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Gibson Rues 'Hope' of Immigration Deal Defeated by 'Polarization' --6/11/2007


1. Gibson Rues 'Hope' of Immigration Deal Defeated by 'Polarization'
ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Friday night lamented the lost "hope" in the defeat of the compromise "immigration reform" bill as Gibson fretted about how "polarization" killed it. "Immigration bust," Gibson teased World News: "Is there still hope for immigration reform after a highly touted deal falls apart?" He then led the newscast by repeating his "hope" line: "Many had great hopes for the compromise." Turning to George Stephanopoulos in Iowa, Gibson proposed: "The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive." Stephanopoulos agreed as he held conservatives most culpable: "This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill." That prompted Gibson to ruminate: "So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?"

2. ABC Slams Tancredo: Spreading 'Scary' 'Anti-Immigrant Sentiment'
On Friday's Good Morning America, co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate's immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment." Cuomo's overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda. The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?" He continued with a query about why Tancredo, who is also running for President, opposed a "humane" solution: "A majority of Americans want a humane solution. The numbers are in favor of giving some type of amnesty to these people. Isn't that the humane solution? Why are you so adamantly opposed to it?" AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

3. Cafferty Regrets No Anti-War Protesters 'Tearing Up Campuses'
On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything....It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff."


Gibson Rues 'Hope' of Immigration Deal
Defeated by 'Polarization'

ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Friday night lamented the lost "hope" in the defeat of the compromise "immigration reform" bill as Gibson fretted about how "polarization" killed it. "Immigration bust," Gibson teased World News: "Is there still hope for immigration reform after a highly touted deal falls apart?" He then led the newscast by repeating his "hope" line: "Many had great hopes for the compromise." Turning to George Stephanopoulos in Iowa, Gibson proposed: "The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive." Stephanopoulos agreed as he held conservatives most culpable: "This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill."

That prompted Gibson to ruminate: "So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?" Stephanopoulos confirmed: "Certainly not this big problem, Charlie, even though, as I said, a majority of Americans support it."

But that's a pretty slim majority, as ABC News polling chief Gary Langer reported in a June 4 summary of an ABC News/Washington Post poll:
"Overall, a narrow majority, 52 percent, favors giving illegal immigrants the right to live and work in the United States legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements, as Bush, in a compromise plan with Democrats, has proposed. But Republicans around the country oppose the idea by a 10-point margin, 53 percent to 43 percent." See: abcnews.go.com

[This item was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Of course, it's hard for the public to know what's in the bill, particularly the automatic legalization of all illegals in the country, when the major media give it so little coverage. The latest evidence of the lack of media interest: Neither the CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News uttered a syllable Friday night about the immigration bill and CBS and NBC gave it just a couple of sentences Friday morning. ABC's Good Morning America, however, aired a segment, naturally one hostile to opponents. For details, see item #2 below.

In fact, the majority shares the perspective of conservatives against the deal. A late May New York Times poll asked: "Should illegal immigrants be prosecuted and deported for being in the U.S. illegally, or shouldn't they?" 69 percent said they should be prosecuted, 24 percent said they should not. See Tim Graham's NewsBusters post for more on that poll and the selective reporting of it by the New York Times: newsbusters.org

This is the second night in a row ABC has rued the demise of the bill. The June 8 CyberAlert, "ABC Frets Demise of 'Landmark' Immigration; NBC Blames 'Extremes,'" recounted:

ABC's Charles Gibson fretted Thursday night over the likely impending demise of the "landmark" immigration deal as George Stephanopoulos blamed conservatives and on NBC Chip Reid faulted "extremes on the left and the right." Gibson teased World News: "Tonight, the landmark compromise on immigration is in big trouble on Capitol Hill. Some Senators saying if we can't pass this, we can't pass anything." Gibson proceeded to assert that the bill "was considered the best hope for doing something on immigration." After a story from Jake Tapper on the debate in the Senate, Gibson expressed frustration to George Stephanopoulos: "What's so counterintuitive to me, George, is that a lot of the Senators who think and say most strongly that something has to be done to reform immigration are the ones who are voting for these killer amendments." Stephanopoulos held conservatives responsible: "They are getting a lot of cross pressures, Charlie, particularly on the conservative side."

