Live by Pew, Die by Pew: LAT Chief Twit Tim Rutten calls the CNN-YouTube debate "corrupt" because it "chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a single issue — immigration"—and did it allegedly to somehow expand the audience for CNN's Lou Dobbs.Mickey Kaus goes on to show, with statistics from the Pew Center, how important the immigration issue is to the campaign. But I knew that already, of course. Not because the immigration issue is important to me, because it's part of my daily work, but because it was hot enough to shut down the Senate switchboard during the last Amnesty attempt.
How do we know immigration didn't deserve this play? Rutten cites a fresh poll from "the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center" showing that "just 6% of the survey's national sample said that immigration was the most important electoral issue."
But of course this was a Republican primary debate, and presumably focused on issues of concern to Republican primary voters. Why didn't Rutten give his readers some Pew findings for Republicans, as opposed to all Americans? Could it be because they would show that immigration is indeed a big issue for these voters?Obama vs. Huckabee? - By Mickey Kaus - Slate Magazine
Read Michael Barone's column, A Watershed Moment on Immigration, [November 5, 2007] and you'll see that while immigration was always important, it's now becoming electorally important:
October 2007 may turn out to be the month that immigration became a key issue in presidential politics. It hasn't been, at least in my lifetime.All the previous immigration disasters happened with a minimum of debate—this one won't. But imagine Tim Rutten [Email him]was right to say in his LA Times piece, [CNN: Corrupt News Network, December 1, 2007] that Americans aren't concerned about immigration, then whose fault is that? Rutten's fault, and Los Angeles Times' fault as much as anyone's.Haven't they been pushing pro-immigrant sob stories and burying crime stories that make immigration look bad for the past ten or twenty years?
The Immigration Act of 1965, which turned out to open up America to mass immigration after four decades of restrictive laws, wasn't one of the Great Society issues Lyndon Johnson emphasized in 1964. The Immigration Act of 1986, which legalized millions of illegal immigrants but whose border and workplace provisions have never been effectively enforced, was a bipartisan measure unmentioned in the debates between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale.
There was no perceptible difference on immigration between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000. Both favored a comprehensive bill with legalization and guest-worker provisions. John Kerry in 2006 and 2007 voted for immigration bills along the lines supported by Bush.
Rutten's idea that CNN corruptly stressed immigration because they want to boost Lou Dobbs's ratings is frankly weird, but, again, if Lou Dobbs is the only mainstream guy covering illegal immigration from the American point of view, he's serving a seriously underserved market niche, like Steve Sailer covering IQ. Once again, it's the LA Times, located as it is on the immigration frontline,that should be leading coverage of immigrant crime and illegal immigration's negative effects. It's not Dobbs's fault if they're not.