My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


How The Media Lies 

Channel 4 News in Denver (KCNC) touts itself as "The Whole Story."

Never mind that that moniker has been in use for many months by an unnamed blogger trying to point out media lies . . . .

But, in that context, focus on this story from the Wednesday 10 o'clock news (from the link, click on the video screen to see what made the 5 o'clock news--NOT the written story by Terry Jessup, and a longer version of what showed up at 10).

[Jim Benemann] A new study is strongly suggesting that last year's raid at the Swift Meat Packing Plant is taking a heavy toll on the children of illegal immigrants.

[Molly Hughes] The Urban Institute released its findings just today. CBS 4 political specialist Terry Jessup in our newsroom tonight, and, Terry, this study looked at raids in three cities across the country.

Now, let's just pause here for a second. "The Urban Institute released its findings today"--that sounds innocuous enough, right? Except that, in the written story (way down in the seventh paragraph), and what gets completely omitted from the on-air story, is :

The study was commissioned by The National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, . . .

I wonder why THAT got left out of the story. Do you suppose that little factoid might contribute the "wholeness" of the story? And, honestly, I can think of many ways to describe LaRaza, but I'm not sure I would lead with "Hispanic civil rights organization."

And, secondly, why is the "political specialist" handling this story? Do you think that News4 is leading the . . . .er, helping . . .er, a party to the beginnings of a new pushback against last year's enforcement of existing laws?

Moving on . . .

[Terry Jessup] And Molly, the researchers found that, as a result of those raids, about 500 children abruptly lost contact with their mother, their father, or both parents. There were 267 people arrested in the Swift raid in Greeley, where some of them gathered today to put a human face on the new study's findings.

[cut to video of woman holding infant, with Jessup's voice-over] This undocumented Guatemalan was one of 267 arrested in last December's Swift meatpacking raid, as she was pregnant with her now one-month-old child.

Okay, let's stop again right there.

Once again, we have a video of an undocumented worker--as in, an ILLEGAL ALIEN--which the news media has an easy time finding but immigration has so much difficulty.

And, then, we have the one month-old child. Where was this child born? How did this woman pay for the services? What sort of prenatal care did she receive?

According to a 2004 study, the average cost of having a baby was $7600; women on Medicaid paid, on average, about 1% of the total cost out-of-pocket. That means a Medicaid/Welfare baby costs the state--YOU AND ME--about $6800. Is that roughly the cost of an Illegal Alien birth? I don't know--but don't you think it's probably very comparable.

So, let's be generous and say that childbirth for an illegal alien costs the state only $5,000 per child: is it safe to say that those 500 children who were without parents suddenly cost the taxpayers $2.5 million? Is it?

So those same children who were suddenly without a parent after the Federal Government went to the extraodinary steps of actually enforcing the law had already managed to eke out of the hospital system $2.5 million, not to mention the costs associated with education and other free government services as they grow, not to mention that all of those children are now U.S. citizens.

That's hardly the sort of stuff that should be left out of "the Whole Story."

Then, when you figure in that in the 10 o'clock tease Jim Benemann describes them all as "victims," and that the video accompanying the story never shows a child over the age of 2--all the better to evoke your sympathies--you get the impression that News4 is pushing an agenda.

Simple questions that WOULD have told "The Whole Story":

:who commissioned the Urban Institute study, and what is their political agenda?

:how many of those 500 children were born in American hospitals at little or no cost to the family?

:how many of those 500 children are currently enrolled in American schools, on the Free/Reduced lunch program, at little or no cost to themselves?

:how long did it take the Swift plant to replace those workers with legal workers and/or American citizens who "don't want to do that job?"

Don't you have to wonder why those questions/answers got left out of the story?

And that, my friends, is how the media lies to you.

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