Jun 01 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 […]

Apr 01 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 01 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 […]

Jul 01 2010

Defending Arizona

Pundits scramble to justify anti-immigrant law

When Arizona passed a patently unconstitutional law, SB 1070, requiring residents to prove their citizenship to any suspicious police officer, the state did not lack for defenders in the corporate press. One of the first out of the box was George Will, who concluded his April 28 Washington Post column with this observation: Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 […]

Jun 04 2010

Where Is O’Reilly’s Anti-Immigration Retraction?

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly cited one reason to support Arizona’s harsh new anti-immigrant law: the state’s exploding crime rate. As FAIR documented in a May 17 Action Alert, there is no such crime wave in the state. What’s more, most research shows that immigrants tend to commit less crime than the population at large. The day after the FAIR alert, O’Reilly (5/18/10) was still at it, declaring that “crime in Arizona is up.” When his guest, Cathy Areu of Catalina magazine, pointed out that the El Paso “is one of the safest cities in the United States”– […]

May 17 2010

Stop O’Reilly’s Immigrant Crime Slurs

Blaming immigrants for nonexistent Arizona crime wave

Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly singled out one reason to support Arizona’s draconian new immigration law: the state’s exploding crime rate. But there is no documented crime wave in Arizona, and O’Reilly’s attempt to link immigrants to crime is equally unfounded. O’Reilly’s record of overheated rhetoric is clear: —May 3: “Arizona had to do something. In the capital city, Phoenix, crime’s out of control. For example, last year, New York City, with six times as many residents as Phoenix, had just 16,000 more reported crimes.” —May 4: “The Arizona authorities say we’re desperate. We don’t have the […]

May 07 2010

Gabriel Arana on immigration, Ron Daniels on Henry Louis Gates


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Arizona’s new immigration law has sparked national protests and a renewed political discussion about something usually called “comprehensive reform.” What that means is unclear, but the discussion about immigration seems to have moved to the right in some fundamental ways. Gabriel Arana from the American Prospect will join us to talk about that shift, and also how media depictions of border crime and violence are related to this political shift. Also on CounterSpin today, when Harvard African Studies professor Henry Louis Gates published a New York Times op-ed arguing against reparations for slavery, because […]

Apr 30 2010

Marcie Keever on oil spill, Alessandra Soler Meetze on Arizona SB 1070


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: April 29 headlines suggest the oil spill from the explosion of a Deepwater Horizon oil rig may be as much as 5 times larger than originally predicted. But according to some media observers, TV news anyway, has kept the focus on the disaster story, and the human story, but the “What does or should this mean for increasing offcoast oil drilling story?” Not so much. How might journalists be connecting those dots? We’ll hear from Marcie Keever, Clean Vessels Campaign Director at the group Friends of the Earth. Also on CounterSpin today, It wasn’t […]