Balanced journalism, like beauty, must be in the eye of the beholder.
So says Timothy J. McNulty, the Tribune
`s new ombudsman.(Covering immigration fairly
,April 16, 2006)
"The newspaper`s lead immigration writer, Oscar Avila, and a half-dozen other reporters have been diligent in keeping readers abreast of Chicago`s immigrant communities. Their tales are compelling."
Diligent? Has McNulty (e-mail him
) been reading his own paper?
If McNulty`s definition of "fair"
coverage isn`t enough to make you grind your teeth, read on:
"People open their hearts to those who strive for a better life and endure separation and exploitation in order to build a better life for themselves and their families."
Did you notice? "Better life"
used twice in the same sentence. I think there`s subliminal message here, but I`m not sure what it is. (I also wonder if McNulty also would include among "those"
seeking a better life our own working poor who increasingly are forced to compete with foreigners, many of them here illegally, for the low-paying jobs they used to do for higher wages.)
The question I often ask the MSM is when can we expect to see Page 1 stories and photos of the real "victims"
of mass immigration, people who McNulty appears to be implying exist mostly in our collective imagination:
"Those who want stricter enforcement are rarely able to provide concrete and direct examples or to personalize the plight of citizens who suffer because of illegal immigrants."They rarely produce the citizen who is out of work—or making only $6 an hour—because illegal immigrants take the jobs and drive down the pay scales. They talk about higher costs for health care and education consumed by illegal immigrants—but can`t show it as a line on your tax bill."
Memo to McNulty: Your reporters are lazy - and biased. They go for the "easy"
story because the subjects are right at their feet. Any damn fool can cover 100,000 anarchists running around Chicago`s streets waving foreign flags, showing their contempt for the rule of law and disrespecting the sovereignty of the American people.
Have you ever heard the phrase in your industry, "Digging out the story"?
How about sending your diligent immigration reporters to New Orleans where on April 1 the Rev. Jesse Jackson was supposed to hold a large protest
against the hiring of illegal aliens
to help with the city`s cleanup and rebuilding? What we got from Jesse, Al Sharpton and comedian Bill Cosby that day was a demand that displaced blacks be allowed to vote in upcoming elections. What? (Well, OK, there are just so many hours in a day, right, Jesse?)
If you really are serious about providing fair coverage of our immigration fiasco why not suggest to your editorial board that they publish an editorial demanding the Illinois General Assembly tell the state`s taxpayers how much they`re having to shell out to provide services to illegals? The only data available is 12 years old, and it appeared in a 1996 report by the Center for Immigration Studies
(CIS) in Washington D.C. According to CIS, Gov. Jim Edgar`s office in 1994 reported that the state each year was spending $154.3 million on services to illegal aliens.
I also think you should recommend that the diligent Oscar Avila start the ball rolling by picking up the phone and calling state Senator Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora) , who twice in the past few years has introduced legislation requiring the state to tell Illinoisans who, along with opening their hearts to those who want to better themselves, how much wider they`re having to open their wallets these days to pay for "free"
services like education and medical care.
Both of Lauzen`s bills, incidentally, attracted no cosponsors and (Surprise!) ended up rotting in a rules committee. Don`t you think the people of Illinois deserve to know why?