Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Is It About the Word Illegal That the Media Doesn't Understand?

I currently live in Arizona, which has been in the national news many times over the past few years for passing into law several pieces of legislation addressing the problem of illegal immigration.  Unfortunately, there are far too many times when the media reports on these laws label them as anti-immigration laws.

Often in my blog postings, I have pointed out that there are so many advocates in the news media that it is difficult, if not often impossible, to get the straight story about almost any issue.  The illegal immigration problem in the southern Border States, like Arizona, is a good example of this poor reporting.

In the first place, not one of the laws passed in the state of Arizona is designed to hurt immigrants who are here legally, but you would never know that if you read or heard most of the media reports, especially the national ones.  You would think that Arizona is on a mission to rid the state of everyone who is not white, which, of course, is ridiculous.

Whenever any piece of legislation is even proposed to address the illegal immigration issue, the media immediately focuses on the advocacy groups who accuse the supporters of such legislation of being racist, especially against Mexican people.  Of course, Arizona shares a border with Mexico, and so it is only logical that the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants in the state are likely to be Mexican.  It would be rare to encounter an illegal immigrant from Sweden or Denmark, but when did common sense ever matter to the advocates in our main stream media.

It doesn’t matter that the overwhelming majority of Arizona citizens have supported the illegal immigration laws.  It also doesn’t matter that the majority includes many Mexican people who are in the state legally and believe that other Mexicans who want to be here should also do so legally.  Our media all too often seem bent on reporting as many issues as it can through the prism of race, and facts be damned.

If the advocates in the media actually read the legislation, they would find out that the language is far less harsh that the federal legislation on illegal immigration.  Unfortunately, the feds are not enforcing the federal legislation, which is why Arizona felt compelled to pass the laws in the first place.

Our wonderful first amendment affords our media the right to say anything it wants, and the advocates in the media who don’t agree with Arizona’s legislation have every right to say so.  However, if those media advocates claim to be journalists, than they have an obligation to be accurate.  Accuracy requires that you call the legislation anti-illegal immigrant laws, not anti-immigrant laws. At least try to get it right.

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