December 10, 2007

Republicans "Stand Firm" on "Toning Down" Immigration Rhetoric?

Hatched by Dafydd

Another case of dueling headlines that demonstrates how the elite media can slant a story merely by picking and choosing what aspect to highlight.

The New York Times: Republican Candidates Firm on Immigration.

The Associated Press: GOP Hopefuls Temper Anti-Immigrant Talk

Both articles actually say more or less the same thing, that Republican presidential candidates at the Univision debate held last night in Miami (in both Spanish and English via simultaneous translation) avoided the use of harsh rhetoric and name-calling -- but stood firm on the policy of interdicting illegal immigration into the United States. Nevertheless, the foci of the two stories are worlds apart.

The Times focused on making Republicans look like anti-Hispanic bullies and panderers:

In front of what will probably be their most pro-immigration audience, Republican candidates toned down their rhetoric but told Spanish-language television viewers in a debate on Sunday that they would take strong measures to close off the country’s borders to illegal immigration.

The candidates were forced into a difficult balancing act by the debate, broadcast on Univision, as they tried to offend neither the Hispanic audience nor the Republican base many of them have tried to appeal to by taking a hard line on illegal immigration. The topic has led to some of the fiercest rhetoric in past debates....

They sandwiched their remarks between gauzy paeans to legal immigration and the values of immigrants.

By contrast, AP takes a totally different tack. They emphasize the softened language and don't even mention the firmness against illegal immigration until the second graf:

The Republican presidential candidates sought to embrace Hispanics in a Spanish language debate Sunday, striving to mark common ground with a growing voter bloc while softening the anti-illegal immigration rhetoric that has marked their past encounters.

The candidates avoided the harsh exchanges and name-calling of their most recent debate, while still emphasizing the need for border security and an end to illegal immigration. The polite debate came less than four weeks before the first votes are cast in Iowa and amid a topsy-turvy race in which former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has bolted to the lead in the state.

AP goes on to quote a bushel of lauditory remarks the candidates made about Hispanics:

"Hispanic-Americans have already reached great heights in America. I saw that in my city. They pushed us to be better," Giuliani said. "They're coming here to be Americans and they're making us better by being here in America."

Added Romney: "This is the land of the brave and the home of the free, and Hispanics are brave and they are free, as are all the people of this great nation."

...And only then notes that all of the candidates (except Lonely Ron Paul) nevertheless stressed that they cannot support what they like to call "amnesty."

But in the Times version, we discover mean, bitter Republicans who hate Hispanics:

Mitt Romney, who was an outspoken critic of the proposed immigration law and who sent out a mailing on the subject last week with a chain-link fence on the cover, was forced to again defend himself for employing a lawn service that used illegal workers at his home in Massachusetts, where he was governor.

At the debate, Mr. Romney, who once said on Fox News that he would tell illegal immigrants to “go home,” used a different tone to describe his policy....

“When we have control of our borders, when we preserve the legality of immigration, we can then turn to the people who are here, we can have them get the tamperproof ID cards, and the people that come forward and sign up, they can pay taxes,” he said. The people who do not do that, he said, “should be expelled from the United States.”

Mr. Huckabee, who has voiced compassion for illegal immigrants and who has had to defend a proposal he supported as governor of Arkansas to offer taxpayer-financed scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants, recently issued a proposal that focuses on strict penalties for illegal immigration. At the debate he said the illegal immigrants should go “to the back, not the front of the line,” and said they should start the process by going back to their native countries.

Finally, both articles noted that Rudy Giuliani (and, per AP but not the Times, John McCain), in response to a question of what he would say to Oogo Chavez, quipped that he agreed with the suggestion by King Juan Carlos of Spain -- who told Chavez, "¿Porque no te callas?" ("why don't you shut up?").

But while AP article continued a bit longer, discussing a few other topics that the debate had touched upon, the Times ended its article on that snippy (but wholly justified) note, implying that the entire debate was about nothing but immigration, legal and il-.

So there you have it, a textbook case of how to write an article that changes the entire thrust of an event by selectively emphasizing one aspect or a different one. Bear this in mind the next time you crack open your local paper -- online or off-.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 10, 2007, at the time of 4:55 AM

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» Last night’s Republican Univision debate from Sister Toldjah
I presume the reason there wasn’t more liveblogging on this debate was because it was broadcast on the Spanish language Univision channel, which not everyone has. Hugh Hewitt has a transcript of the debate here for anyone interested in reading ... [Read More]

Tracked on December 10, 2007 6:16 AM


The following hissed in response by: hunter

The NYT lurches without serious pause towards total irrelevency.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2007 7:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: Rovin

The NYT lurches without serious pause towards total irrelevency.

Not only that Hunter, we can look forward to the NYT's to work on using the immigration issue as a wedge in the RNC------that and I swear by the time the polls open, this nation will be into a full blown recession similar to the "Civil War" in Iraq.

The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2007 8:20 AM

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