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Media Failed to Accurately Report Senate's Immigration Bill


Robert Samuelson has a piece today in which he makes some amazing statements about the media's failure to accurately report on the Senate's immigration bill.

One job of journalism is to inform the public what our political leaders are doing. In this case, we failed. The Senate bill's sponsors didn't publicize its full impact on legal immigration, and we didn't fill the void. It's safe to say that few Americans know what the bill would do because no one has told them. Indeed, I suspect that many senators who voted for the legislation don't have a clue as to the potential overall increase in immigration.

Mr. Samuelson also points out what some right of center bloggers and House Republicans have been saying: the Senate's immigration bill will increase the number of immigrants in this country because it institutes a "guest worker" program before it increases border security. In fact Samuelson reports that, according to White House economists, we can expect the Senate bill to double the number of immigrants who come into this country.

All this makes the MSM's failure to accurately report on the Senate's bill even more aggravating. Since bloggers were able to easily spot this problem with the bill, the MSM could have as well.

In light of Mr. Samuelson's article, Mary Katharine offers an interesting idea:

Here's a radical idea: After the conference committee comes to a tentative compromise, but before that committee stops work, put the draft of the agreement out for public response. Sure it will be noisy and some on the extremes will denounce the compromise immediately, but try letting the public have a chance to speak before finding out that the public's reaction to a handful of provisions dooms the compromise in one house or the other. After a week of reactions, the conferees could regroup and assess whether or not the mark had been hit.

Ed Morrissey also weighs in:

Samuelson is right. The Senate failed to inform us of the impact of CIRA, and the media did little to correct the problem. Samuelson argues that this reflects a bias that punishes those who ask critical questions about immigration policy, labeling them as bigots or idiots. Their closed-minded approach to debate instead reveals them as partisan absolutists, and in this case has done a tremendous disservice to their consumers.

Update: Power Line also noted the role bloggers played in exposing the insanity of the Senate's immigration bill.


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Comments (13)

It's called "Doing your hom... (Below threshold)

It's called "Doing your homework"

Yeah, Captain Ed really ste... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Captain Ed really stepped in it with "Their closed-minded approach to debate instead reveals them as partisan absolutists" . . .

Does he mean like Michelle Malkin calling for the impeachment of the President? Or PoliPundit's poster purge?

"Absolutists" like that?

Adjoran,Links are ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


Links are your friend...

When are you crybabies goin... (Below threshold)

When are you crybabies going to grow up? The Republican-led Senate lied to you to try to get around your arrogant calls for deportation (which everyone knows is unworkable) and you're blaming the media?

How absurd. Conservatives are in danger of becoming a disenfranchised political class, and you guys keep moving further to the right as a result.

Who is this "you guys" you ... (Below threshold)

Who is this "you guys" you keep talking about?

And what is wrong with more... (Below threshold)

And what is wrong with more immigrants coming into the country? Nothing. They add value economically and culturaly. What we have to be sure of is immigrants come in legally. Therefore improving border security is very important. The U.S. has handled big influxes of immigrants before. We can handle it again.

And what is wrong with m... (Below threshold)

And what is wrong with more immigrants coming into the country?

Haven't you been watching Fox News? We need to maintain the white majority!

Here is the CATO Institute ... (Below threshold)

Here is the CATO Institute response to the Heritage "numbers"-

The headline number certainly generated buzz, but it flows from assumptions that don't hold up to scrutiny. Its bottom-line number doesn't even pass the laugh test.

To total 103 million legal immigrants over 20 years, immigration would need to average more than 5 million a year. During the past decade, legal and illegal immigration combined has averaged 1.5 million a year.

A Flood of Bad Immigration Numbers

Then there is this-


Link to CPBB

"And what is wrong with mor... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"And what is wrong with more immigrants coming into the country? "

First define what 'more' means. Put a number on it and we all can have a debate.

I don't think it's too much to ask that the citizens already here have a say in how many and how fast we accept new immigrants.

Great, I'm having a convers... (Below threshold)

Great, I'm having a conversation with someone from WKRP.

Anyway, I'm fine with the numbers coming in already. My problem is many are coming in illegally, but that's because it's too hard to come in legally. I say make enforcement stricter but make it easier to immigrate here (either temporarily or permanently).

I am in favor of the Immigr... (Below threshold)
Monkpeh Karr:

I am in favor of the Immigration Bill passed by the Senate.I think the House just want to flex their muscles to show what little power they have and need so let's face the point here.These are the people who are doing the jobs that most Americans will never want to do in theie entire lives.

Sean Depending on co... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Depending on concrete numbers, I think I may agree with you on the current flow of immigrants. I think the 10-12(?) million already living here illegally are a slightly different matter. We have to have a way to weed out the 'bad' ones already here and find a way to legally live with the 'good' ones already here.

We can't deport them all, nor should we (and nobody has asked for that), but not all of them should become near-instant citizens. If it's perceived as a blanket amnesty by the people, it will fail.

Reinforcing an emphasis on English language and American culture and history for all incoming immigrants will help smooth the process for everyone involved. If the eventual new immigration law that comes out of Congress does that, it will make it palatable enough for the American people to endorse.

The main thing the media is... (Below threshold)

The main thing the media is hiding about the bill? It ain't just Mexico. It's the entire planet Earth






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