David Leonhardt/New York Times: illegal immigration supporting hack
David Leonhardt of the New York Times offers the much-linked "Truth, Fiction and Lou Dobbs". It discusses a few facts that Dobbs has gotten wrong, and to that extent it's worthwhile: everybody needs a fact-checker to keep them honest. However, one wonders about this bit:
He is the heir to the nativist tradition that has long used fiction and conspiracy theories as a weapon against the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, the Jews and, now, the Mexicans.
That kind of smear doesn't sound like fact-checking to me. According to Lesley Stahl, journalists shouldn't mix in opinion with their facts. Does that above sound like a fact? Should Leonhard be considered a journalist?
In fact, what's going on here is the that New York Times and most of our corrupt elite support massive illegal activity, something that Dobbs opposes. The NYT is simply striking back.
He also mentions the Southern Poverty Law Center, calling them a "civil rights group" without mentioning that they have an indirect link to the Mexican government. Shouldn't a good journalist disclose such links?
And, one of Leonhardt's statements doesn't exactly square with previous NYT coverage. He quotes "James L. Krahenbuhl, the director of the National Hansen's Disease Program, an arm of the federal government" as saying:
"It is not a public health problem — that’s the bottom line... You've got a country of 300 million people. This is not something for the public to get alarmed about."
However, one of those sounding alarms... was the New York Times back in February 18, 2003 with "Leprosy, a Synonym for a Stigma, Returns":
But, in fact, as cases of leprosy have been declining worldwide in recent years, the infection has actually been on the rise in the United States... While there were some 900 recorded cases in the United States 40 years ago, today more than 7,000 people have leprosy, or Hansen's disease, as it is now called. ''And those are the ones we know about,'' said Dr. William Levis, attending physician at Bellevue Hospital's Hansen's Disease Clinic. ''There are probably many, many more.'' ...the disease is now officially endemic to the Northeastern United States for the first time ever.
Wouldn't a good journalist have at least mentioned that earlier article? Leonhart's smears continue:
Mr. Dobbs argues that the middle class has many enemies: corporate lobbyists, greedy executives, wimpy journalists, corrupt politicians. But none play a bigger role than illegal immigrants. As he sees it, they are stealing our jobs, depressing our wages and even endangering our lives.
I only see his show occasionally, but I suspect that Dobbs focuses more on illegal aliens themselves as symptoms of the former group, yet Leonhardt is implying that Dobbs focuses on the illegal aliens themselves.
Leonhardt's hack status is further entrenched with this chestnut:
There is no denying that this country's immigration system is broken.
The bottom line here is the bottom line: some people profit from illegal immigration, either monetarily or through obtaining political power. And, they're quite willing to defend their bottom line through lies and smears.
More to come, including Dobbs' response and a list of those who helped retransmit Leonhardt's smears.
UPDATE: Dobbs responds: "An answer for my critics".
I point out that I was one of the few people attempting to counteract this smear here. That helps illustrate why the MSM and politicians are continually allowed to spread lies and pro-illegal immigration propaganda.
The NYT article also contains this:
For one thing, Mr. Dobbs has a somewhat flexible relationship with reality. He has said, for example, that one-third of the inmates in the federal prison system are illegal immigrants. That's wrong, too. According to the Justice Department, 6 percent of prisoners in this country are noncitizens (compared with 7 percent of the population).
Bearing in mind that I'm not familiar with the statistics he cites, this site says:
Notice how Leonhardt has changed the subject. Dobbs was talking about federal prisoners, and Leonhardt is talking about the entire state plus federal prison population.
UPDATE 2: It's starting to get funny now. From the current NYT article:
Second, Mr. Dobbs really does give airtime to white supremacy sympathizers. Ms. Cosman, who is now deceased, was a lawyer and Renaissance studies scholar, never a medical doctor or a leprosy expert. She gave speeches in which she said that Mexican immigrants had a habit of molesting children.
Now, let's turn to this article from March 19, 2006:
Madeleine Pelner Cosman, a prominent writer, scholar and lecturer whose passion for what she called the "glorious order" of the past led her first to a career in medieval and Renaissance studies and more recently to wide public advocacy of tougher immigration laws, died on March 2 in Escondido, Calif. She was 68... Ms. Cosman took her work seriously. She could sing madrigals, play the lute and eat with her fingers off a trencher in the proper medieval style. Her house in suburban New Jersey was appointed with ornately carved period furniture. Arms and armor lay about, the walls were hung with Flemish tapestries, and the cellar was stocked with mead.
It goes on in its own laudatory way, with the only discordant note being the use of the term "anti-immigrant" to refer to websites that promoted her latter works. The source? Why (of course) the New York Times (link, copy).