Pundits were mad about the news that Barack Obama was backing away from "chained CPI" Social Security cuts. An announcement about troop cuts caused some reporters to panic. And Arizona's discriminatory SB 1062 is given the "some say" media treatment.
The headline in today's New York Times (7/13/11): Plenty of Action Before the Game, but No Immigration Law Protests The Paper of Record reported that the much-discussed protests against Arizona's SB 1070 law fizzled: In the end, commerce trumped conscience. It was no mystery why the fervor over the immigration law was as flat as a half-full can of soda left in the 100-degree heat. Meanwhile, back in reality (Think Progress, 7/13/11):
One of the big problems with recentcoverage of immigration was the portrayal of the state of Arizona as a remarkably violent place due to the flood of unauthorized immigrants.It was a stew of misinformation, and one of the most prevalent claims was that Phoenix was The Kidnapping Capital of the Country (and No. 2 inthe entire world). That story always looked a little shaky, as this ThinkProgress review pointed out (7/9/10). Now it looks like there could be more problems. A brief item in the New York Times today (3/4/11) reported that Phoenix's public safety managerwas suspended while an audit […]
On Friday, Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher took a study that says there are 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were before the debate over the state's disputed anti-immigrant law, and reported it as 100,000 fewer "illegals." By conflating Hispanics with "illegals," Gallagher inadvertently illustrates the case made by opponents of the law.
Daniel Hernandez wrote an article for Extra! last year (6/09) about the tendency of U.S. corporate media to treat Mexican violence as a phenomenon that threatens to "spill over" into the U.S.–as in New York Times headlines like "Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over From Mexico, Alarming U.S." (3/23/09) and "Wave of Drug Violence Is Creeping Into Arizona From Mexico, Officials Say" (2/24/09). Hernandez's article, "Does Violence 'Spill Over' or Come Home to Roost?," questioned this framing of the story: It is a treatment of Mexico's crisis as something foreign, unknown and dangerous, as opposed to a threat affecting an intimately […]
We've rather amply documented Bill O'Reilly's record of misinformation on Arizona, immigration and crime. It's not surprising–but nonetheless worth documenting–that O'Reilly would bend reality in order to bash immigrants and defend the new Arizona law. But the way the New York Times handled the matter is worth a look. The paper's June 19 piece, "On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas," should have told a simple story: Supporters of the law claimed that Arizona was seeing a dramatic increase in crime, and immigrants were to blame for this. This is simply not true. But in the name of journalistic […]
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has endorsed the draconian Arizona immigration law on the grounds that immigration has caused the state's crime to skyrocket–a claim that founders on the fact that crime in the state has actually gone down (FAIR Action Alert, 5/17/10). Of late, he hasn't talked much about the immigration/crime angle, leading us to wonder whether he had figured out that he was all wet on the subject (FAIR Activism Update, 6/4/10). But last Thursday (6/17/10), interviewing pro-immigration schoolteacher Jose Lara, O'Reilly returned to the topic with a fresh set of nonsense: LARA: The fact is, Bill, and […]
Fox host Bill O'Reilly continued his efforts to link Arizona's harsh immigration law to the non-existent immigrant crime wave. Last night (5/18/10), with Cathy Areu of Catalina magazine: O'REILLY: OK, so you would just sit there and just status quo it? Status quo? AREU: Immigration is down, actually, in Arizona. Status quo's working beautifully. O'REILLY: Down everywhere. AREU: Well, crime is down and immigration is down. So, actually, things are better. O'REILLY: Crime in Arizona is up. Immigration's down because of the economy. As we pointed in our Action Alert– and has been pointed out elsewhere by actual journalists–crime is […]
Newsweek has another installment in the don't-blame-Arizonans coverage of the state's new immigration law (FAIR Blog, 4/28/10, 5/3/10, 5/4/10). Under the charming headline "Mexican Standoff," reporter Eve Conant writes: Some accuse lawmakers and the 70 percent of Arizonans who support the bill of acting like Nazis, or of turning Arizona into an apartheid state. But spend some time in Arizona, and you may come to see why so many Arizonans want this. The bulk of what follows is Conant's account of a month worth of ride-alongs with Arizona law enforcement officials, who showed her a number of ostensibly immigrant-related crimes. […]
Fox host Bill O'Reilly searched around for a reason to support Arizona's harsh new immigration law, and seemed to settle on the fact that there is a crime wave in Phoenix (5/3/10): Arizona had to do something. In the capital city Phoenix, crime is totally out of control. For example, last year New York City– with six times as many residents as Phoenix–had just 16,000 more reported crimes. San Diego is the same size as Phoenix. It has 60 percent less crime. There are only three small problems with this explanation. For one, there's no evidence that immigrants are liable […]
Ross Douthat has a New York Times column today (5/3/10) criticizing those who are "impugning the motives" of the new Arizona immigration law, which has been denounced as a "Nazi" or "near-fascist" law, a "police state" intervention, an imitation of "apartheid," a "Juan Crow" regime that only a bigot could possibly support. Really, says Douthat, the Arizona law is an understandable if unfortunate response to the federal government's failure to "regain…control of its southern border. There is a widespread pretense that this has been tried and found to be impossible, when really it's been found difficult and left untried." Douthat […]
George Will, defending Arizona's draconian new immigration law, concludes his column (Washington Post, 4/28/10) with this today: Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m. There are 47 million Latinos in the United States. Will's assumption that the only ones known to the readers he's addressing are likely to be waiting tables or mowing lawns is quite bizarre–and a testament […]