Earlier this month, NewsBusters reported that CNN has been exploring a shift away from breaking news and commentary to longer-form documentaries. Our suspicion was that most, if not all, of the political-oriented documentaries would promote liberal issue ideas instead of conservative perspectives.
Almost on cue, CNN has announced that it has acquired the rights to air a feature-length film next year chronicling the experiences of an immigrant who is in this country illegally.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) recently proposed an amendment to the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration bill that would allow homosexuals in the U.S. to sponsor their foreign-born partners for green cards. Naturally, MSNBC was elated at this potential fusion of gay rights and immigration reform, so to celebrate, Sunday's Weekends with Alex Witt brought on Jose Antonio Vargas, a former Washington Post reporter and liberal activist who happens to be both gay AND an undocumented immigrant. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Vargas eagerly played up his double-minority status, complaining:
Ted Hesson at ABCNews.com reports that formerly "objective" Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas is leading a crusade to ban the term "illegal immigrant" from polite news coverage. Or as Hesson puts it, Vargas will "begin monitoring the use" of the phrase "with the goal of shifting the conversation."
"The term dehumanizes and marginalizes the people it seeks to describe," Vargas said. "Think of it this way, in what other context do we call someone illegal?" Since announcing to the world that he's an illegal immigrant, Vargas has become a celebrity activist who's starred in cover stories in in The New York Times Magazine and Time. He wants reporters to use the word "undocumented," and many do.
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.”
"Disparate Gay Bloggers Create a Virtual Village of Many Voices," the headline on the jump page noted:
On the Internet, no group -- however controversial or on the fringe -- is invisible. Everyone is but a Google search away. And the sheer diversity of blogs written by gays, lesbians and transgenders proves that, like all minority groups, the gay community is not monolithic. Though they may blog about the same topic -- say, Prop. 8 -- it doesn't mean they'll arrive at the same conclusion.
Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph profile does Vargas look into the generally conservative bloggers who maintain GayPatriot.net, a site that describes itself as "the Internet home for the American gay conservative." Indeed, Vargas spent the lion's share of his article focused on Pam Spaulding, a liberal black lesbian blogger from North Carolina. Vargas sums up Spaulding's insights on Prop 8: "religious anti-gay whites" are equally responsible for the passage of the ballot referendum as socially conservative African-American voters.
Wow. Truly insightful.
By contrast, GayPatriot bloggers also opposed Proposition 8 yet take liberal gay activists to task for their shrill invective against proponents of the ballot initiative. Here's one such excerpt from a February 8 post by Daniel Blatt, who blogs as "GayPatriotWest" entitled, "Will Gay Groups Criticize Mean-Spirited Tactics of Angry Prop 8 Opponents?":
Thursday’s Washington Post featured a splashy front-page Style section article headlined "MoveOn Grows Up." Reporter Jose Antonio Vargas lapped up MoveOn’s claims that it’s much more powerful and effective than the National Rifle Association, employed euphemisms to mask that MoveOn opposed any "violence" in response to the 9/11 attacks, and waited 18 long paragraphs to arrive at that "stumble" known as the roundly condemned "General Betray Us" ad.
Over a large picture of MoveOn executive director Eli Pariser at a Brooklyn "Call to Change" party is his apparently inspirational quote: "You can say things that inspire people and get lots of people to contribute just a little bit...Then instead of being accountable to a small set of rich donors, you’re accountable to a large set of everyday donors."
The piece began by explaining how Pariser swooped in on two women who started a Women Against Sarah Palin blog and offered cash and technical support. Vargas doesn’t quote from the blog, to give you a taste of its hateful flavor. From Wednesday came this harsh language:
The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas reported in the August 6 paper about worries in the Yearly Kos crowd that the liberal blogosphere is too white and too male. Critiquing that August 6 article, Jack Turner of "Jack & Jill Politics" disagreed with Vargas' assessment that every attendee at YearlyKos was wringing his or her hands about how to "diversify" the attendance.: