National Immigration Forum

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Media Matters’ Dobbs Smackdown

May 27, 2008 - Posted by Douglas Rivlin

Media Matters Action Network released their highly anticipated report on Lou Dobbs, Glen Beck, and Bill O’Reilly. Fear and Loathing in Prime Time, written by MMAN Senior Researcher Paul Waldman is a must read for immigrant advocates.


In addition to taking on the common myths repeated endlessly by these and other TV and radio talkers, they also have a petition, in English and Spanish, which reads:


I call on the following hosts to stop feeding anti-immigrant hysteria by repeating myths and misleading claims about undocumented immigrants…Further, I call on the following cable news channels to step up and provide the American public with a fair and accurate portrayal of immigration issues.


It also gives you the opportunity to send the petition with a comment.


As you might expect from one of the thinnest skins in broadcasting, Mr. Dobbs is not taking the report well.  The next day, Lou called Paul Waldman onto the proverbial carpet as a guest on his show.  The Center for American Progress’ Think Progress blogs about that here, and TIME’s Joe Klein (aka “Anonymous”) blogs about it here.


When the National Immigration Forum mentioned Mr. Dobbs in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Dobbs’s producer was inviting the author on for a dressing down by Dobbs by 4:00 p.m. that day.  The segment was scheduled, but Dobbs apparently backed down because CNN failed to follow up.  Perhaps he had someone better to yell at that day.


Don’t miss this item from Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts on the wife of a local policeman, shot to death by an immigrant in the country illegally, who is calling for compromise and comprehensive immigration reform:


The woman stepped to the podium and faced a phalanx of television cameras in a room packed with reporters. She had no notes and needed none.


“This country,” she said, “is in need of comprehensive immigration reform.”


In certain circles, she would be immediately branded a member of the open borders crowd, a traitor who sides with those who seek to turn our country into Mexico.


That’s how it is with the illegal immigration debate, where there is black and there is white and there is absolutely nothing in between.


You’re either for us or against us; red, white and true blue or a lover of the lawless.


And yet there is Julie Erfle, a woman who has more of a right to outrage than any of us. — Laurie Robert’s Arizona Republic Blog, “A murdered officer’s widow speaks out, “ May 24, 2008


It is a very powerful story about a powerful messenger.


Last but not least, as part of their fantastic series on immigration at AlterNet.Org, today’s postings include an article by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, and former Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.  The article dissects and analyzes what went wrong with comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 and what needs to happen to get it back on the table early in the new President’s term.

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