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May 5, 2010

Words Matter?

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Liberals and like-minded political pundits like to remind Americans that "words matter"; so why is it that broadcast network reporters' coverage of Arizona's new crack down on illegal immigrants fail so miserably to distinguish xenophobia from law enforcement?

Via NewsBusters:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law on April 23 that would make it a misdemeanor for immigrants to not carry documentation proving they are in the country legally. The bill gave state law enforcement the power to determine the immigration status of any person during "any lawful contact." Amid allegations that this law would lead to "racial profiling," Brewer later amended it to allow law enforcement to only check the immigration status of those involved in a "lawful stop, detention or arrest."

Reporters on ABC, NBC and CBS misled the American people about the law by calling it "anti-immigration" twice as often as correctly identifying the law as "anti-illegal immigration" and reporting, as ABC's Bill Weir did on the April 24 "Good Morning America, "Police [in Arizona] now have the power to stop anyone and make them prove they are legal."

Between April 23, when the law was signed and May 2, reporters on ABC, CBS, and NBC correctly identified the law as an "anti-illegal immigration law" in only 4 percent (3 out of 72) of the references to the law. Nearly ten percent of the references (7 out of 72) referred to the bill as an "anti-immigration law."

"Anti-immigration" and "anti-illegal immigration" are two distinct labels. The former is a xenophobic view. The latter makes it clear that immigrants are welcome, as long as they go through the proper channels to come to America.

But for the broadcast networks, there's no distinction between the two.

Read more ...

Going back to the question here as to how it is that broadcast network reporters' coverage of Arizona's new crack down on illegal immigrants fail so miserably to distinguish xenophobia from law enforcement, the answer could be simply that liberals and like-minded political pundits think like their Liberal-in-Chief from whom the hypocrisy seems to never stop. Words matter for everyone but them.

Posted by Richard at May 5, 2010 12:40 PM



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