A Good Story Goes Bad with a Subtle Turn of Phrase

A story on Monday's "Here and Now" program, which is presented on many public radio stations, provides an example of how subtle manipulations of language can color the discussion of immigration policy. The story, reported by Liz Jones of KUOW in Seattle, concerned an effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to establish relations and build trust with community-based organizations, including advocates of illegal immigrants. One advocate told Jones that he appreciated the opportunity to meet with ICE because, "It fights this notion of a bunch of thugs."

Andrew Sullivan Discusses Social and Political Upheaval in the U.S.

We who work at the Center for Immigration Studies attempt to make the case for reasonable immigration limits. Some of us, motivated by concerns for the labor market prospects of Americans and permanent residents, consider ourselves to be liberal restrictionists. Others, concerned with maintaining social cohesion and the rule of law, identify as conservatives. (There is, of course, some overlap.)

Too Good to Check?

"The press can't simply report flatfooted a smearing accusation against someone's loyalty," said Murray Marder, who did some of the sharpest reporting on [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy in the Washington Post. "The press should ask the accuser, 'What do you mean? What justification do you have?' That's real work, and it's called journalism."— The Age of Anxiety, by Haynes Johnson

Too Good to Check?

Part 1: Three N.Y. reporters give a pass to the SPLC's ridiculous smear

Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker, Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times, and Joel Rose of National Public Radio are accomplished, sophisticated journalists who graduated from Ivy League universities. Nevertheless, the purpose of this post is not to praise them, but to express bewilderment and dismay that in the past 10 weeks all three have reported a damaging allegation without probing its justification. They treated the allegation as legitimate news from a bona fide expert, not as a partisan attack from an organization that has long monetized such tactics by coupling them with appeals for financial support.

While the White House Trolls the Press, the SPLC Pulls a Stunt of Its Own

Introductory Note: Last Monday, this blog drew on a "Fresh Air" podcast to report on the New Yorker playing a supportive role as the Southern Poverty Law Center revives the sinister tradition of the Hollywood black list. Now another podcast leads us to another example of the ideological axis between the hate-mongering mob from Montgomery, Ala,. and the normally respectable New Yorker, the editorial voice of the Manhattan liberal consensus.For the second time in a month, a writer for the New Yorker has demonstrated the astonishing ability of the "hate group" vigilantes of the SPLC to snooker the cosmopolitan cognoscenti up there in the Big Apple.

SPLC Revives the Blacklist Tradition, and the Press Again Plays a Supportive Role

Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, spoke for all of us here at CIS in his just-published column for the Washington Post. Krikorian wrote in response to the Southern Poverty Law Center's attempt to smear organizations that dissent from its extreme open-borders multiculturalism as "hate groups." The SPLC, which uses the hate group blacklist as one of its fund-raising scams, recently blacklisted CIS. It was a typically cynical move by the intolerance experts from Alabama, who might as well acknowledge that the true meaning behind their initials is Smears Pathological but Lucrative and Cunning. They prod the press to come running eagerly to take dictation. And they induce credulous donors to reach reflexively for their checkbooks. We have documented that here.

Fox Provides a Case Study of the Polarized State of the Nation's Immigration Debate

Early in the morning I often work out while watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, which provides a daily look at what the Washington political class is thinking about. But today, after it became obvious that the program was obsessively fixated on the Jeff Sessions story, I switched to "Fox and Friends". There, hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade promptly illustrated their network's own fixation — on illegal immigration. The result, aided by some complementary research, was a case study on the fraught and polarized state of the nation's immigration debate.

An Appeal for Wise Leadership at ICE & CBP

One of the reasons I came to work for the Center for Immigration Studies was that I wanted to make the case for humane but firm enforcement of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). That legislation presented to the American people a compromise between two values that had come into conflict. IRCA provided the compassion of legalization for illegal immigrants with a pledge that the federal government would check future illegal immigration by cutting off the jobs magnet with penalties for employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers.

Open Letter to the New Yorker's Jonathan Blitzer, Pt. 1

Dear Mr. Blitzer,I am writing in response to the New Yorker essay of February 17, in which you reported that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies as "hate groups." You offered no elaboration, no explanation. You provided no opportunity for response. I write now in defense of the Center for Immigration Studies, where I am a research fellow. I will let FAIR speak for itself.The hate group smear is a cheap attempt at character assassination. Your reckless recitation of it in a prestigious magazine is journalistically unethical. Before you drew your readers' attention to the smear, it had been ignored in the world of reputable journalism. Reporters and editors must have recognized that printing it would make them complicit in the SPLC's dirty work. You may be proud that you assisted the SPLC's effort to denigrate CIS. I think the SPLC, who excesses are so blindly accepted by so many liberals, has induced you to debase the New Yorker.