O’Reilly’s Arizona Panic Continues

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 down in Arizona.

Later in the segment:

AREU: El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States.

O’REILLY: That’s a bunch of baloney.

If by “bunch of baloney” O’Reillymeans “true,” then he’s got a point. El Paso has long been one of the country’s safest big cities, a point made recently in the L.A. Times (5/13/10):

The Mexican border metropolis of Ciudad Juarez now has a higher murder rate than Baghdad as drug cartels battle for turf. Its neighbor on the U.S. side, El Paso, has long been one of the nation’s safest big cities, with more than 600,000 people. Last year it was ranked second-safest behind Honolulu.

“Life in El Paso is good,” said police spokesman Michael Baranyay, citing the one homicide the city has logged this year.

If you wantto help push O’Reilly to stop these slurs, sign FAIR’s petition to Fox.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.