generate a lot of pushback early on, so this 24 hour news cycle makes it very, very difficult, but not impossible.
Anyone whose eyes have been glued to certain news outlets for the last 24 hours has probably heard almost nothing about one of the most offensive political advertisements in recent memory. That's because most major networks have largely failed to cover a video portraying Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan as literally throwing grandma off a cliff.
While ABC, MSNBC, and CNN continue to ignore the left-wing attack ad, these same outlets wasted no time excoriating Sharron Angle's controversial immigration ad during the 2010 cycle.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has apprehended more suspected terrorists on the nation’s northern border than along its southern counterpart, CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin said Tuesday.
“In terms of the terrorist threat, it’s commonly accepted that the more significant threat” comes from the U.S.-Canada border, Bersin told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security.
On Wednesday afternoon's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio, NPR political director Ken Rudin told host Neal Conan that of course, President Obama was "exactly right" in his El Paso speech to say Republicans are never satisfied on immigration, and want a moat with alligators in it:
CONAN: And this is not likely to pass as a piece of legislation but likely to be pretty effective as a piece of campaign rhetoric.
RUDIN: Well, remember, every moat counts. We always say that in November. But actually, that also was a very good Boehner impersonation.