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Anatomy of a smear job

OK, here's the Mitt Romney/illegal alien story in a nutshell:

Mitt Romney, lame duck governor of Massachusetts, likely 2008 Republican candidate for president, and outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, hired a landscaping company to tend his yard. The company is owned by a person who is either an American citizen or a legal immigrant. However, the owner has reportedly hired almost exclusively illegal aliens to work for him, including tending to Romney's property.

At no point did Romney actually hire any illegal aliens, nor is he required to verify the immigration status of employees of the company he hired. In fact, I think he might not even be able to legally demand proof of their immigration status.

Well, that ain't enough for the Boston Globe. Not only did they decide to temporarily set aside one of their favorite terms -- "undocumented workers" -- and embrace the hateful, bigoted, divisive term "illegal aliens," but they thought that Romney's offense was so great that they staked out Romney's house for weeks, sent reporters down to Guatemala, and featured the story (and a big color photo) on the front page.

And now, days later, it's the subject of not one, but two op-ed pieces on the matter, essentially calling him a hypocrite.

While the Boston Globe is on its high horse on hypocrisy and public officials, let me toss a couple of other primo examples of such behavior:

  • Ted Kennedy, staunch supporter of raising taxes and preserving the inheritance tax, arranged for his mother to be declared a resident of Florida upon her death. Florida, unlike Massachusetts, has no estate tax. The minor matter that Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy had not left her Cape Cod home in over a dozen years was overlooked.
  • John Kerry and Ted Kennedy (again), both leading proponents of everyone "paying their fair share," have both repeatedly declined to pay more than the legal minimum in state taxes. In Massachusetts, taxpayers can pay the standard 5.3% income tax, or choose to pay at a 5.8% level if they feel the state needs more. Every year, less than .01% of taxpayers choose to do so -- and neither senator ever makes that list.
  • John Kerry (him again) held on to his seat in the United States Senate, collecting his full paycheck, while running for president -- missing roughly 90% of the roll call votes of the 2003-2004 session. That didn't prevent the Globe from calling on Romney to resign as governor when he was just considering a run for president, and after he had announced that he would not see re-election this year.
  • Boston's mayor, a frequent critic of people choosing their own vehicles to get around the city instead of public transportation and regular advocate (when he can be understood) of more economically-friendly vehicles, ordering a nearly-three-ton SUV for his official vehicle.

I could go on (and on and on and on -- this is a perfect example of why I created a "Mass. Insanity" category), but I think I've made my point.


Comments (21)

I wonder how many "undocume... (Below threshold)
cirby:

I wonder how many "undocumented" workers Nancy Pelosi hired to pick grapes at the vineyard she owns, or the one she used to own...

If Mitt's in this much trouble for some second-hand illegals, imagine how much trouble NP would be in for actually hiring some directly.

The only smear job here is ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The only smear job here is the smear job Wizbang continues to attempt against the MSM - only, as usual, all you have to do is click a link and you'll find out it's a lie.

Here's the first paragraph of the Op-Ed report in link #1.

"THE RECENT news story about apparently illegal immigrants employed by the landscaping company that tends Mitt Romney's yard seemed to suggest that he was at least partly to blame for this. But, the consumer, in this case the governor, is in no way responsible for business practices that go on behind the scenes. In fact, if the governor had asked the workers in question if they were illegal, he could have actually been sued under federal law for discrimination."

Did you even read the op-ed pieces, Jay? Where is the smear job?

So Romney uses illegal work... (Below threshold)
jp2:

So Romney uses illegal workers to cut his lawn is the same as the Mayor driving an SUV? Apples. Oranges.

Good to see your Ted Kennedy obsession is strong. It's only been a few hours since your last spewing and I was worried.

Where is the smear job?<... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Where is the smear job?

It's the bit where they suggest that, by hiring a landscaping company that hired some illegals, that he might have even a moderate amount of responsibility to do anything whatsoever to find out if the guys who were cutting his lawn were documented workers.

The short answer is "no," by the way, and the slightly longer answer is that the people who actually run that landscaping company were the ones who were supposed to do that job.

I'd be impressed if he foun... (Below threshold)
the wolf:

I'd be impressed if he found a landscaping company that DIDN'T hire illegal aliens.

Lee, please, if this were a Democratic politician in the same position, do you think the Globe would even broach the subject, let alone make a backhanded suggestion that he or she were partially responsible?

"Lee, please, if this we... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Lee, please, if this were a Democratic politician in the same position, do you think the Globe would even broach the subject, let alone make a backhanded suggestion that he or she were partially responsible?"

If this were a Democratic politician he/she would probably would not be trying to make political points off the backs of the poor guys cutting their lawns.... right, wolf?

And from what I've read no one has suggested that Romney is even partially responsible. That's just Jay's (and apparently your) filtered version of the world, where all that is evil is non-republican --

or is it that all non-republicans are evil -- I forget.

Lee, let me explain it simp... (Below threshold)

Lee, let me explain it simply to you:

A lawn-care company hires illegal aliens. That is utterly un-newsworthy, certainly not worth a front page placement, color photo, and sending TWO reporters to a foreign nation and two follow-up op-ed pieces:

Except that the Globe managed to tie the story to Romney, and his previous statements opposing illegal immigration.

