If the mainstream media really wants to rebuild public trust in their own reporting and editorial content, they should halt their their insidious campaigning for open borders and hysterical scaremongering about proper border controls and finally cover the immigration debate with impartiality and objectivity
For those who still do not quite understand why so many people are no longer willing to be spoon-fed “facts” and opinions from the mainstream media and their patrons within the establishment, I can do no better than give you this case study from the Sacramento Bee, and that newspaper’s editorial about president-elect Donald Trump’s likely policies on illegal immigration.
From the Editorial Board’s article:
When President-elect Donald Trump vowed at times during his campaign to expel 11 million undocumented immigrants upon taking office, Americans wondered whether he was just opening a negotiation or seriously telling the foreign-born that they should be very afraid.
The answer appears to be some of both. In his post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” Trump lowered his number, saying his administration would focus, at least initially, on “people that are criminal and have criminal records – gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million.”
“We are getting them out of the country,” he said, “or we are going to incarcerate.”
No one wants gang members and drug dealers to be out committing crimes, with or without papers. But beyond that, Team Trump has offered little to reassure this nation of immigrants.
My emphasis in bold.
The Sacramento Bee is utterly unable (or more likely unwilling) to distinguish between illegal immigrants – people who either entered the United States without permission or else deliberately overstayed their short term residencies – and “the foreign-born” in general.
To aid in that deliberate blurring of the boundaries, the word “undocumented” has been brought in to replace “illegal” as an attempt to bridge the gulf between people who join the back of the queue and emigrate to the United States through the lawful channels and those who (for whatever reason) choose to circumvent the process and make a mockery of those laws and the people who follow them.
(Indeed, elsewhere in the media there are people like despicable propagandist Jorge Rivas who ludicrously try to suggest that “undocumented” is somehow the neutral term while the more accurate “illegal” carries negative connotations that we should somehow swat away and ignore in the name of social justice).
But why should the “foreign-born” as a generic group be afraid of Donald Trump, as the Sacramento Bee suggests? Why should somebody who married a US citizen and completed the proper paperwork to become a legal resident or citizen of the United States fear? Why should somebody whose firm transferred them to the United States for a certain period of time, in compliance with the various visa requirements? Why should future US citizens such as myself – married to an American, with the ultimate intention of settling back in the United States – be concerned that Donald Trump intends to thwart our plans?
The answer, of course, is that none of these groups have any reason to fear the presidency of Donald Trump. The only people who may be immediately impacted by the new administration’s immigration policies will be those currently residing in the United States illegally. But the Sacramento Bee – together with nearly all of the mainstream print and television news media – are determined to suggest otherwise, to imply that the Evil Donald Trump intends to purge America of anyone with dark skin or a funny surname.
The media does this first by softening the language to downplay the lawbreaking aspect of the situation, re-branding illegal immigrants as merely “undocumented immigrants” – people who have every right to remain in the United States, but whose passports, visas and other documents proving their eligibility mysteriously disappeared in a puff of smoke, rendering them sadly undocumented. And then they falsely suggest that Donald Trump’s (and much of America’s) concern about illegal immigration is about immigration in general.
Of course, Britain has experienced a very similar phenomenon, most visible during the EU referendum in Britain. Since the previous Labour government’s refusal to adopt transitory controls on immigration (or even consult the people about such a measure) when the A10 Eastern European countries joined the European Union, net migration to the United Kingdom has increased at a rate far above the previous normal baseline, outstripping the growth of housing, the upgrading of infrastructure and (sometimes) the ability of communities to socially assimilate the new arrivals. Meanwhile, the government’s approach to those immigrants from outside the EU was equally “hands-off”, asking little by way of assimilation or community contribution from those who arrived, many of whom set up parallel communities based on ethnicity or religion, openly refusing the give-and-take of the melting pot in favour of a stubborn refusal to participate in the wider society.
But for over a decade, to even question the inherent virtue of fully open borders was denounced by the hysterical Left as being xenophobic at best, and deeply racist and fascistic at worst. Even when articulate explanations were made that the issue is not a hatred of foreigners but rather the absence of democratic consent and the fact that net migration continues to outstrip our present ability to manage without adverse side-effects, still the leftists roared that the people with concerns were racists hiding behind a thin veneer of respectability.
