Article in Greeley Tribune again omitted Musgrave's position on English-language measures

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An article in the Greeley Tribune failed to mention Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's (R-Fort Morgan) position on two English-language measures, even though she represents Greeley and is co-sponsoring one of them.

A July 27 Medill News Service article in the Greeley Tribune, headlined "House debates official language," once again failed to mention Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's (R-Fort Morgan) position on two English-language measures. The article, written by Medill News Service reporter Makiko Kitamura, focused on a debate -- held by the House Education Reform Subcommittee -- over making English the "official" language of the United States. According to the article, Democrats criticized the July 26 debate as an attempt "to divert attention from stalled immigration reform legislation."

Kitamura wrote that "Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has taken the lead in the English-only efforts by sponsoring the official language bill." However, the article failed to report that Musgrave, who represents Greeley, is a co-sponsor of a bill sponsored by King to "declare English as the official language of the United States." King's English Language Unity Act (H.R.997), introduced in 2005, is a House bill that would "declare English as the official language of the United States" and require government publications and proceedings to be conducted in English. It would also require that applicants for naturalization be tested on their English language abilities.

The Tribune article specifically addressed Colorado issues related to the debate over English as the "official language," stating that in 1988 "Colorado made English the official language". The article also cited Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform director Mike McGarry's opinion about the Colorado law. Yet, it never made reference to Musgrave's support for H.R. 997.

Moreover, the Tribune article also mentioned King's previous unsuccessful effort to amend the recent measure to renew the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in order to eliminate the requirement that certain localities provide ballots in at least one language in addition to English. As Colorado Media Matters previously noted, King's VRA amendment was called a "poison pill " by House Judiciary Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the Republican sponsor of the VRA reauthorization. As in a July 14 Medill News Service article published in the Tribune, the July 27 article failed to note that Musgrave voted in favor of King's VRA amendment.

Medill News Service is a wire service based in Chicago. Journalism graduate students at Northwestern University work for the service and write articles for its client newspapers.

From the July 27 Medill News Service article in the Greeley Tribune.

Republican proposals to make English the official national language were added to the immigration reform debate to divert attention from stalled immigration reform legislation, House Democrats said Wednesday.

[...]

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has taken the lead in the English-only efforts by sponsoring the official language bill. He also tried unsuccessfully to add an amendment to the recently-passed Voting Rights Act that would have struck the requirement to provide bilingual ballots as needed at polling places.

[...]

Twenty-seven states, including Colorado, have passed legislation making English the official language.

[...]

Colorado made English the official state language in 1988. But without a requirement that it be enforced, the "dopey" law holds little meaning, said Mike McGarry, director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.

Citing multilingual ballots as an example of the federal government "perpetuating the balkanization of this country," McGarry said he'd like to see a law "with teeth to it."

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