By Dan Gainor
Both the media and the left know how they want to play this – don’t go for the jugular, go for the wallet.
The old media love a great race – so much that they’d rather double their pleasure by injecting racial politics into the 2010 congressional elections. They weren’t content with claiming conservatives were anti-black racists who wanted to restart the Civil War. Now the left and the media that support it are claiming that conservatives are anti-Hispanic racists who have re-launched the Mexican War as well.
That latest bogus claim follows the passage of a law in Arizona that essentially authorizes state law enforcement agencies to enforce federal statutes on immigration. Liberals are going ballistic over the law. That’s unsurprising, given 2010 is an election year and Democrats are doing poorly at the box office.
The media and others on the left have become so entangled on the issue that it’s almost impossible to sort out exactly who is leading the charge to halt the law, beat up on Arizona and welcome the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants into our nation's arms and pocketbook.
Once the law was signed by Arizona's governor those even-handed, professionally neutral journalists acted like they had joined La Raza. CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith claimed to know the heart of every Hispanic in Arizona, asking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): “And for the millions of Hispanic Americans who live in Arizona, what do you say to them, who feel like this bill is purely discriminatory?”
ABC “Good Morning America” co-host Bill Weir harassed Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, “Will you grab people on street corners?”
One-time New York Times Supreme Court reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Linda Greenhouse called Arizona a “police state” and said she would avoid it till the law changed. She compared the law to “the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa.”
Official left-wing voices were just as shrill. Jesse Jackson, the man who once called New York City “Hymietown,” called the law equal to “terrorism for the innocent … you look suspicious because you are Mexican.”
Far-left CNN Headline News host Joy Behar invoked images of World War II Germany. “Do you think it's kind of -- doesn't it feel like sort of Nazism a little bit?” she asked.
Both the media and the left know how they want to play this – don’t go for the jugular, go for the wallet. They plan to promote a boycott of Arizona to make the state cave on the law they've approved for daring to say that people who are here illegally shouldn’t be.
The left’s Nation magazine embraced a boycott with echoes of the Martin Luther King Day boycott of the early 1990s. Sports correspondent Dave Zirin led off his call with innocent-sounding lines from a Public Enemy song from that era called “By the Time I Get to Arizona.”
Zirin called the new law “echoes of apartheid” and added: “This will be the last column I write about the Arizona Diamondbacks in the foreseeable future. For me, they do not exist.” He forgot to mention the Public Enemy song had a video with a whole story line of political assassination of whites who opposed the King holiday. In the video one politician is poisoned and another is blown up while members of the band appear repeatedly carrying rifles and wearing paramilitary garb.
Imagine if the band had been white and the targets had been Hispanic. Now that would have been noteworthy.
CBS’s John Blackstone, estimated that previous boycott cost the state “170 conventions and $300 million.” That is what liberals plan for Arizona this time, too.
On ABC, Barbara Pinto said “the call for an economic boycott here has caught fire on the Internet.” Both ABC and NBC announced the scary news that all 400 planned guests for the American Immigration Lawyers Association had canceled.
Of course, Democrats are pushing the idea to get supporters to the polls. Luis Gutierrez, (D-Ill.), called for people to cancel summer vacations in Arizona. San Francisco Democrats voted to boycott the state.
Even Mexico got into the act as that nation issued a travel warning urging Mexicans to “act carefully” in Arizona. Presumably they will print it in Spanish and leave it at every desert water station so illegals are sure to see it during their daily invasion.
As the boycott builds, and journalists will make sure it does, you can bet we’ll hear repeated reminders of how Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to illegals. Yes, using all the information available at the time, Reagan did so. It was a horrific mistake. Instead of solving a problem, it guaranteed an endless cycle of amnesty and illegal border crossing.
What the media and left don’t want to discuss is the fact that a failure of government – that same government that now controls our health care – is what led Arizona to this desperate measure. The craven cowards of both parties -- grasping for every vote -- have refused to secure our border. There must be no amnesty until Americans are satisfied our border is under control.
America remains a nation that loves immigrants. But we hate law-breakers and the politicians and journalists who cater to them. The last amnesty bid failed because Democrats and Republicans joined together to defeat it. If Team Obama wants to use the Arizona law to insert race into the 2010 elections, we can only hope that American voters will ensure it’s a race they lose.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture.