The Times’ lies, cont.

I failed to point out another astonishing lie in today’s New York Times top-of-the-front page article (earlier discussed here) about the poll on the immigration bill. First, let’s look at the story’s headline and second paragraph:

Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support in Poll

Taking a pragmatic view on a divisive issue, a large majority of Americans want to change the immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status and to create a new guest worker program to meet future labor demands, the poll found. [Emphasis added.]

This creates the impression that a large majority of Americans support legalization under the bill. But further down in the article, the reporters, Julia Preston and Marjorie Connelly, write:

Most of those polled agreed that illegal immigrants should eventually be allowed to apply to become American citizens. But 59 percent said illegal immigrants should be considered for citizenship only after legal immigrants who have played by the rules. [Emphasis added.]

So, 59 percent of respondents only support legalization of illegal aliens after legal immigrants have been admitted. But as we all know, the bill does not put illegal aliens “behind” legal immigrants (whatever that would mean in practical terms), it makes them effective legal residents instantly.

So the truth is not, as the Times tells its readers in a big front-page headline, that a large majority of the public support the bill’s legalization provisions. The truth is that 59 percent of the public oppose the bill’s legalization provisions.

How do Preston and Connelly deal with this obvious contradiction revealed in their own article?

By lying. They write:

Under the Senate bill, illegal immigrants would have to wait eight years before they could become permanent residents and at least 13 years to become citizens.

The reporters then move on to other aspects of the bill, leaving your average, ignorant-as-a-post, liberal New York Times reader thinking that the bill’s eight-year delay in making illegals “permanent residents” satisfies the demand of the 59 percent of the public that illegal aliens not get legal residency ahead of legal immigrants. Preston and Connelly decline to inform their readers that the bill gives illegal aliens what amounts to instant life-time legal residence.

- end of initial entry -

N. writes:

Krikorian points out what you have been saying vis the NY Times fuzzy poll vs. support (or lack therof) for the current immmigratin bill.

Poll questions here. Note: this downloads a pdf.

All of this reminds me of 1980s and 90’s polling about “gun control.” A clear majority polled is for “keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” but when asked what laws they want, they often support something less restrictive than current law. That is because most people don’t know the law, often because they don’t feel the need to.

There are a whole raft of emotional-driven positions that Americans are supposed to subscribe to, and “support immigration” is one of them. But that support is often quite soft, in a handwaving sort of way. That accounts for the disconnect, which the media and policy elites do not seem to grasp.

The same thing happened with “gun control,” culminating in the 1993-94 Brady law and “assault weapon” ban, both of which drove a lot of people to the polls in November of ‘94.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 25, 2007 12:56 PM | Send

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