Heather Mac Donald Debates Jason Riley Limply On Medved Show—John J. Miller Interviews Him For NRO
June 22, 2008, 05:00 AM
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06/21/08 - Saturday Forum: A New York Reader Says Our Realistic Analysis Of Lou Dobbs' Immigration Views Is "Long Overdue"; etc.

Re: James Fulford's blog post Open Borders Trifecta At Cato

From: Gerald Martin [Email him]

James Fulford's blog post reminded me of something I heard on the radio last week and wanted to report to you guys at VDARE.COM.  Jason Riley and Heather Mac Donald were "dueling guests" on Michael Medved's program, debating mostly about illegal immigration.  I only caught the last ten minutes, but if what I heard was representative, our side lost, big time.  Mac Donald gave a dismal performance, the weakest advocacy I've ever heard against illegal immigration.

 Of course, Medved [email him] (whom I used to like, but who has morphed into one of the most vicious and arrogant neocon pundits) made no pretense of objectivity, but ganged up with Riley to attack and belittle virtually everything Mac Donald said.  When Mac Donald stated that Hispanics in general displayed certain social pathologies (crime, out-of-wedlock births, multi-generational poverty) Riley claimed the opposite, citing statistics (apparently a major theme in his book) to show that illegals were incarcerated at lower rates than native born citizens and that 85% of Hispanic children are in two-parent homes.  Mac Donald was unable to counter these points (as I believe she could have, with a more nuanced and careful analysis of the relevant stats and categories).  Medved also jumped in—in a very insinuating "if you say yes it means you're a racist" way—by demanding Mac Donald answer his questions, "Are you [actually] saying there is something wrong with Hispanic culture? And are you [Oh, the horror!] against legal Hispanic immigration?"

 After a long, pregnant silence, Mac Donald crumpled, and choked out a pathetic, defeated, "No...but statistics suggest...," and was quickly cut off by Medved.  I could tell she wanted to make the ethno/cultural argument against mass Hispanic immigration, both legal and illegal, but she lost her nerve or didn't have it in the first place.

 To give her some credit, Mac Donald did say, responding to Riley's assertion that the market should determine immigration levels, that a nation is more than just a big labor exchange.  But she failed to develop this point, as she failed overall to make a strong case against illegal immigration or for reducing legal immigration. 

 One thing VDARE.COM should do is run a detailed review of Riley's book.  He has already been warmly welcomed and interviewed at NRO, [VDARE.COM note: By John J. Miller, of course.] and I'm sure Let Them In, will be frequently cited by the Open Borders crowd to support their arguments. 

 So our side needs the benefit of some expert analysis to help us with our counter-arguments.

Thanks for all the work you do.