The immigration wave from 1965 to date is the biggest news story of our generation.
Immigration, with its multiple story lines of language, culture and diversity, is a journalist`s dream. Yet, despite the opportunities for in-depth coverage and investigative reporting, the print media turns out the same story day after day, week after week.
Since the goal of newspapers is to attract readers, I have to wonder why they repeatedly crank out the identical tired stuff that no one pays any attention to—when the truth is so much more compelling.
For a form of tortured fun, I decided to dissect a recent story just to prove to myself that newspapers are missing a golden opportunity with their not even sophomoric immigration coverage.
The Star-Ledger is a respected newspaper serving the influential New Jersey market and parts of New York and Philadelphia. Commuters to those major cities often read the Star-Ledger along with the Wall Street Journal.
The uninitiated might think that, from a combination of a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper and graduate of one of the country`s most prestigious journalism schools, an insightful story about the Newark demonstrations would materialize.
Columbia apparently never taught Weiss—or perhaps she missed the lecture—that the most important thing for a reporter is to get the story.
And in this case, the story is not that 3,000 immigrants and aliens showed up on a rainy Sunday afternoon. New Jersey is a small state: 88 miles from east to west and 186 miles from north to south. On a Sunday, anyone can be in Newark within a couple of hours.
And with an estimated illegal alien population of over 300,000, a one percent turn out is pathetic.
The story Weiss missed: New Jersey`s Cuban-born Attorney General Zulima Farber, the state`s highest ranking law enforcement officer, attended the rally and incited the crowd with statements—in English and Spanish—like this:
"All people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to live in safe, clean and affordable housing and to walk down the street without being afraid. I understand your struggle and the challenge of being an immigrant."
Farber—who certainly knew she was addressing a crowd composed of illegal aliens—should be immediately removed from office for flouting the laws she is sworn to uphold.
But the worst of Weiss`s sloppy reporting is yet to come.
In interviews with three "immigrants"—a.k.a. illegal aliens—Weiss came away with these quotes:
According to Weiss, Soriano said proudly that his daughter wants to become a lawyer who helps
"…people come without papers. That`s what she wants to do and I`m going to help her do that."
That`s Weiss`s message: waiting in the wings is a group of young Hispanics eager to make the U.S. accessible to anyone "without papers."
Weiss hasn`t read as many noxious immigration stories as I have. So perhaps she had no idea that Rodriguez, Valencia and Soriano`s boring and predictable observations have been parroted several hundred thousand times over the last five years.
Jen, reporters are not stenographers! How about a fresh idea?
Imagine how much meatier Weiss`s story would have been and how much more entertaining to read for those Monday morning New Jersey Central commuters if she had asked the following questions:
That story, if written, would be talked about throughout New Jersey all day and all night. Star-Ledger readers would search every edition of the paper looking for Weiss`s next byline.
Of course, Weiss will never write it. Neither will anyone else in the MSM. (That`s what VDARE.COM is for!)
See Weiss` blog, Mango salsa, to get a better idea of where her head is.
Too bad the Columbia School of Journalism didn`t teach Weiss to think for herself. That is the most important lesson I can think of for a twenty-something starting off on a career.
Right now, it`s unlikely that Weiss will show enough maturity to dig for the real story about immigration. Buying into the lies is so much less work for a lazy reporter.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.