On ABC's World News Tonight, ABC chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz incorrectly reported that the temporary-worker program that President Bush promoted in his May 15 prime-time address would "allow immigrants to work temporarily in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship." In fact, in his speech, Bush clearly stated that he supports a guest-worker program that provides temporary work permits and requires participants to leave the country when their work permit expires.
Following President Bush's announcement of his proposal to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the administration's plan to bolster border protection in numerous media appearances and interviews. But in their coverage, media generally failed to mention that in December 2005, Chertoff characterized the deployment of the National Guard for border protection as "a horribly overexpensive and very difficult way to manage this problem."
A Washington Post editorial claimed that President Bush "responded weakly" when the House of Representatives passed its "draconian" immigration reform bill in December 2005, potentially costing him the "political strength now to resist it." The editorial suggested that Bush did not stand up to the House over the bill, which would institute criminal penalties for aiding illegal immigrants and mandate the construction of a fence along much of the Mexican border. But far from refusing to denounce the House's "draconian" bill, Bush in fact "applaud[ed] the House for passing a strong immigration bill."
Following President Bush's speech on immigration, CNN aired a special edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight that consisted largely of a roundtable discussion moderated by show host Lou Dobbs, with four other white men as guests: conservative syndicated columnist Tony Blankley, Republican strategist Charlie Black, CNN senior political analyst and American Enterprise Institute resident fellow William Schneider, and CNN host Wolf Blitzer. Missing from the discussion was the perspective of a Democrat, a progressive, a woman, or a Latino.
On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Pat Buchanan claimed that the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States is "not immigration" but "an invasion" that is "coming not only from Mexico," but "from the whole world."
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MSNBC host Keith Olbermann awarded Fox News' John Gibson third place in Countdown's "Worst Person in the World" competition, for comments Gibson made in response to a Washington Post article that noted that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson urged his viewers to "make more babies."
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On The Big Story, John Gibson urged viewers to "[d]o your duty. Make more babies," because he had found out, from a recently released report, that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: "You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic." Gibson later repeated: "To put it bluntly, we need more babies."
Glenn Beck devoted the opening monologue of his CNN Headline News show and first guest interview to an attack on illegal immigrants, suggesting that they are "try[ing] to conquer our culture." Later, Beck said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "sounded ... a lot like Michael Moore" in a letter to President Bush and suggested that an appropriate punishment for convicted 9-11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui would be having sexual relations with syndicated columnist Helen Thomas and actress Bea Arthur, "with David Hasselhoff singing." Finally, Beck again complimented CNN Headline News anchor Erica Hill's physical appearance.
CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Glenn Beck to discuss immigration. Even though Beck asserted during the interview that he has "no problem with immigrants coming in" to the United States, Cooper neither noted nor asked Beck about recent comments he made regarding illegal immigrants, Mexicans, and Mexico.
A Christian Science Monitor article cited a May 3 Zogby poll that found "[b]y a 2 to 1 margin" likely voters prefer the more punitive, enforcement-only immigration bill passed by the House in December over the comprehensive proposals currently being considered by the Senate. CNN host Lou Dobbs also cited the poll to claim that "voters overwhelmingly believe the House of Representatives has a better plan than the Senate." But the Zogby poll -- which was commissioned by an anti-immigration group -- misrepresented both proposals, and most polls on the issue run counter to Zogby's conclusions.
On the May 5 edition of his radio program, Glenn Beck aired a mock commercial for a fictional amusement park called "Cinco de Flag," that touted rides such as the "tractor-trailer run," in which "[w]e simulate an 18-wheeler full of illegal immigrants trying to cross the border when the INS breaks in."
Fox News' John Gibson cited a misleading poll question that asked respondents "how they felt when they saw" the May 1 nationwide "A Day Without Immigrants" demonstrations against proposed laws that would criminalize illegal immigrants. Gibson claimed that the poll found that "[a]bout two-thirds made them think we need better security at our borders. Only 21 percent thought we should make illegals U.S. citizens." But the question falsely suggests that enhancing border security and granting legal status to undocumented workers are mutually exclusive. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans favored legalizing undocumented immigrants, a view that one poll reported was unaffected by the demonstrations.
Bill O'Reilly claimed that Mexican President Vicente Fox has "got his troops on the northern border helping the drug traffickers bring the loads across." Although Mexican officials announced that drug smugglers were using military uniforms and vehicles when they crossed the border into the United States on January 23, the FBI found no evidence that the men were connected to the Mexican military. Later in the program, O'Reilly claimed that Jalisco is "on the border." In fact, Jalisco is a state in central Mexico, and it is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
In a May 5 article, Associated Press staff writer Jon Sarche reported that the "immigration debate has split both parties." In fact, while congressional Democrats do disagree on some minor issues, they largely favor policies that would better secure U.S. borders and provide opportunities for illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
Bill O'Reilly echoed the misleading claim, made frequently by congressional Republicans and conservative media figures, that Democrats are to blame for a provision in the immigration bill passed by the House of Representatives in December 2005 that would make it a felony for immigrants to be in the United States illegally.