DNR Headline Misses the Point

Jeremy Aldrich -- September 12th, 2007

Today’s DNR says, “Immigration Creates a Language Divide.” But according to the Census data they’re referencing, 9.7% of the native-born population of the US speaks a language other than English at home. To look at it another way, there are 37.5 million immigrants, but about 55 million people in the US (over the age of 5) speak a language other than English at home (19.7% of the 279 million people in the total US population over age 5).

The story is from the Associated Press, but local papers choose the headlines. The suggested headline for the story from the AP is “Number of Immigrants Hits Record 37.5 Million.” A search of Google news reveals that no other newspaper using this AP story made a connection between immigration and a “language divide.” Hmm…wonder why the DNR chose to put a negative spin in their headline?

I find it suspicious, too, that the DNR offset part of a quote from William Frey of the Brookings Institution where he says, “It used to be the poor Southern states that had low levels of education and income. Now it is the high-immigration states as well.” They left out his next sentence (from the article) which says, “But that isn’t to say that the second or third generation won’t do better, because they will. There is upward mobility.”

What do you think?

13 Responses to “DNR Headline Misses the Point”

  1. Annelise says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into this, Jeremy. I know the guys who make those pages and it’s more a lack of thoughtfulness than an intentional stab at immigrants.

  2. Gxeremio says:

    Whether it’s revealing bias (through thoughtlessness) or intentionally perpetuating it (by spinning the story), I still think it’s a shame.

  3. andy says:

    Never assume that editorial decisions at the Daily News Record are “thoughtless” or unbiased. The managing editor of the paper, R. Cort Kirkwood, was trained by an organization with the specific mission of training journalists to consciously promote conservative ideas in the mainstream media.

    It’s a fundamental pillar of the fourth estate that the managing editor of any paper is supposed to be the paragon of objectivity.

    More about Kirkwood on SourceWatch:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=R._Cort_Kirkwood

    More about the organization where he trained:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Journalism_Center

  4. Annelise says:

    So if there’s a conservative conspiracy to promote ideas, then is there a liberal conspiracy to do the same?

  5. Gxeremio says:

    I dunno Annelise, but it’s right on the National Journalism Center’s website. NJC’s supporting organization (Young America’s Foundation) is “the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement” – http://www.yaf.org/mission/index.cfm

    So, whether or not there are similar left-wing groups (there may be), the fact that the editor of our local paper is listed on the alumni section of this organization (which also counts Ann Coulter among its alumni) certainly bolsters the argument that he might be biased and moreso that he might have an agenda: http://njc.yaf.org/graduates/books.cfm

    By the way, here’s Kirkwood on a show called “Conservative Roundtable,” being interviewed by the ultra-conservative onetime presidential candidate Howard Philips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbsCjIZEfIg

    Oh, and here’s a fun quote from an article Kirkwood wrote in April: “The obvious question is why so many illegal aliens, Mexicans in particular, are disposed to commit sex crimes. The problem isn’t just miscreant Mexicans; it is Mexico’s twisted, macho-misogynist culture of drinking and rape.” Source: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/?p=30

    Here’s another from an article Kirkwood wrote last year: “Simply legalizing the illegals will not solve the growing immigration crisis. As U.S. citizens, we have inherited a unique nation that grew, principally, from British roots going back to the Magna Carta, and sprung from Europe’s centuries-old soil of history, war, literature, music, religion, and language. For new arrivals to become citizens in the true sense of the word, they must be willing to learn the language and absorb these civilizational rudiments. The brooding illegal hordes have flung down their gauntlet. The future of America depends on how we respond.” Source: http://www.jbs.org/node/551

    I wish I could find something that suggests the DNR’s anti-immigrant bias is accidental. But the deeper I dig, the more it seems the bias isn’t accidental at all.

  6. finnegan says:

    Wow. Nice finds, Gxeremio. I hadn’t seen that Conservative Roundtable interview before. I wonder if someone should tell Howard that the table he’s sitting at isn’t actually round at all.

    Through a total coincidence, I found myself at the annual YAF conference in DC a few months ago. Long story, but suffice to say that I was both impressed and horrified by the stuff I heard and saw there.

    Some of the things Kirkwood has written about immigrants appears to be no different than what John Vinson has written. Vinson heads up AIC, a group listed by the SPLC as a hate group.

  7. andy says:

    Annelise;

    My comment was neither pro liberal nor anti conservative. Bias in the media — no matter what stripe — is dangerous for readers or viewers unaware of the bias.

    My point is to raise awareness that we should never fall prey to the false dichotomy presented by the media that our choices are only Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. It’s now somehow perceived as radical to take a position other than those sponsored by Democrats or Republicans (the parties, not the philosophies).

    This is bad.

    To be truly pro-American is to acknowledge and accept that a wide array of opinions exist. Pick one for sure and believe in it — if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for everything. But our founders created the Constitution so that a variety of points of view would counterbalance one another.

    The Democrat vs. Republican nonsense that consumes most political reporting is a canard at best.

  8. cook says:

    Slightly off topic, but maybe not: Does the DNR have a written policy regarding letters to the editor? In particular, does the DNR automatically reject all “negative” letters about local candidates for political office? It seems the only letters that get printed are letters that sound like talking points from campaign headquarters. Surely someone has submitted a letter suggesting that an incumbent is not doing his job well or that a challenger is not worthy of an office, but I haven’t seen such a letter in print. Maybe I just missed it, or maybe I am overestimating the attention paid to the local races.

  9. JGFitzgerald says:

    Cook,

    I don’t want to brag, but I’ve been called a traitor, a turncoat and a liberal (and not in a nice way) in DNR letters. Once an idiot mistook my son’s name for mine, wrote a letter attacking me, and the DNR printed it, knowing the mistake. I really don’t think they have any principles at all where letters are concerned. Maybe I could have left the final four words off that sentence.

    JF

  10. JGFitzgerald says:

    Clarification: majority of negativity in previous post intended for editorial page.

  11. cook says:

    you know, joe, immediately after posting this morning, I almost posted again with “except for those involved with the golf course fiasco”

  12. cjune says:

    As far as Kirkwood, I’d heard about his conservatism, but didn’t truly comprehend the extent of it until I listened to Tuesday’s Insight, on which he was a guest. His immigration policy? Lock down the borders. He’s against immigration – legal and illegal. Check it out:
    http://www.jmu.edu/wmra/pgm/insight/i091007.mp3

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