May 30 2013

Immigrants Missing From Immigration Debate

Political issue or economic factor--but not human beings

DC immigration rally (cc photo: Anuska Sampedro)

When Extra! analyzed immigration reform coverage, the majority of sources from all networks were white male politicians born in the United States without personal ties to immigration. The voices of immigrants or activists were mostly absent.

Jun 29 2012

Maegan La Mala Ortiz on Supreme Court and Arizona, Robert Naiman on Julian Assange

This week on CounterSpin: Media seemed unable to decide if the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law was good news for the law’s supporters or its opponents. Was the ruling that murky, or do journalists just not see it so clearly? We’ll hear from VivirLatino blogger and writer Maegan La Mala Ortiz on the impact of the Court’s decision. Also on the show: The legal drama surrounding WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has intensified over the past week; Assange is reportedly requesting asylum from Ecuador, out of fear that Swedish authorities would turn him over to the United States to […]

Jun 22 2012

Sara Khorshid on Egypt, Mohammad Abdollahi on immigration


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: In the wake of the Egyptian military and courts dissolving that country’s parliament, and suspending an announcement of the winner in the presidential election, US politicians and journalist have begun to talk about $1.3 billion in military aid the U.S. gives to Egypt each year. But is it really a shocker that the Egyptian military doesn’t support democracy? We’ll talk with independent Egyptian journalist Sara Khorshid about the betrayal of Egyptian democracy. Also on CounterSpin today, Barack Obama made what seemed like a big move on the immigration front, with a June 15 Rose […]

Jul 29 2011

Devin Burghart on Norway terror, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Strauss-Kahn case


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The US media narrative equating terrorism with Islam was on embarrassing display last week following the Norwegian terror attacks, a story which raised issues about right-wing extremism, and the links between violent speech and violent actions. We’ll speak with Devin Burghart, the vice president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, who has written about white nationalism in Norway and the US. Also on CounterSpin today, some things about the Dominique Strauss Kahn rape case are all-too familiar: a famous, powerful suspect, an anonymous accuser whose background and personal life are […]

Jun 1 2011

Selling the Anti-Immigration Story

Media blitz gains attention--but little scrutiny--for nativist Federation

Federation for American Immigration Reform [Not to be confused with FAIR Media Watch!]--Photo Credit: Federation for American Immigration Reform

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (not to be confused with the media watch group FAIR), recently held its fourth “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington, D.C. The April 5-7 gathering saw the cozy confluence of freshman lawmakers, veteran creatures of the Hill such as journalist/speechwriter Patrick Buchanan and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine), and nearly 50 radio personalities broadcasting from “Radio Row.” In past years Lou Dobbs, known for his anti-immigrant vitriol (FAIR Media Advisory, 11/12/09), had broadcast both his nationally syndicated radio show and his former CNN show from the event. Radio broadcasters present this year […]

Jun 1 2011

Letting Anti-Immigrant Movement Off the Hook By Focusing on Founding Figure’s Racism

John Tanton--Photo Credit:

The April 17 New York Times ran a long front-page piece on the racism of John Tanton, founder of the anti-immigration organizations Federation for American Immigration Reform and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Reporter Jason DeParle included a good deal of damning information about Tanton (long documented here at FAIR—1/1/93—and by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center—Winter/08) and some of Tanton’s own racist words (e.g., his message to a large donor—“One of my prime concerns is about the decline of folks who look like you and me”—and his warning to a friend that “for European-American society and culture to […]

Apr 1 2011

Worthy and Unworthy Border Murders

To media, some Arizona killings are more interesting than others

Brisenia Flores

In March 2010, prominent European-American rancher Robert Krentz was murdered in a remote area of his sprawling property near Douglas, Arizona. Details of the crime remain murky. Early media reports cited authorities claiming to have tracked footprints from the murder scene 20 miles south to the Mexican border (New York Times, 4/4/10). A month after the killing, the Arizona Daily Star (5/3/10) cited “high-ranking government officials with credible information” in saying that “investigators are focusing on a suspect in the United States.” According to the Star, the officials, who wouldn’t be named, “expressed a desire to quell the fury over […]

Mar 1 2011

Time to ‘Drop and Leave’ Loaded Language

From ‘illegals’ to ‘anchor babies,’ media warp immigration debate

Steve King--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

On the first day of the new Congress, Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) introduced legislation to end the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship—or, as he termed it, “closing the ‘anchor baby’ loophole.” King claimed on CNN (1/7/11) that “as many as a million” of these “anchor babies” would flood the country in 2011. At the same time, five states are pursuing their own legislation to deny birth certificates to children born to unauthorized immigrants. A few months earlier (7/28/10), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R.-S.C.) announced on Fox News his intention to sponsor similar legislation in the Senate. “People come here to […]