Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Lou Dobbs Primary?: Neo-Fascist Attempt to Make Immigration a Major Issue in 2008

Media Advisory

The Lou Dobbs Primary?
Immigration more an issue for media than voters


Media coverage of the 2008 presidential election identifies immigration as a key issue for the U.S. electorate--even though, according to most polling, it does not rank as a top priority for voters.

CNN's Republican debate on November 28 opened with a full 35 minutes of the debate devoted to the issue of immigration. Washington Post columnist David Broder (11/15/07) recently referred to "illegal immigration" as one of two major "icebergs ahead for the Democrats" in the upcoming presidential race (ex-President Bill Clinton being the other one).

Columnist and CBS correspondent Gloria Borger (U.S. News & World Report, 11/10/07) declared immigration a "killer issue," and that Democratic candidates "had better get started" on a solution: "Independent voters are unhappy that nothing has been done on the matter, and anyone who wants to be president needs to keep independent voters happy." Borger approvingly quoted Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, who thinks the time has come for a "welfare moment"--an allusion to Bill Clinton's pledge to "reform" welfare in 1992.

NPR decided to make immigration one of the three issues of concern of its December 4 Democratic presidential debate. (Iran/Iraq policy and China were the other categories.) The following day's New York Times report on the debate (12/5/07) was headlined (in the print edition) "Immigration, a Relentless Issue, Confronts Democrats in an Iowa Debate." The paper alleged that the issue of immigration is "a topic looming large both in the Iowa caucuses next month and in the general election."

That's not what voters have been saying, though.

When asked to name their top priorities, the Iraq War still tops the list of issues for both Democrats and Republicans. "It's raised twice as often as the next-ranking issue, the economy," according to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll (11/30/07-12/1/07).

Another recent poll (L.A. Times/Bloomberg, 11/30/07-12/3/07) found only 15 percent of Americans ranking immigration as one of the top three issues of concern to them. In fact, noted L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten (12/1/07), "more than nine out of 10 Americans think something matters more than immigration in this presidential election."

Even when posed a question about their position on "illegal immigrants"--a politically loaded phrase--public opinion on undocumented workers is, as it is on most political issues, quite mixed. But "a strong bipartisan majority -- 60 percent -- favors allowing illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes to become citizens if they pay fines, learn English and meet other requirements," according to the most recent L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll (L.A. Times, 12/6/07).

The polling data suggests that immigration is not at all the "relentless issue" the New York Times makes it out to be. If anything can be described as "relentless" about the issue of immigration, it's the way it has been pushed by the media.

CNN's Lou Dobbs--who has a record of touting inaccurate xenophobic claims and promoting white supremacists on air (see Extra!, 1-2/04; Intelligence Report, Winter/05)--led into CNN's Republican debate (11/28/07) by calling immigration advocates "misguided abject fools" who are "working to subvert the will of the majority of the people of this country." Given the clear disdain U.S. media are showing for Americans' priorities for the upcoming election, one would think it was not the U.S. electorate but Dobbs himself whose vote was going to determine the 2008 presidential vote.

Of course, time spent talking about immigration-- which appeals to more conservative voters--is time not spent talking about, say, the economy or the Iraq War. This could very well be smart politics for Republican presidential candidates; as GOP pollster Whit Ayres put it (USA Today, 12/4/07), "Anything that pushes Iraq farther down the agenda is good news for Republicans." But media shouldn't mistake GOP campaign priorities for evidence of a shift in the public's priorities.

1 comment:

aslinn said...

American citizens are called racist because they expect their LAWS to be enforced.

It is the responsibility of the media to report the truth, NOT to spread (to Newsweek, NYT, etc.) the bias LA Times polls and propaganda. One company owns both the LA Times and the spanish newspaper, Hoy. Success depends on large numbers of only spanish-speaking people.

"American Pulse(TM) Survey: Providing Benefits to Undocumented Immigrants; Overwhelming Majority Don't Think It's Good for America.(Survey of 4,069 respondents.)

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/05/07 -- As the debate heats up over whether or not the U.S. Government should provide benefits to undocumented immigrants, most Americans agree that it is not good for the country, according to the American Pulse(TM) Survey of 4,069 respondents. The majority of respondents said "No" when asked if they think undocumented immigrants should be given the following:

77% of Americans are against providing Educational Benefits to illegal aliens.
82% of Americans are against providing Driver’s Licenses to illegal aliens
89% of Americans are against providing Business Licenses to illegal aliens
74% of Americans are against providing Job Training to illegal aliens
83% of Americans are against providing Housing Assistance to illegal aliens
December 5, 2007


Enforcing our Immigration Laws and Securing National Borders are not partisan, divisive, or polarizing issues! In current polls the vast majority of United States Citizens want our Immigration Laws Enforced and our National Borders Secured. ”.