Conservative media jumped on reports that an undocumented immigrant from Mexico allegedly shot and killed a San Francisco woman in order to defend presidential candidate Donald Trump's incendiary remarks that Mexican immigrants are criminals and "rapists."
Fox's Megyn Kelly leaned on Ann Coulter's new racist, anti-immigration book to defend presidential candidate Donald Trump's disparaging comments about Hispanic immigrants.
During his June 16 campaign launch, Republican candidate Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists," saying, "When Mexico sends its people ... they're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists." Trump claimed that "the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems."
In an attempt to explain his remarks, which have incited widespread backlash among Hispanic activists and Trump's business associates, Fox host Megyn Kelly turned to Ann Coulter, whose new book, Adios America!, echoes white nationalist and anti-immigrant extremist talking points.
On the June 29 edition of The Kelly File, the host cited Coulter's statistics during an exchange with Fox's Howard Kurtz and Geraldo Rivera, in an attempt to rebut criticism of Trump's racist comments:
KURTZ: What a lot of people hear -- even when Trump goes over the top -- they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.
KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Now granted, she's not running for president. But she --
RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view --
KELLY: But she cites data that does support the fact that some, obvious, immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals, and that's --
RIVERA: I researched it tonight --
KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?
RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States.
And on July 1, Kelly hosted Coulter to debate Rivera on the merits of Trump's comments. Coulter argued that the "most important point is these are not people who have a right to be here, so I don't care if they are two rapists," claiming, "It's a fact that only about a third of California prisoners are white."
In her book, Coulter calls immigrants "criminal[s]" and argues that immigration is a "war technique" to change America. In the past, Coulter has described immigrants as "people from backward, primitive cultures," and said that immigrants are a bigger threat to America than ISIS.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Coulter's new book cites a long list of racist and white nationalist extremists, repeatedly referencing the conservative anti-immigration think tank Center for Immigration Studies. Coulter's other sources include Peter Brimelow, the English white nationalist who founded the racist blog VDARE and Robert Spencer, co-founder of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America. In fact, Coulter has credited Brimelow with inspiring her anti-immigration views.
Though NBC severed ties with Trump following his remarks, Fox has continued to rally around the candidate and regular network guest -- Bill O'Reilly even suggested that Trump was "actually highlighting a problem ... that is harming the nation."
From the June 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Fox News Latino's coverage of NBC's decision to sever ties with Donald Trump differed dramatically from Fox News' rush to defend the presidential candidate's incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants. While Fox hosts praised Trump's stance and reticence to apologize, Fox News Latino characterized NBC's move as a victory for Latino media advocacy leaders.
NBCUniversal announced Monday that it would sever ties with Trump after he characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists," explaining in a statement: "At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."
Fox News Latino highlighted how Hispanic advocates pressured NBC to end its relationship with Trump, writing that "Latino media advocacy leaders say NBC's decision Monday ... marked a watershed moment for Latinos." In particular, Fox News Latino profiled the efforts of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, whose chairman and co-founder published an op-ed encouraging the network to "dump Trump."
By contrast, Fox News hosts rallied to defend Trump, praising his reluctance to apologize for his offensive remarks and suggesting the backlash unfairly minimized his well-taken points about a so-called border-problem.
On June 25, Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language network, announced that it would no longer air Trump's Miss Universe pageant. The Mexican channel Televisa and the online outlet Ora TV also abandoned Trump. Before this week, NBC aired Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, as well as the reality show hosted by Trump, The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump faced widespread criticism following his incendiary campaign speech remarks targeting Mexican immigrants:
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you, they are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people.
Fox News also covered Trump's speech differently than Fox News Latino. During a June 18 interview with Fox News Latino's Rick Sanchez, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade defended Trump by hyping crime statistics to push the myth that immigrants commit crimes at a disproportionate rate, but Sanchez fought back by pointing out immigrants' far-reaching positive economic impact.
Fox News hosts are rallying to defend Donald Trump after NBC severed business ties with the GOP presidential hopeful following his offensive campaign announcement speech in which he referred to Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists."
From the June 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Television and radio host Sean Hannity defended GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who faced widespread backlash by media outlets following comments made during a speech where he called Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "murderers." Hannity agreed with Trump arguing that immigrants wouldn't leave their home countries if they were successful.
On June 16, Trump announced that he was running for the Republican nomination for president. During his speech, Trump railed against Mexican immigration, claiming that the "U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," and referred to people coming across the southern border as "rapists" and criminals:
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Trump faced widespread outrage following his incendiary remarks. In a June 25 press release, Univision announced their intention to cut ties with Trump and drop Trump's Miss Universe pageant, in response to his "insulting remarks" about Latino immigrants. And in a June 29 statement released by NBC, the company expressed its intentions to no longer air Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and to exclude him from participating in NBC's reality-show The Apprentice, because of his "derogatory statements" regarding immigrants.
But on the June 29 edition of his radio show, Sean Hannity defended Trump's incendiary rhetoric. After highlighting NBC's announcement that they will be cutting ties with Trump, Hannity asserted that Trump was correct, immigrants coming to the U.S. are criminals, and argued that they would not be leaving their country if they were successful (emphasis added):
HANNITY: We've got a problem in this country. If he [Trump] can make that statement and CNN refers to it as "racially-tinged," because [inaudible...] could play this on TV. Floor to ceiling drugs confiscated by people crossing our southern border. You want to talk about crime? Well what do you think -- who's coming from Latin America and Mexico? Are they rich, successful Mexicans, Nicaraguans, El Salvador residents? No! Why would they leave if they're so successful? It's people who have not had opportunity in Mexico and so they will raise all this money and give it to these human traffickers, human traffickers take full advantage of them, take every penny they've got and then maybe get them across the border in a perilous journey which some people don't make it. Now if we really care about our fellow human beings, we owe it to them not to put that -- sort of like a sign up that says "Take a risk you can try and come across because we're gonna make it easy for you" and it turns out not to be so easy. But if we had a fence, if we wanted to secure the border, it wouldn't be a problem. So when Trump says, "are they sending their best, their brightest?" In other words, if you have a pool of people, if we opened up America's borders, and who would apply to come to America? We probably would have our choice of doctors, and lawyers, and computer programmers, everybody wants to come to America. You know that's a great thing, we're not building a fence to keep people in, we're building a fence to prevent people from coming in because the world would flood here, which they've been doing.