For me, the real low point came when a Sky News presenter interviewing schoolchildren for a feature about the rise of UKIP just prior to the general election, asked a credulous boy what he would think of an MP in Westminster who “says it is a problem” for people to have Polish or Bulgarian friends (neither of UKIP’s two MPs at the time were remotely racist or had ever expressed opposition to friendship between British people and legal immigrants).
Here was a reporter for a national TV news channel so utterly unaware of his own internal biases (I’ll be kind and refrain from accusing him of deliberate malevolence) that he thought nothing of suggesting to an innocent schoolkid (and millions of viewers watching at home) that the one party seriously committed at the time to controlling immigration volumes was racist and against anybody befriending people of other nationalities.
And this remark went completely unnoticed, unpunished by Ofcom (the regulator) because it was so utterly typical of the mainstream media’s approach to immigration.
And that approach can be described as follows: All immigration, legal and illegal, skilled and unskilled, is to be encouraged to the fullest extent possible. There is no moral difference between coming to live in a (Western) country legally and doing so illegally. If anything, illegal immigrants are to be praised and put on a pedestal for their courage in flouting the law. Any attempts to limit immigration volumes in response to popular concerns are inherently racist, and are to be ignored or shouted down as forcefully as possible, while those people daring to express such views should be publicly demonised and accused of harbouring intolerant, xenophobic opinions. Private citizens demanding controls on immigration are racist. Politicians seeking to respond to public concerns about immigration are irresponsible populists seeking to stir dark and malevolent forces of bigotry.
The thing is, eventually people get sick of being told that they are mean or intolerant or racist simply for wanting to see the law properly enforced, or for the integrity of national borders to be defended. And while half the country (Britain or America) seem happy to lap up the Kool-Aid and parrot the establishment talking points that unlimited immigration is a good thing – usually those Americans who only ever see the positive sides of immigration, and whose economic position insulates them from the negative sides – the other half of the country is increasingly unwilling to let itself be cowed into silence by the moralising minority.
Americans are fully aware that they are a “nation of immigrants”, as the Sacramento Bee insufferably sees fit to remind their readers. And none of those first-generation immigrants who respected the law have the slightest thing to worry about. But the mainstream media and other open borders cheerleaders cannot admit this fact, as their only hope of achieving their open borders dream is by mobilising a political movement based on the false idea that all immigrants are under threat. This is nonsense.
Most Americans are probably willing to be reasonable about illegal immigration. They would be receptive to the argument that were they in the position of poor or desperate migrants looking for a better life for their families, they would probably be tempted to flout immigration law too. Many Americans understand that it is neither feasible nor moral to deport up to 11 million people overnight, and that to attempt to do so would be bad for the people involved, bad for an economy which relies on their labour and bad for the federal budget which would have to burden the cost of increased deportations.
In other words, a reasonable compromise around immigration – involving greater border security, the deportation of those illegal immigrants who have committed other crimes while in the United States and a path toward permanent residency (if not full citizenship) for those involved – was within reach. At least prior to the election of Donald Trump.
But no – the media and their establishment backers overreached. They did not want reasonable compromise (not, it should be noted, that the Republicans presented a tremendously friendly face for negotiating such a deal), preferring to shoot for everything they wanted (de facto open borders, legalisation of all those currently illegally living in the United States and less stringent rules for newcomers) by demonising all of those who dared to oppose that agenda.
And even now they can’t stop. Even now their maximalist position on open borders has helped to deliver Donald Trump to the White House, media outlets like the Sacramento Bee are wringing their hands that Trump intends to persecute all immigrants, and suggesting that there is no moral difference between “undocumented immigrants” and those who seek to become new Americans the legal way.
At this point the mainstream media deserve their fate. The fruits of their hysterical demonising of anybody with doubts about uncontrolled immigration are staring back at them in the form of president-elect Donald J Trump, and even now they are unable or unwilling to change the script, or to concede that perhaps not everybody with qualms about immigration harbours a seething hostility to brown people.
The media’s overt, unapologetic bias on the subject of immigration has helped to deliver Brexit to the United Kingdom and President Donald Trump to the United States – both results which they absolutely feared and detested. So given that their current strategy of overt bias is not working, why do they still refuse to compromise and play it straight with the people? Why will they not realise that openly cheering for one side while demonising the other simply doesn’t work in the age of alternative media and the independent blogosphere?
This is going to get worse before it gets better, unless the mainstream media stops mindlessly reciting the propaganda of the open borders zealots and starts reporting on immigration more objectively and less manipulatively. And right now, there is very little chance of such a miracle occurring.
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