The Democrats blinked in the first round of the government-shutdown fight over immigration, but they promise to regroup and fight again for immigrants living in America illegally who came as minors. The Democrats call them "Dreamers," and so, the "Facts First" media employ that loaded propaganda term as well.
One might argue "Dreamers" is only a technical term, an acronym for the never-passed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act designed to grant conditional permanent residency to those who immigrated illegally as children. It was first introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch in 2001.
It is perfectly reasonable for politicians to plop an appealing title on legislation: the Clean Air Act, the Highway Beautification Act, President Trump's Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But while both parties do it, there is a key difference. Republicans know theirs will be derided by the press. Democrats know the same media will be their megaphones.
For example, when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed a short-term spending bill last Friday before the government shutdown, Nancy Cordes of CBS reported, "He says this hardball strategy is the only way to force GOP leaders to the table before hundreds of thousands of immigrant Dreamers face deportation."
Sometimes they qualify it by saying things like "so-called Dreamers" or "what they call 'Dreamers,'" which adds at least a fraction of emotional distance. In print, they might add quotation marks.
But overall, they don't qualify. It's an emotional investment. Liberal-media outlets already portray immigrants of all ages who are here illegally as a virtuous and deserving category, as better humans than people with, well, "citizenship privilege." In fact, when was the last time you heard a journalist use the term "illegal alien"? Or "illegal" anything? But the "Dreamers" are even more wonderful.
Here's a typical New York Times lede on the subject, from last August: "Jessica Rojas beat poverty to put herself through engineering college, where she collected accolades for academic achievement. After graduating last year, Ms. Rojas, who grew up in Chicago, was hired by a utility company to help modernize the city's electrical grid."
You won't read in The New York Times, "Jessica Rojas broke federal law by sneaking into this country illegally."
The media claim to love facts, and they suggest their critics can't handle facts and traffic in phony "alternative facts." But they have a way of being very careful in organizing the facts to match their policy preferences. So if the children of those living in the country illegally were to join the vicious Salvadoran gang MS-13, they wouldn't be starring in a New York Times story on "Dreamers." Only the valedictorians and electrical engineers represent this group.
Liberals claim to love humanity, with hearts that must be two sizes larger than the average American. But not every category of vulnerable humans gets this treatment. Consider the hundreds of thousands of unborn babies who are aborted each year in this country. They are not considered part of humanity. Reporters refer to them using the cold, clinical term "fetus." These humans never get a chance to get an engineering degree to gain your sympathy. No journalist calls them "Dreamers."
Instead, a year ago, the New York Times rolled out an article on the "Christian" abortion provider Dr. Willie Parker and allowed him to play philosopher. "Life is a process, not an event," he argued. "If I thought I was killing a person, I wouldn't do abortions. A fetus is not a person; it's a human entity."
But the Times interviewer, Ana Marie Cox, said in one question that she worries about "abortion access" being damaged by "the sacralization of motherhood," and she ended the question by telling Parker, "you seem pretty cool!" In the liberal mind, deportation is a tragedy and abortion is ... pretty cool.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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