[Earlier awards: Newsday's Bart Jones And Mae Cheng Win Third Annual VDARE.COM Worst Immigration Coverage Award!; One of Those Grateful Refugees—Pacific News Service's Andrew Lam; LA Times' Hiltzik Wins Second Annual VDARE.COM Worst Immigration Coverage Award!]
knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.
And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you."
Before I turn to the not-so-jolly business at hand—awarding VDARE.COM's fourth annual Worst Immigration Reporting prize—let me wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and nothing but happiness in 2008.
Thanks to all of you who have written, donated and participated in the fight for immigration sanity. We've had a great year beating back amnesty in the U.S. Senate three times and overwhelming the disgraceful New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his idiotic plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
I extend a special thanks to all of you who wrote to and prayed for me at this very time last year during my extended hospitalization.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude.
Now on to the main event! The winner is—hands down—Nina Bernstein of the New York Times.
Unlike past years when I had to review my files and folders chock full of unprofessional stories before selecting the winner, Bernstein (send her e-mail here) made my job easy.
During 2007 Bernstein wrote, by my count, 42 immigration stories—all of them rotten. If you think you have the stomach for it, you can read them all here.
From her first story in January, a tear jerker about baby Yuki Lin, born in New York to Chinese illegal aliens but denied $25,000 by Toys "R" Us because of her parents' immigration status [First Baby of 2007? Toy Chains Prize Runs Afoul Of the Immigration Issue, New York Times, January 6, 2007] to her latest (as of this posting) on December 4, Brazilians Giving Up Their American Dream —the title says it all—Bernstein stunk up the joint.
(Bernstein's January 6th story was later amended to reflect the change of heart at Toys "R" Us: after considerable Times lobbying, they gave Lin's family the money.)
To understand the depth of Bernstein's immigration bias, you have to read carefully through a trained eye to spot her deceptions. Otherwise well-informed sources often miss Bernstein's duplicity and the deceit inherent in her stories.
Here's an example. Even the valuable website TimesWatch, which promotes itself as dedicated to "documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times", failed to grasp the totality of Bernstein's bias.
In a TimesWatch posting by Clay Waters about Bernstein's March 31st story, Where Millions Entered U.S., A Debate On Letting In More, Waters wrote: "To her credit, Bernstein let critics of unchecked immigration have their say."
Of the eight people Bernstein quotes in her story; six of them are pro-immigration. To make it worse, the first three (!) listed by Bernstein favor more immigration: David V. Aguilar, chief of the Border Patrol at Homeland Security and two California U.S. Representatives with "D-" grades at Americans for Better Immigration, Linda Sánchez and Zoe Lofgren.
After Bernstein has set the table for the immigration enthusiasts, Iowa Representative Steve King gets a word in (barely) for our side.
But then two academics, Stanford Law Professor and member of the Immigration Policy Center Dan Siciliano (e-mail) and University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers (e-mail) quickly obliterate King.
Add it up: six pro-immigration versus two opposed.
That's not fair and balanced!
And notice the disproportionate status of Bernstein's non-government subjects—three from prestigious universities vs. Jack Martin, described as "a director" at FAIR. (Aside to Jack: We still love you! Bernstein may not acknowledge it but we know that your grasp of immigration issues is well beyond what she can ever hope to achieve.)
And further, Bernstein allocates five paragraphs and four paragraphs, respectively, to the "professors" whom she refers to as "scholars," Tichenor and Siciliano.
In Siciliano's case, three Bernstein paragraphs expand on his idiotic theory that immigration "…increased the wages of the native-born by an average of 1.8 percent, and by as much as 3.4 percent among 9 out of 10 native-born workers with at least a high school education."
Bernstein's story is flawed in its very premise. Today's argument is not about whether more "immigrants" (no, they're illegal aliens!) should be let in legally through ports of entry but instead how to end illegal immigration and what to do about those who are here illegally.
A national debate about legal immigration does need to start. But Bernstein incorrectly gives the impression that it is underway.
In case you didn't catch Bernstein's slant then read her final two paragraphs that journalists refer to as "the kicker"—as in kicking you in the head to make their point.
"As Mr. Tichenor thought about his answer [to King's question about whether one group of immigrants had grown too large], tourists of all complexions gawked from the sidelines, and an audience of immigrant activists let their T-shirts do the talking — 'Legalize the Irish' and 'I Love Immigrant N.Y.' They sat on the same benches where years ago anxious immigrants waited to be called for inspection.
'"We've always been a nation becoming,'" Professor Tichenor said. 'We've always added layers.'"
The great news is that despite her massive output of pap, Bernstein was unable to achieve her coveted goal and that of her employer, the Times—amnesty for all and guest worker programs for the multitudes lining up to come to America.
"The New York Times has assigned Nina Bernstein to the [immigration] beat. In my experience, Bernstein's the most tendentious and biased reporter on the paper—that would be the famed liberal bias—and she's almost certain to weave a cocoon that will help restrict Times readers to utter marginal irrelevance as debate [about amnesty] proceeds."
Bernstein's stories are written for her editors and her small circle of ultra-liberal friends.
But by aiming for such a limited audience, Bernstein—like dozens of other unfair and unbalanced journalists like her—has abandoned the standards of the once honorable profession of newspaper reporter.
Nevertheless, based on the limited impact—as in none—that Bernstein's immigration drivel has on public opinion, and considering the magnitude of our victories this year, I say:
"Nina, keep grinding them out!"
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.