Meanwhile, on the NBC Nightly News, Chip Reid described how Democrats are opposed to the temporary worker program because of how it may take jobs from Americans and Republicans are opposed to what they consider "amnesty" for illegals -- both mainstream views in the two parties. Yet Reid applied an "extreme" tag: "You've got the extremes on the left and the right trying to kill the entire bill, rather than except the provisions they detest."

For the previous CyberAlert in full: www.mrc.org

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the June 8 segment on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON: One of President Bush's top domestic priorities, immigration reform, appears to be dead, killed by the Senate last night. A compromise plan that would have tightened border security and put many illegal immigrants on the road to citizenship was soundly defeated in the Senate. Many had great hopes for the compromise. So why did it go down to defeat? George Stephanopoulos is in Des Moines, Iowa, tonight. George, they needed 60 votes to keep this bill alive, and they fell 15 votes short. That shows it didn't have a whole lot of support?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: In the end, it didn't get that close, Charlie, although the blame game is in full swing today. Republicans say they could have had a deal come together if Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, had just given them another night to put it together. Democrats say they gave the Republicans every single chance, but conservatives were just determined to vote no. Neither side is giving up hope yet, but the chances of this coming back together right now are very slim.
GIBSON: George, doesn't this really show how polarized right now our political system is? The Senators supporting this were mostly in the ideological center. The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though a majority of Americans support the idea of immigration reform as outlined, and you had stalwarts on the left like Teddy Kennedy behind it, and the President himself behind it. This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill.
GIBSON: So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Certainly not this big problem, Charlie, even though, as I said, a majority of Americans support it. President Bush is not giving up. He was making phone calls today, he's going to Capitol Hill next week to try to talk this up. He's going to take to the airwaves again. But as one senior Republican aide told me tonight, the chances of this actually getting resurrected this year are below 25 percent.

ABC Slams Tancredo: Spreading 'Scary'
'Anti-Immigrant Sentiment'

On Friday's Good Morning America, co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate's immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment." Cuomo's overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda.


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More See & Hear the Bias

The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"

He continued with a query about why Tancredo, who is also running for President, opposed a "humane" solution: "A majority of Americans want a humane solution. The numbers are in favor of giving some type of amnesty to these people. Isn't that the humane solution? Why are you so adamantly opposed to it?"
Tom Tancredo: "Here is how you handle it. It's called, it's called attrition through enforcement. If we actually begin to enforce the laws, secure our border and enforce the law against people hiring people who are here illegally, you will see attrition. People go home if they cannot get the thing for which they came. And then they get in line and they come in the same way anybody else does."

Of course, Cuomo only presented half the story. Yes, a majority of Americans do support some type of guest worker plan. But most polls find agreement on enforcing existing immigration laws: www.foxnews.com

Additionally, as the MRC's Tim Graham pointed out, a New York Times poll found that 69 percent of Americans said illegal aliens should be prosecuted and deported: newsbusters.org

Of course, the Times included this only in a PDF file online and not in their May 25 article: graphics8.nytimes.com

Cuomo continued with his hostile questions. He lectured the Congressman with this observation about Tancredo's use of "scary" words: "You're in favor of the 700-mile fence. You use, frankly, a scary word like balkanization as a result of what could have come about from a bill like this. Do you think you're driving anti-immigrant sentiment?"

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

It should be pointed out that wondering if Tancredo is "driving anti immigrant sentiment" is desperately close to accusing the Colorado legislator of inciting bigotry. Finally, the anchor from the well connected liberal family closed the piece by asking the 2008 presidential candidate, "...Do you think if your mentality that you have right now existed when your ancestors were trying to get into this country, do think you would even be here right now?"

Of course, Tancredo responded by pointing out that past waves of immigrants felt the need to assimilate into America.

