Wednesday, April 25, 2007
When it comes to immigration, it is hard not to hear about CNN's Lou Dobbs' rants on the topic. Funny, but Dobbs' latest CNN column (here) is entitled "Big media hide truth about immigration." But isn't CNN "big media" and Dobbs perhaps the restrictionist with the highest television ratings in the "big media"?
It is odd, to say the least, that Dobbs, whose commentary appears weekly on CNN.com and his shows appear weeknights on CNN, still thinks that he can colorably claim that "the media" is pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public. His latest anti-immigrant column starts like this:
The Bush administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party are preparing to take another legislative leap at imposing a massive illegal alien amnesty on American citizens. And the mainstream media are complicit in advancing this thinly veiled blanket amnesty. Instead of asking and answering important questions about why our immigration laws aren't being enforced and why we're permitting pervasive document fraud, the national media seem hell-bent on trying to obfuscate the issue, shamelessly playing with language, equating legal immigration with illegal immigration while obviously trying to preserve the illusion of objectivity.
Come off it Lou! The "close the borders" message that you endorse is being heard loud and clear. But many Americans hear other messages as well, like that many immigrants, undocumented or not, are good decent people who work and live in our communities. Immigrants are our neighbors and co-workers. immigrants and citizens sit near each other in church and at parent night at local schools.
The truth of the matter is that "big media" is not fooling anyone. It is just the case that, to many informed observers, the reality of immigration and immigrants is much more complicated than Lou Dobbs and other restrictionists report. Moreover, it is nothing less than hypocritical for the epitome of the "big media" to claim that "big media" is fooling the average American, who is much smarter and decent than some might assume. Immigration is a difficult issue and different people have different opinions. Is it always necessary to look for a "conspiracy" of some sort to explain developments that we do not like?
For a critical analysis of Dobbs' anti-immigrant stances, see Migra Matters (here).
Postscript (April 28): http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/101438.html
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society called on CNN to fire Lou Dobbs after the broadcaster likened immigrant advocates to Nazi propagandists. Dobbs, an outspoken critic of illegal immigration who hosts an opinionated evening news hour, criticized San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday, saying he and immigrant protection advocates "might as well work for Hermann Goering. I mean, they're running so much propaganda, trying to confuse the debate, the national dialogue, by talking about immigrants rather than illegal aliens and legal immigrants. It's mindless beyond belief." Newsom had said he kept local law enforcement from participating in illegal immigrant raids in part because he believes legal immigrants fear raids as well. Dobbs apparently was referring to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief. Goering headed the Nazi air force. "Comparisons to Nazis, especially in this day and age, are abhorrent," HIAS President Gideon Aronoff said Wednesday. "Mr. Dobbs has crossed the line between responsible television commentary and hate speech propaganda of his own. Keeping him on the air is essentially sanctioning by CNN, which is why we're asking CNN to remove Dobbs from his very public platform." CNN did not respond to JTA's requests for comment.