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Media Matters for America on immigration "myths" ("Fear and Loathing in Prime Time")

Media Matters for America offers a "report" called "Fear and Loathing in Prime Time/Immigration Myths and Cable News" (mediamattersaction.org/reports/fearandloathing/online_version). It attempts to address some of the "myths" supposedly promulgated by Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Not only that, but members of Congress are involved in helping them push their support for illegal activity:
On Wednesday, May 21, Media Matters Action Network, along with several members of Congress and prominent immigration groups, held a press conference to discuss "Fear and Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News." Participants included: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA); Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza; and Frank Sharry of America's Voice.
The first issue with their report is that it switches between discussing illegal immigration and all forms or the legal variety of immigration, a common trick.

The second is that their discussion of the NAFTA Superhighway - something they label simply an "urban myth" - includes them admitting that such a highway exists already as a set of current routes. Like others they take low-level Bush administration employees at their word rather than questioning whether they're telling the truth or not. They also take the word of NASCO that there are no plans to extend the TransTexas Corridor past Texas, something that's clearly false. Apparently the only thing that would confirm the NSH in MMFA's mind is if there were secret construction plans to build a TTC-style highway across the U.S. Their discussion of this issue puts MMFA on the side of the Bush administration and others who seek to confuse the public about this issue. They also might want to check with Barack Obama.

More later, but please leave other issues with the report in comments.

UPDATE: From this:
Three Democratic lawmakers who spoke at a briefing Wednesday about alleged anti-immigrant media coverage were not aware of a recent State Department travel alert warning Americans about military-like "combat" along the southern U.S. border in Mexico and that Americans are being kidnapped and murdered there.
Solis said:
"I've read different reports of the violence in Mexico, and I am a strong advocate for cracking down on the violence, and I'm very concerned about the murder of women... But I'm more concerned about people having their civil rights violated here."
And:
Gutierrez blamed drug use in the United States for some of the violence... "We are the consumers," he said. "We are the cause."
UPDATE 2: The authors of the report are: Paul Waldman, Elbert Ventura, Robert Savillo, Susan Lin, and Greg Lewis.

There's video of the press conference here. On May 27, 2008, Hilda Solis spoke with NPR about the event; audio here. A partial transcript is here:
NPR: ...Some people raise the question is it really appropriate for elected officials to be trying shape news coverage? Isn’t that a slippery slope?

SOLIS: I don’t know that we’re really trying to shape it. I think what we’re saying is be balanced about it. Show the other side of the evidence and report accurately, and I think that’s where we’re really going. Why don’t we see more Latinos in the media? Why don’t you see any other commentators that can talk about our positive experience? Why does it always have to be shown in a negative light or used whenever there’s a crime "Latino of origin" or something that really depicts color and ethnicity as opposed to a person? I think it’s a civil rights issue.
Other tags: bill oreilly

Wed, 05/21/2008 - 10:55 · Importance: 14

Thu, 05/22/2008 - 01:26
llamajockey

MMFA unfortunately has jumped the shark. At one time it was a pretty good antidote to BushCo and Neo-Con propaganda on the Iraq war. But when MMFA starts promoting George Soros' own Open Borders agenda by flacking for the likes of the the Hispanic Congressional Caucas, La Raza, LULAC and MALDEF then they lose lots of Democrats not to mention Idependents.

Thu, 05/22/2008 - 03:47
Peter

Their constant carping on Lou Dobbs et al. shows just how intellectually lazy and/or dishonest they are. Can't argue the issues in isolation but need some figurehead/strawman to attack.

Thu, 05/22/2008 - 04:21
Edward

Great post, lonewacko. Recommended reading at the link, as well as noting who is on their staff. http://mediamattersaction.org/reports/fearandloathing/online_version http://mediamatters.org/about_us/staff_advisors Calderon promised his government would intensify the meddling in our affairs prior to the elections. I expect we will be hearing more about links between the MMFA, the hispanic caucus and the mexican government in the months ahead.

Fri, 05/23/2008 - 02:01
A

'...in his book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (St. Martin's Griffin, 2007). "The ultimate goal of [then Mexican President] Vicente Fox is the erasure of the border between the United States and Mexico," Buchanan told Dobbs in September 2006' Dude! On page 101 of his autobiographical book "Revolution of Hope," former Mexican president Vicente Fox writes: "I proposed a 'NAFTA Plus' plan to President Bush and Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chretien to move us toward a single continental economic union, modeled on the European example." On the next page, Fox notes the White House was reluctant for this theme to be discussed openly. "Bush shot the idea down," Fox continued. "The White House sent word that life would be easier if this Mexican cowboy would stop raising hackles with his talk of a North American Union." ----------------------- 'There are many problems facing the United States today: a faltering economy, a health-care crisis, and the continuing war in Iraq, to name a few.' They sure have a lot of graphs showing Dobbs talks about immigration a lot. If it's just not important enough to report on are you also complaining about WaPo, NYT, etc. running their 'sheer repetition' immigration articles? Or is it the questioning current immigration policy (which results in a large % being illegal) unless it's from their favored political perspective which bugs them? The worst ever example I've ever seen of smoke coming out of someone's ears because the issue dare be raised is Tim Rutten's meltdown: 'CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've made a bigger audience for Dobbs. That's corruption' http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-rutten1dec01,0,4122002.column

Fri, 05/23/2008 - 02:51
A

At least they admit what they are--biased: Who We Are Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. As if we didn't already know when you invite special interest caucus members and lobbyist Frank Sharry to your press conference. If you were even attempting to create a veneer of impartiality you don't do that. What's more interesting is yet another link between Frank Sharry and the Hispanic caucus members. Look at the Who We Are of Sharry's former organization National Immigration Forum: 'We are unique in that we do not have a specific constituency–we speak for immigration in the national interest. ' Then why are you hanging out and working with, by definition, special interest caucus members who are all about one ethnic group, not the nation as a whole?

Fri, 05/23/2008 - 04:07
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

The only way you can stop this BS Is to act like Americans, if you know what i mean and i really don't think you guys can do that so get in line and be good little third world people.