Dailies fall flat in full rally coverage

Essential aspects of story go unreported, hard questions unasked by News, Post

May 6, 2006

by David Kopel

Congratulations to the Denver media and particularly the Rocky Mountain Newsand The Denver Postfor Monday's large rally in favor of illegal immigration. Officially, the demonstration was not sponsored by the Newsand Post,but in terms of free advance publicity and hype, the papers did more on behalf of the May Day demonstrations than the papers do on behalf of their formally- sponsored Post/Newscharitable and sporting events.

In the week before the rally, the Newsput rally preview items on the front page in three out of four consecutive issues, while the Postdid so in four of five issues. Among the few events that have received such heavy advance coverage from both papers are the pope's visit to Colorado, and Broncos appearances in the Super Bowl.

Despite the saturation coverage, the Denver dailies failed to report some essential parts of the story. For example, why was May Day picked as the nationwide date, rather than, say, Cinco de Mayo? The Newssaid nothing at all, while the Post(April 26) made a single delicate reference to May 1 as a "traditional day for labor protests."

More precisely, in 1889 the Marxist Second International declared May 1 to be international workers day, and forever after the day has been one of mass communist demonstrations against capitalism.

Unlike The Washington Postand CNN, Denver reporters never acknowledged the role extremists played in organizing the May Day demonstrations. Syndicated opinion columnist Roger Hernandez wrote the only article in either paper (the News) to point out that International ANSWER was a key mover behind the demonstrations nationally. ANSWER is an ultra-left, anti-American organization with strong communist ties, and which supports tyrants such as Kim Jong-Il and Fidel Castro.

The Denver papers almost never ask hard questions about the extent of the influence of anti-Americanism in the illegal alien movement. The media's willful blindness is epitomized by PostScene columnist Cindy Rodriguez, who since April has penned 10 columns advocating for illegal aliens. She labels as "paranoid extremists" those people who "foolishly think there is some master plan to 'reconquer' the Southwest" (April 25).

In fact, novelist Elena Poniatowska, who is cultural adviser to Mexican presidential candidate Manuel Lopez Obrador (currently in a close race for the July election), has done more than almost anyone to popularize the reconquista. In a July 2001 interview with the Mexican newspaper El Imparcial,she exulted, "Mexico is recovering the territories yielded to the United States by means of migratory tactics."

Both Denver papers frequently describe the rallies as involving the "rights" of "immigrants." The terminology falsely conflates legal immigrants, who have many legal rights, with illegal immigrants, who have many fewer lawful rights, and who have no "right" to U.S. citizenship. Similarly, people who criticize colossal levels of illegal immigration are often described as "anti-immigrant" - even though many such people favor high levels of legal immigration.

Even more deceptive is the media phrase "undocumented worker." The term is inaccurate, because illegal aliens usually do have documents, albeit fraudulent ones. "Undocumented worker" is an euphemism used by those who want to avoid mentioning that the worker in question has entered and remained in the United States unlawfully and has procured a job unlawfully, often via criminally forged documents.

If the newspapers are going to continue using "undocumented worker," then the papers should, to be consistent, start writing that illegal users of morphine are really "undocumented patients," that bank embezzlers are "undocumented withdrawers," school truants are "undocumented vacationers," people who drive after their licenses have been revoked are "undocumented drivers," and 15-year-olds who use fake IDs to buy vodka are "undocumented drinkers."

Both papers have done an excellent job in telling human-interest stories about hard-working illegal aliens and their families. The papers have almost entirely failed to tell the stories of families who are the victims of illegal aliens. Although the papers provided extensive coverage regarding the killing of Denver police officer Donnie Young by an illegal alien (as they provide major coverage of almost all killings of local police officers), the papers have devoted few investigative resources to the broader topic of how many crimes in Denver or in Colorado are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

Nor have the papers paid more than minimal attention to how illegal aliens have made it so much more difficult for a working person to support a family. The papers could, for example, report on the changes in real, inflation-adjusted salaries for drywallers, meat packers or roofers, from 1980 to 2006, and could look at the impact the drastic wage decline in such jobs has had on working families. Although the papers report extensively on Colorado's public schools, the effect of illegal aliens in causing school overcrowding is generally taboo.

There are a wide variety of benefits and detriments that result from massive illegal immigration. The Denver papers report well on the former, and mostly ignore the latter.


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