A complete transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:10am on June 8:

ABC Graphic: "Why was Immigration Bill Killed? Major Defeat For White House"

Cuomo: "Let's get back to our top story of the morning, the death of the immigration reform bill. This was a big deal in the Senate. It was lauded as a major compromise to solve a major national problem. But a two-week campaign against the bill paid off last night when it was pulled for consideration. Now, one of the leading critics of the bill is Colorado GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is running for president. I spoke to him about it this morning from Ames, Iowa. Good morning, Congressman. And thank you for joining us. And let's set the stage here. You have the President and Ted Kennedy on the same side trying to compromise on this bill. You have the polls showing early on that people were behind what it was fundamentally about. Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"
Congressman Tom Tancredo: "Well, because, of course, the whole idea of this bill was to provide amnesty for 12 to 20 million people working here. They started out with that as their goal and then began to build on it certain things that they thought would attract other people, and they put in triggers to say that, you know, we will eventually get some sort of border security. But all of the triggers were, well, out our way we call it all hat and no cattle. There was nothing would do anything about security."
Cuomo: "A majority of Americans want a humane solution. The numbers are in favor of giving some type of amnesty to these people. Isn't that the humane solution? Why are you so adamantly opposed to it?"
Tancredo: "Here is how you handle it. It's called, it's called attrition through enforcement. If we actually begin to enforce the laws, secure our border and enforce the law against people hiring people who are here illegally, you will see attrition. People go home if they cannot get the thing for which they came. And then they get in line and they come in the same way anybody else does."
Cuomo: "You're in favor of the 700-mile fence. You use, frankly, a scary word like balkanization as a result of what could have come about from a bill like this? Do you think you're driving anti-immigrant sentiment?"
Tancredo: "A lot of people who come have no desire to assimilate and, and the government itself, here, our society, has no desire to force them to, kind of, assimilate. We will teach them in a language other than English. We will encourage them encourage them to stay separate. That is balkanization and it is a scary thing. And I don't want it in America."
Cuomo: "Let me just make a point to you and tell me how you respond to it. When you say we need something to bring us together, isn't what brings us together in this country, this sense of interconnectedness of everyone? Don't you and I share similar ancestry? Do you think if your mentality that you have right now existed when your ancestors were trying to get into this country, do think you would even be here right now?"
Tancredo: "Let me tell you'€" My ancestors, the mentality that existed when they came and I think a bulk of the people who came. They wanted, of course, the same thing people who are coming today want and that's a job, a better life. That's true. That's the thing they had in common. But there was something else. They wanted desperately to cut from the past and connect to the new. And one of the ways that they showed they wanted to do that was to immediately accept the idea that they needed to learn English. And, and that is the common bond that I was talking about. That is the thing that does hold us together. We need something like that. We need to be able to communicate with each other."
Cuomo: "Senator Reid says he's hoping to reintroduce the bill, that while it may be procedurally dead now, it will come back in some incarnation soon. What will you do if a bill is reintroduced?"
Tancredo: "The same thing I did when this one was introduced. I worked as hard as I possibly could to defeat it, because his issue is huge. The stakes are enormous. I'm not doing this simply because I like to, to debate these issues early in the morning, although it is pleasant enough. The fact is I'm doing it because I believe with all my heart that the nation is at risk and that this is an important, an enormously important topic and we have to get it right."
Cuomo: "Congressman, I appreciate you coming on to talk through this issue as well. Hopefully, you'll come again."
Tancredo: "I hope so to."
Robin Roberts: "Because the immigration debate will continue."

Cafferty Regrets No Anti-War Protesters
'Tearing Up Campuses'

On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything....It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff."

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Cafferty began his segment by remarking that in the future, historians would find that, in describing the Bush White House, "the word 'courageous' will be in short supply." As he described Pace as "expendable" to Bush, Cafferty referred to the expendability of "so many others who have come between President Bush's nightmare and reality." Below is a complete transcript of Cafferty's 5:08 p.m. segment from the Friday June 8 The Situation Room on CNN:

When the history of the Bush White House is written, the word "courageous" will be in short supply. Rather than face Senate confirmation hearings over his reappointment as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Bush White House has decided to simply throw General Peter Pace under the bus. You see, they don't want a lot of embarrassing questions asked of General Pace about the war in Iraq. So just sacrifice him and bring in somebody else to take the rap for a while. Absolutely gutless and oh so very typical. If the war in Iraq is such a great idea, and the "Decider" insists that it is, what's the harm in letting the nation's top military men answer questions about it? But instead, they take the easy way out.

Never mind the impact on General Pace -- he's expendable just like so many others who have come between President Bush's nightmare and reality. The sad thing is nobody stands up and does anything about any of this. The Democrats caved in before the fight even got going, and they were elected to stop the war. The public seems content to complain, but not much else.

When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. Everything's off the table. It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff. Here's the question: What's it going to take to bring the Iraq war to an end?

END of Transcript

-- Brent Baker