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CBS Trumpets Opposition to 'Notorious' Arizona Law from One Cop and Linda Ronstadt, Already Finds 'Chilling Effect'

CBS won't let go of liberal efforts against the new immigration enforcement law in Arizona. A night after Katie Couric focused on "the backlash against Arizona's new immigration law. San Francisco bans official travel to that state," she teased Thursday's CBS Evening News by trumpeting a lawsuit against it from a lone police officer: "The latest response to Arizona's new immigration law? Sue the state. We'll tell you who is." She soon cited how "the first lawsuits were filed today challenging it, including one by a Tucson police officer who claims the law is unconstitutional."

Reporter Bill Whitaker presumed Arizona has earned "notoriety," instead of popularity for a law with majority support, as he began:

Six days after Arizona gained notice and notoriety with the toughest anti-immigration law in the country, protests are building, opposing sides are hardening, outside pressure is mounting. Today opponents turned on a little star power: Mexican-American singer Linda Ronstadt spoke out....She endorsed the first of what's likely to be a flurry of opposition lawsuits.

The law doesn't take effect for several months, Whitaker noted, "but many citizens say it's having a chilling effect already. Listen as we talk to this immigrant rights worker." Viewers then heard a male voice: "Why don't you go back to Mexico if it's so great, man?" Whitaker acknowledged some local governments "are pushing for Arizona-style immigration laws," but countered with how "many more cities are lining up in opposition. Dozens are threatening to cut all business ties with Arizona."

Oh, and this was Whitaker's last sentence: "Just yesterday, the U.S. Border Patrol picked up 105 immigrants crossing the border near Tucson illegally."

Just as on Wednesday, the soundbites ran 4-to-1 against Arizona's law.

Earlier:

- Wednesday night: "Couric Touts San Francisco as Proof of 'Backlash Against Arizona's New Immigration Law'"

- Tuesday night: "ABC and NBC Champion 'Growing National Backlash' Against 'Laughing Stock' Arizona"

- Monday night: "CBS Again Focuses on Victims in Arizona: 'Many Feel the Sting of Racism in New Law'"

- Friday night: "CBS Frames Arizona's Anti-Illegal Alien Law Through Eyes of Opponents: 'Veto Racism'"

The story on the Thursday, April 29 CBS Evening News, transcript provided by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:

KATIE COURIC: Turning now to Arizona's new immigration law, the first lawsuits were filed today challenging it, including one by a Tucson police officer who claims the law is unconstitutional. And despite continuing protests, other states may actually follow Arizona's lead. From Phoenix tonight, here's Bill Whitaker.

BILL WHITAKER: Six days after Arizona gained notice and notoriety with the toughest anti-immigration law in the country, protests are building, opposing sides are hardening, outside pressure is mounting. Today opponents turned on a little star power: Mexican-American singer Linda Ronstadt spoke out.

LINDA RONSTADT: The dirty little secret is I'm probably not the one that would be pulled over because I'm light-skinned.

WHITAKER: She endorsed the first of what's likely to be a flurry of opposition lawsuits.

ALESSANDRA SOLER MEETZE, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF AMERICA: We will be devoting our collective resources to stopping this bill from taking effect.

WHITAKER: The controversial law requires police in Arizona to demand proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally. It takes effect this summer, but many citizens say it's having a chilling effect already. Listen as we talk to this immigrant rights worker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: Why don't you go back to Mexico if it's so great, man?

SALVADOR REZA, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: That's what this law is causing. It's causing the division and bringing out the worst, the worst in people.

WHITAKER: Citing crime rates and the cost of social services, the mayor of Costa Mesa, California, and legislators in Ohio and Texas, say they are pushing for Arizona-style immigration laws.

STATE REP. DEBBIE RIDDLE (R-TX): The citizens are sick and tired of political correctness. They want, they want to take their country back.

WHITAKER: But many more cities are lining up in opposition. Dozens are threatening to cut all business ties with Arizona. Already at least eight conventions have pulled out of Phoenix in protest. The city could lose up to $45,000 on each.

JEFF FRANKLIN, RESIDENT OF SUNRISE, ARIZONA: I work in the hotel business, and know for a fact that there are several cancellations already in the pipe for several hotels in Arizona.

WHITAKER: Arizona has gone through this kind of economic pressure before. In 1987, when the state refused to observe the national Martin Luther King holiday, there was a national boycott. The Superbowl pulled out of Tempe. It all cost the state $300 million. Then, Arizona backed down. This time, state lawmakers plan to hang tough. Why? Because of this: Just yesterday, the U.S. Border Patrol picked up 105 immigrants crossing the border near Tucson illegally.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.