On today's "State of the Union", John King of CNN - the replacement for Lou Dobbs - asked David Axelrod about plans for comprehensive immigration reform (transcript here, excerpts below). While Dobbs - the "advocacy journalist" per CNN president Jon Klein - might have pressed Axelrod on some of the downsides of amnesty, King simply asked a milquetoast question about process, allowing Axelrod to give a stock speech. The Obama administration wants to give amnesty to 12+ million illegal aliens, something that would have vast impacts on the U.S. And, all CNN's self-styled journalist can do is ask a question about process.
And, instead of calling him on all of the downsides of the proposal or asking him a question like this or otherwise forcing him to respond to critics, King just moved on to the next question. Whether intentionally or unintentionally (probably the first), King is not "speaking truth to power". He's not holding politicians accountable, and he's not doing a public service.
Partial transcript follows:
(KING:)The Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says you will early next year come forward with a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that would have a plan in it, a path in it, for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in this country to have a pathway to status, to legal status. Will you make the political commitment that no matter what the politics of January and February the administration will go forward with this early next year?
AXELROD: John, what the president has said is, and he said it to both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, who have worked on this issue. It is come to him, let's come together around something that both parties, or at least elements of both parties say they can agree on, so we don't reach the same impasse we have reached before. Then he will be willing to go forward on it. I think some good work is being done on both sides of the aisle to achieve that. Secretary Napolitano is getting that done.
But what we want is a system that holds everybody responsible and everyone accountable. We have to have better security at our borders and we are developing that, thanks to Secretary Napolitano. We have to have better enforcement on employers who abuse the system by hiring undocumented workers in order to undercut the labor market. And we have to hold accountable and responsible the 12 million people who are here illegally. And they have to pay a fine, and a penalty and have to meet certain requirements in order to get in the line to earn citizenship.
And if they don't want to do that, they need to leave.
And that is the president's position. If we can get a group together to give it the momentum to pass in Congress then we are going to push forward with it.
King then just moved on to the next question.
Sun, 11/15/2009 - 12:26 · Importance: 4