Jesse Washington of the Associated Press - author of this sleazy pro-Obama article - now offers "Immigration foes link flu to Mexican threat claims" (link, assistance from Don Babwin and Barbara Rodriguez of the AP).
The article mainstreams - and references - the recent smear article from Tom Allison of Media Matters for America in which the latter downplayed the risk of illegal aliens bringing the swine flu into the U.S. The MMFA article used some admittedly offensive - and counter-productive - comments from radio hosts in order to attempt to prevent discussion about this topic, and it formed the basis for several posts at blogs and the like. Now, efforts by the George Soros-funded MMFA to play fast and loose with public safety are being mainstreamed by the AP.
1. Jesse Washington ("JW") says: "But fear is not a rational beast. History is rife with unfounded health scares, some as recent as the 1980s, when Haitians were banned from donating blood in the United States during the early stages of the AIDS epidemic." Reviewing the history there shows how much of a misleading hack JW is. Per PBS (link), in 1982 the Centers for Disease Control named four groups as "risk factors" for HIV infection: homosexuals, heroin addicts, hemophiliacs and Haitians. Even the Haitian government admits (haiti.org/Whatsnew/aids.htm), "Haiti’s national HIV/AIDS infection rate is between 4½ to 6%, with rates as high as 13% in rural areas, giving Haiti the highest HIV infection rates in the Western Hemisphere." Yet, Jesse Washington thinks concerns about that were "unfounded" and irrational fear.
2. JW refers to "some Hispanics" saying that "racist anti-immigration rhetoric fueled the recent rise in hate crimes against Latinos". The "rise" in such crimes is discussed here; see also #8 below. And, some national Hispanic leaders consider any criticism akin to "racist anti-immigration rhetoric".
3. Apparently we're supposed to be shocked that Lou Dobbs would refer to it as the "Mexican flu", when some want to call it by that name, others want to call it the "North American flu", and the politically-correct want to call it the "H1N1 virus". JW might want to take up his complaints with the namers of the Spanish flu and the Hong Kong flu (link).
4. JW interviewed Michael Savage, "who says he has a Ph.D in epidemiology and human nutrition from the University of California-Berkeley, [and who] said his remarks were based on science." Whether what he "says" is the truth or not is easily ascertained, unless you want to portray him in a bad light as JW clearly does. Stating it as a fact was good enough for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003 (link), and no doubt if Savage were inflating his resume they would have made it their focus.
5. JW says: The World Health Organization does not recommend closing borders, saying that would have little effect, if any, on stopping the virus from spreading. President Barack Obama called the idea "closing the barn door after the horses are out." Why, one wonders, are all those countries around the world - including the U.S. - closely monitoring who comes into their countries? Does the WHO's advice pass even the most basic common sense test? If there are 10,000 people with the virus in the U.S., isn't it going to spread much quicker and more extensively than if there are just 10 people in the U.S. who are infected? As for Obama, he is not a epidemiologist, and keeping the borders open is in his political best interest. What Obama said is akin to saying that if a few horses have left the barn but several remain, we might as well just leave the door open.
6. JW introduces the "some Hispanics" part of the article using the introductory paragraph "What some call science, others call racism"; part of that is a smear referencing Savage's comments. He then quotes Bob Menendez and Liany Arroyo from the National Council of La Raza, both of whom say the expected things.
7. JW then goes looking for victims of racism, and finds one "contruction worker" whose employers asked whether he was sick and another who hadn't noticed anything but was a mind reader: "You can tell with how they look at you."
8. JW says "There were 830 Hispanic victims of hate crimes in 2007, the most recent year for which FBI statistics are available, up from 819 in 2006 and 595 in 2003." As with the SPLC (#2 above), JW did not index those figures to the number of Hispanics, and he also doesn't note that 2003 was a low year: in 2002 there were 639 victims.
Sat, 05/02/2009 - 12:42 · Importance: 6