From the June 16 edition of Sirius XM's Media Matters Radio:
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From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday:
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From the June 15 edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show:
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Following the Obama administration's announcement that it will grant certain undocumented immigrants the chance to be exempted from deportation, Fox News claimed President Obama had issued the decision as an executive order, implying he did so to circumvent Congress. In fact, the change is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that is consistent with the current law and has decades of precedent.
From the June 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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In response to a Time magazine cover story by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas about how life changes after he and others revealed his or her status as an undocumented immigrant, Fox News hosted a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Vargas, who has previously been the subject of Fox's scorn after he wrote an article last year revealing himself as an undocumented immigrant, wrote an article updating his status in a newly published issue of Time. The article details current struggles by people in Vargas' same situation -- where there is no available path to legal documentation. Vargas also details that "the long-stalled Dream Act is the best hope" for young people to gain a path to U.S. citizenship.
Rather than host a measured discussion on the issues Vargas brought up, Fox & Friends turned to FAIR for a "fair and balanced" debate with immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez. According to the SPLC, "FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content." FAIR has even promoted people who make violent threats and vicious smears against immigrants.
Today, FAIR media director Ira Mehlman kicked off the debate by saying "I think we've seen this in-your-face attitude before. Back in 2005 and 2006, you had hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets of every major city in the United States demanding to be rewarded as a result of having broken the law." Attacks on undocumented immigrants such as these were a staple of the 2006 right-wing campaign against immigration reform.
Today's announcement that the Obama administration "will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives" (per the Associated Press) offers an excellent glimpse at how that tension plays out.
Republishing the AP write-up, Fox News Latino used the staid headline "Obama Administration Halts Deportations for Undocumented Children," and attached a photo of a DREAM Act activist in front of the Capitol:
Fox Nation also republished an AP write-up, but their headline and photo selection* spoke to a different tone and audience:
*UPDATE: Fox Nation has since removed the photo from the article, though the photo still appears on their main page.
On January 5, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, a group called State Legislators for Legal Immigration held a press event announcing their intention to change meaning of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, which has granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" ever since it was ratified in 1868. The group wants to force a reinterpretation of the amendment to prevent children of undocumented immigrants from obtaining citizenship, thus removing (in SLLI's view) an incentive for people to cross the border illegally.
Their primary weapon in this crusade is a model bill that says children must have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen (or resident alien) in order to be eligible for state citizenship. The bill, which runs contrary to over 100 years of legal precedent, was designed so that legislators could take it back to their states, work to get it passed, and then get sued with the hope that the case makes it all the way to a Supreme Court which would then overturn that precedent.
The strategy, the legal reasoning, and the model legislation were devised by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Specifically, they are the brainchildren of Kris Kobach, counsel for IRLI and the Kansas secretary of state.
IRLI is not the only conservative organization pushing model legislation on this issue. A similar model bill approved by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2008 provides for state legislatures to call on Congress to "enact legislation clarifying the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution as denying citizenship status to children of illegal aliens."
From the April 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday:
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This Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if portions of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 1070, are inconsistent with federal law and therefore must be struck down. Fox has taken this opportunity to push misleading talking points about Arizona's immigration enforcement law and to continue to fearmonger about crime in Arizona.
Right-wing media have attacked a proposed Obama administration rule change that would reduce the amount of time required for undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of American citizens to apply for residency as "stealth amnesty" by a "lawless regime." But the proposed rule change would allow eligible immigrants to obtain a lawful return visa without a long separation from their families; moreover, immigrant-rights activists have said that the current system encourages people to remain here illegally.
Right-wing media are demonizing the National Council of La Raza in order to object to President Obama's recent appointment of Cecilia Muñoz as director of the Domestic Policy Council, accusing the organization of being an "amnesty" group with "racist" ties. These attacks are not new: Conservatives have long described the civil rights group as "the Ku Klux Klan Of The Hispanic People."
Fox News' Fox & Friends made considerable contributions to the field of conservative of misinformation throughout 2011. The efforts of co-hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade -- as well as their rotating cast of fill-in hosts and Curvy Couch guests -- have made Fox & Friends the top misinformer on Fox News in 2011.
In a post on his blog yesterday, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, currently an op-ed columnist for the paper, answered readers who have repeatedly criticized him and the paper of record for their incessant use of derogatory term "illegals." Keller shared a handful of emails from readers, including from one who noted that the term "reduces human beings to a status label, and a morally loaded one at that."
The reader's email continued:
It reduces the essence of a person to an act of violation, an offense. When you use "illegals" as the object of a sentence it literally erases the human beings who the sentence is about and makes the grammatical object of the sentence an abstraction, a label of condemnation.
Keller was particularly criticized for using the term in his Monday column, which he did no less than four times. In defending himself to readers, he wrote:
Just to be clear, I used the word only to refer to people who are actually in this country illegally. I was careful not to apply it to families, which are often of mixed legal status. And I used it in a context where the subject was their legal status.
After consulting the paper's style book, which advised Times journalists to use "illegal immigrant ... rather than the sinister-sounding illegal alien," Keller contacted the Times' "arbiter of style and taste" Phil Corbett who explained that " 'illegals' as a shorthand noun has an unnecessarily pejorative tone, and it is routinely used by the anti-immigration side." Corbett added: "I think it's wise to steer clear."
Well, vigilant readers, the good news is, you seem to have gotten the style book updated. And I'll resist that particular shorthand in the future.
It was bound to happen. Fox's Eric Bolling was primed to have a talking to for his extreme views on immigrants and his repeated calls that the entire undocumented population be deported. On Friday, fellow Fox News colleague Geraldo Rivera did just that, slamming The Five co-host for his "hardline" attitude toward immigrants, which Rivera said is "way too draconian to be in any sense humane or American."
Rivera said of Bolling's view:
RIVERA: I think it really overstates the problem. I think it helps fuel this enormous hatred. I think it's rhetorical. And I think that it's not you. You are a thoughtful person. You are passionate -- I understand that. And I think that you are eloquent, but when you talk about this whole class of people, 11 million people -- that's larger than some countries -- in one broad brush, including the grandmothers, the babies, everybody else, I think that it is negative; it is counterproductive; and it's very divisive.
Indeed, what Rivera was describing could be applied to the lion's share of Fox News' coverage of immigrants. Two recent examples include segments in which a straight news anchor on the network used the pejorative "illegals" to refer to undocumented immigrants and another that pushed a false storyline to attack the Obama administration on immigration policy.
Fox rarely, if ever, discusses immigrants as Rivera did on the show. He pointed out the numerous economic benefits they have brought the United States, including reviving economically depressed towns and the fact that they pay taxes. Rivera noted: "They are a productive, hard-working population, generally speaking, Eric; they are not a criminal -- I'm all for deporting criminals; deport them. But to treat the 2-year-old baby and the felony murderer as the same class is wrong."
And yet that's what Fox has done, repeatedly. The network has advanced the spurious idea that the majority of undocumented immigrants are criminals. And one of the ways it has pushed that narrative is by its personalities' incessant reference of immigrants using the slur "illegals." Following Bolling's use of the word, Rivera interjected: "You call them illegals. That is a word that is designed to generate a negative reaction. You wanna talk about illegals? Let's talk about fathers who don't pay child support. Aren't they illegals? ... So why don't we call them illegals?"