The American Jewish Committee is urging the heads of major cable television networks to ensure that the background of certain so-called immigration experts appearing on news shows is revealed to the viewing audience.For those who aren't familiar with this issue, the AJC and their friends are trying to shut down debate by calling those who oppose illegal immigration "haters" and by mischaracterizing various groups:
"It is inappropriate and offensive for major television programs to provide a microphone to individuals and organizations that promote hate, espouse vigilantism, white supremacy, or even violence in the immigration debate," AJC General Counsel Jeffrey Sinensky wrote in a letter to the heads of CNN, FOX and MSNBC.
AJC pointed out specifically that Lou Dobbs Tonight, The O'Reilly Factor, and MSNBC News Live offer national platforms to spokespeople who represent known vigilante or hate-promoting groups, including Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox of the Minuteman Project and Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).Gilchrist and Simcox are not currently from the same group, and none of those promote "hate".
In addition, the AJC letter noted that spokespeople espousing vigilantism and fear regularly appear on nightly news programs. They often speak in code, calling immigrants "criminals," "an army of invaders," and "diseased;" and children born to immigrants are referred to as "anchor babies."Fear? Not only do we need to avoid what they call "hate", but now we can't even discuss fear? And, I doubt whether those persons have called legal immigrants - the only group to which "immigrants" is a valid descriptor - criminals. As for illegal aliens, in order to achieve that status one would have to break one of our laws and thus the term criminal may apply, although some may see that differently. I'd also imagine that most of those who've called illegal aliens criminals have been referring to things such as identity theft or specific cases such as drunk driving. And, some illegal aliens do have diseases, including of the varieties which had been previously eradicated in the U.S.
"Hate speech has no legitimate role in the media. History has shown repeatedly that it can be the precursor to violence," said Sinensky. "Issues such as immigration can be explored legitimately and thoroughly without demonizing an entire group of people."Translation: let's have a debate featuring people on the same basic side of the issue, and we'll help you choose the debaters. Jonah Goldberg has a point.
Immigration2008a · Sat, 02/16/2008 - 09:45 · Importance: 1