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.
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.
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.
Immigration2008a · Wed, 05/21/2008 - 10:55 · Importance: 14