That is the ONLY element of the story that is newsworthy. Toss in the fact that the Globe chose this story -- and this story alone -- to set aside their customary use of "undocumented workers" and call them "illegal aliens," and you have a clear-cut case of a hit piece.

J.

We get visual proof daily t... (Below threshold)
Tony:

We get visual proof daily that the shills like mantis, jp2, and Lee learned from the greats how to sling mud, change the subject, and tar your 'enemy' as evil. I use enemy in scare quotes because I don't think my political opponents are really enemies, but the type of jerk that would employ these tactics...hmm.

; )

Tony, please don't lump man... (Below threshold)

Tony, please don't lump mantis in with jp2 and lee. He's a decent and reasonable sort. Utterly wrong on most everything, but decent and reasonable about it.

J.

Sorry Jay, I was t... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Sorry Jay,

I was trying to get the gist of some of the leftward commenters that frequent this site. Perhaps replacing mantis with BarneyG2000 would have been a better example.

..and sorry mantis.... (Below threshold)
Tony:

..and sorry mantis.

So Jay says I'm:"Utt... (Below threshold)
jp2:

So Jay says I'm:
"Utterly wrong on most everything..."

This is coming from the guy who predicted the insurgents would stop and that democracy in the middle east would flourish. And also the guy who writes false reports on Harry Reid. If you're right Jay, then I'm proud to be in the wrong category.

It seems to me the MSM had ... (Below threshold)

It seems to me the MSM had no problem at all going after Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood for the exact same thing. If you recall they were Clinton's nominees for Attorney General.

The Globe did Romney a favor by revealing this now so he could take care of it and not days before a primary. Romney should take the bull by the horns and find a landscaping company that hires legal workers.

It seems to me the MSM h... (Below threshold)
cirby:

It seems to me the MSM had no problem at all going after Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood for the exact same thing.

Actually, the difference is that Zoe Baird knew that she was hiring illegals, and kept them on her home staff for years, while not paying the required Federal taxes. Kimba Wood had also hired a nanny without a Green Card (while paying the taxes), but since Baird had already screwed up the nomination process, the Clinton folks decided to withdraw her nomination.

And, once again, not a reasonable comparison at all to Romney, who hired a supposedly reputable landscaping service that happened to hire a couple of illegal immigrants who never actually had any real contact with Romney, as compared to two major Clinton appointees who had been clearly breaking the law for extended periods by hiring personal staff who had no right to work in this country.

Or compared to Pelosi, who has almost certainly hired illegal workers to pick grapes in her personally-owned vineyards.

Where would you find any co... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Where would you find any company that don't have them with 12 to 20 million of the suckers in the country?

"Or compared to Pelosi, ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Or compared to Pelosi, who has almost certainly hired illegal workers to pick grapes in her personally-owned vineyards."

Gosh, if only we could find out if the high-profile, first-ever female speaker of the house uses illegals. That seems to me to be as big a 'story' as this.

Maybe we need some sort of, oh I don't know, some sort of news organization to look into this. Too bad they're too busy sending reporters off to foreign countries to see if they could dig up dirt on Romney's landscaper.

Gosh, I bet it would be difficult for some media outlet to go all the way out to Cal-e-fornya to check this out. Yep, just too difficult.

I'll see if Johnny Fever wants to look into this, because apparently no other reporters will.

jp2 -- it's not a Ted Kenne... (Below threshold)

jp2 -- it's not a Ted Kennedy Obsession. It's just that when the subject matter is "hypocrisy," it's impossible to ignore such odiferous examples. Can you say "tax fraud?"

Cintas recently info... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:


Cintas recently informed the government that it was going to fire workers that had provided it false Social Security numbers (i.e. likely illegal aliens). Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the likely next chair of the Homeland Security Committee, threatened Cintas with criminal action if it did so.

http://washingtontimes.com/national/20061128-122911-2961r.htm

Democrats are not only NOT trying to fix the problem of illegal immigration they're threatening companies that are willing to take action with criminal charges.

It seems to me the MSM h... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

It seems to me the MSM had no problem at all going after Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood for the exact same thing. If you recall they were Clinton's nominees for Attorney General.

Not that I, or people who live in my neighborhood, hire people to take care of our lawns or, for that matter, hire full-time workers to care for our children, but we do know - without a shadow of a doubt - that the two situations are not the "exact same thing".

I would hope the standards for hiring a nanny who cares for your children was considerably higher than the one for the person who occasionally cuts your lawn.

JP2: Jay's "Utterly wro... (Below threshold)

JP2: Jay's "Utterly wrong on most everything..." was in reference to mantis. You love feeling indignant, don't you?

And Lee, please, give it up. "Where is the smear job?" - Hello? The first "front-page" story and the first op-ed piece. Your argument holds no water. The first story was front page with color photos, two were in the op-ed section. The op-ed in link #1 sided with the original story AND shilled for McCain. Did you notice the piece was not attributed to any one author? This tells me it's the Newspaper's opinion as a whole. And guess who they'll be endorsing for President in '08 should he win the nomination?

I'll give you the other one, but it wasn't written by a Globe employee. "Steven A. Camarota is director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C." Amazing that some outside individual had to lend balance to the heavily tipped scale on this story.

The first piece should have been in the op-ed section too. Better yet, it should have been in the round file.

Oh and JP2: Good to see yo... (Below threshold)

Oh and JP2: Good to see your Wizbang! obsession is strong.




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