Saturday, November 24, 2007

New York Times Edit On Immigration Unrealistic

Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the New York Times, is not paying sufficient attention to rising opinions of the American people that too many illegal immigrants are entering the country, and that not enough controls have been placed on the estimated 12 million already here. Once again, we see yesterday an editorial that is not at all realistic.

Under the title, "The Immigration Wilderness," the Times calls for reforms that have already been soundly rejected in Congress. It pays lip service to the idea of stricter border controls, but it continues to adhere to policies that have been abandoned and discredited, such as New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's unpopular proposal to issue state drivers licenses to illegals.

The editorial also chastises Sen. Hillary Clinton for waffling on her own position on the drivers licenses and finally coming out against them. This part of the editorial completely fails to recognize the position in which Mrs. Clinton finds herself: Her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has been threatened by her initial willingness to give some support to Spitzer on this issue.

There is a shrillness in New York Times editorials generally these days that can only hurt the Democratic party, the party the newspaper ostensibly backs for return to the White House.

Under Rosenthal's guidance, the paper has been carving out a position close to the McGovernite faction of the party -- surrender in Iraq, weakness in Pakistan (also the subject of an editorial yesterday), and sympathy with the illegal immigrants.

It can only help the Republicans the newspaper is against.

Changes in the immigration laws are going to have to await a new administration and a new Congress. There is clearly no majority support for them now, and we are about to see that demonstrated in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

I share to some extent the New York Times' observation of concern that "Bias crimes against Hispanic people are up, hate groups are on the march. Legal immigration remains a mess."

But the way to challenge this is not to buck public opinion in the country. It was Abraham Lincoln who once said that no massive majority can safely be ignored.

The Times only exacerbates the feelings it opposes when its editorials are too shrill.


The Los Angeles Times Web site again failed to meet its responsibilities again this morning on a timely basis. At 7 a.m., with both CNN and Yahoo carrying prominent stories on a new wildfire in Malibu that forced the evacuation of scores of homes, the L.A. Times had yet to mention the fire. Later, however, the L.A. Times Web site recouped, putting on a substantive story by Bob Pool and Molly Hennessy-Fiske, its lead. By 10 a.m., 35 structures had burned.

On another disaster in the news, when the Canadian cruise ship Explorer, carrying 91 passengers and a crew of 63, struck an iceburg and sunk off Antarctica, with everyone rescued, the L.A. Times used a Washington Post story, while the New York Times, under the bylines of Graham'Bowley and Andrew C. Revkin, apparently writing from New York, had its own story. No one covers a remote disaster story better than the NYT. It goes back to the Titanic.

One of the two ships involved in the rescue of the Explorer passengers and crew was the National Geographic ship Endeavor, upon which I sailed calmly in the same waters in 2005, but quite a bit later in the summer.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering your diatribes defending Bush's War on Terror and calling opponents unAmerican, I'm surprised that you of all people would characterize a NY Times editorial on illegal immigrants as too shrill for your taste. Just as hypocritical is your calling on the Paper of Record to pander to current public opinion on the subject, which borders on the sentiment of lynching bees of yore. It's not the role of Editorial writers to validate mob hysteria--or didn't you know that?

11/24/2007 5:29 PM  

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