Media Matters Attacks The Messenger(And!) Over Arizona School Teacher's Letter
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The topic of my previous blog entry was the controversy in Arizona over the substitute teacher's letter to Russell Pearce about the reconquista students in the classroom. As usual, the strategy here is to shoot the messenger.

Media Matters has jumped onto the issue in an article entitled Fox Gives AZ State Sen. Klein Airtime To Spew Anti-Immigrant Views;(Media Matters, Solange Uwimana, March 23rd, 2011).

Media Matters lambasts Fox for interviewing the Arizona state senator who read the letter aloud in the Arizona legislature. Of course, apart from a lame disclaimer from the school district involved, the article does not try to disprove the contents of the substitute teacher's letter. That's not the point. To Media Matters, the important thing is not that there are reconquista illegal alien students in our schools, the important thing is we shouldn't point it out.

Here are some excerpts:

Today [March 23rd], Fox News reported that during a debate on controversial immigration legislation in Arizona, Republican state Sen. Lori Klein read a letter alleging that Hispanic students "do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters."

I recommend that you read the actual letter that Hill wrote. You can do so here. What Hill actually wrote was

"I have found that substitute teaching in these areas most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters."

Media Matter criticizes Fox News for publicizing the matter:

Fox News responded to the controversy by giving airtime to Klein to spew outrageous comments, including the claim that the National Council of La Raza "is a far-leftist, racist organization that is inciting young Hispanics to ... spit on America."

See my article on La Raza here.

...Fox News invited Klein to appear on one of its shows this afternoon. Teasing the interview, America Live host Megyn Kelly reported that Klein is "being accused of racism for repeating the contents of the letter" and that "some are demanding that [Klein] apologize for reading this in a public forum and questioning whether the substitute teacher really exists."

During the interview, Klein stated:

KLEIN: There is no apology necessary. This is something that's happening, unfortunately, today in our classrooms here in Arizona and California. I've had letters from all over the country, as well as other teachers here in Arizona applauding that I had the courage to read the letter, because we do have a problem. You know, we're educating and spending billions of others in our state and if this is where our money is going, the taxpayers have a right to know that this kind of behavior, which is not acceptable from any race, is happening in our schools.


KLEIN: I mean, as a mother, as a taxpayer, I think it's important, if my kids were acting out like this in school, they'd be grounded for a year. And I think it's important that we address problems instead of hiding them under the carpet.

When Kelly pointed out that many were questioning the veracity of the letter and whether the teacher was real, Klein replied:

KLEIN: The gentleman does exist. He's spoken with our Senate president. He is a substitute teacher. He's on record as such. He's married to a Hispanic, by the way, so he's not a racist. But he identified a problem that we face.

We have an organization here called La Raza, which is a far-leftist racist organization that is inciting young Hispanics to act out, not say the pledge, spit on America, and say it's our right to take America back. And this is really creating a problem here.

[End of Lori Klein quote]

As for Tony Hill:

The local ABC News affiliate in Arizona reported that "[a]ccording to the Glendale Elementary School District, Tony Hill worked nine days as a substitute teacher in the district. He was not one of GESD's regular substitute teachers, but worked for Teachers On Call, a substitute teacher placement service, according to spokesman Jim Cummings."

So what does the school district have to say about it?

District officials say Hill taught eighth grade writing and social studies at Harold W. Smith Elementary School on March 8. In an e-mailed statement, the district said it believes that the statements made by Mr. Hill in regard to our students and school were not accurate. Students who were interviewed did not recall making or hearing any of the inflammatory statements attributed to them by Mr. Hill, and students also said they stood for the daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. The district said it will continue to investigate the matter but does not believe Hill's letter accurately reflects the conduct of the students and staff at the school.

[As reported by the ABC affiliate]

The Media Matters article goes off in a rant against Arizona's SB 1070, and reports that:

Fox figures also attacked critics of the law by invoking the idea of a civil war, and they even went so far as to promote the law's legal defense fund on the air. And during one particularly memorable segment, Fox & Friends continued the network's pushback against the immigration law's detractors by hosting a columnist of anti-immigration website

The infamous "columnist of anti-immigration website was yours truly. Last year I appeared very briefly on Fox & Friends (see here.

Of course, outlets like Media Matters want to shut down any opposition to their agenda, so we shouldn't be surprised by all this. If you'd like to get involved in the discussion at Media Matters, you can make comments here. Be polite but firm.

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