From the June 25 edition of Telemundo's Noticiero Telemundo:
From the June 25 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump lauded Bloomberg's Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on Twitter for their political analysis on his recent polling surge in New Hampshire. In their report, the co-hosts attribute much of Trump's success to the appeal of his "xenophobic" message to the far right constituency.
On the June 24 edition of Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann attribute Donald Trump's recent success, polling second among GOP presidential candidates in New Hampshire. During their analysis, the co-hosts agreed that there are some in New Hampshire that are "begging" for Trump's "somewhat xenophobic" message.
HALPERIN: Trump himself told me and others that when he got -- when people believed he'd run, his numbers would do better. That's why he wasn't doing well in polling. I'm not sure that's exactly right. Yes, it's name ID, but it's also the case, as we've discussed, he has a following and he's been to New Hampshire plenty. He's been more than some of the other so-called more serious candidates and I think people underestimate the extent to which as he drives a message, there are going to be people who support him. I'm not sure he'll get ten percent of the vote in the end. But, for now, I'm not the least bit surprised he's at ten percent.
HEILEMANN: He's got to stop wearing that blue blazer when he drives off the first tee, that's not a good look for golf. But, I gotta say, you and I are both old enough and crotchety enough to remember 1996 and Pat Buchanan in New Hampshire. There is a core in the New Hampshire electorate on the Republican side that is begging for this message, this somewhat xenophobic, populist --
HALPERIN: Kick the establishment in the face.
HALPERIN: or somewhere lower
HEILEMANN: And I say, somewhat xenophobic. All that stuff. That's Pat Buchanan with more interesting hair. That's all that is.
Donald Trump later praised Halperin and Heilemann's analysis of his polling surge, tweeting that they "truly get why 'Trump' poll numbers are high":
Fox News and Fox News Latino hosts treated Donald Trump's demand that Mexico build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in drastically different ways. Fox News host Brian Kilmeade defended Trump's idea by hyping crime statistics, while Fox Latino host Rick Sanchez pointed out that Trump's "atrocious" comments go "against what's really happening right now in this country."
During his presidential campaign announcement June 16, Donald Trump railed against immigration from Mexico, characterizing immigrants as criminals and "rapists":
TRUMP: The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.
When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you, they are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people.
Trump advocated for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying, "I would build a great wall. And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall."
Fox News' hosts of Fox & Friends praised Trump for his suggestion that Mexico build a wall on its border with the U.S., and Kilmeade defended Trump's idea on June 18 by promoting the fabricated link between immigrants and crime. Kilmeade hyped crime statistics to push the myth that immigrants commit more crimes than native-born citizens, adding that these crimes "all link to illegals here. People see that, and they see especially what happened last year with families flooding across, and they think, how do we stop this?"
Kilmeade's rhetoric stands in stark contrast to comments from Fox News Latino's Rick Sanchez, who called Trump's comments "atrocious" and pointed out that Trump's characterization of immigration as a drain on the U.S. is inconsistent with the facts. Sanchez noted, "that kind of language just goes against what's really happening right now in this country," while listing the positive impacts immigration has had:
SANCHEZ: The Hispanic labor participation rate in the United States is 65 percent, that's higher than any other demographic sector. If you look at some of the other numbers like self-employment, it's higher than any other sector. Last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, just two weeks ago, Latinos in the United States, Latino businesses created more jobs than any other demographic group in the United Sates. I mean, you can go down the list and see these wonderful things that are happening in this country, which are good for the United States, good for our economy.
In contrast to Kilmeade's defense, studies consistently show that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the native-born population. According to the Center for American Progress, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than native-born Americans:
A 2007 study by the Immigration Policy Center found that the incarceration rate for immigrant men ages 18 to 39 in 2000 was 0.7 percent, while the incarceration rate for native-born men of the same age group was 3.5 percent. While the foreign-born share of the U.S. population grew from 8 percent to 13 percent between 1990 and 2010, FBI data indicate that violent crime rates across the country fell by about 45 percent, while property crime rates fell by 42 percent.
Furthermore, experts agree that a border fence would not be an effective solution to any perceived immigration problem.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter recently credited hate website VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow with inspiring the attacks on progressive immigration policy within her new book, 'Adios, America.' In fact, many of the ideas presented in the book appear to be closely modeled after ideas presented by white nationalist and anti-immigrant extremist movements in America.
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From the June 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter grossly misrepresented Pew data, falsely suggesting that 25 percent of Mexico's population has been "taken in" by the United States, creating a false narrative that is spreading through right-wing media.
During a May 26 interview with Fusion's Jorge Ramos, Coulter alleged that the United States has "taken in one quarter of the entire Mexican population."
Coulter doubled-down on her claim while appearing on the May 28 edition of The Sean Hannity Show, citing the Pew Research Center to assert "yeah we already have a quarter, a quarter of the entire Mexican population."
Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh parroted Coulter's assertion the same day, claiming "25 percent of the total population of Mexico has already immigrated, not all legal obviously, to the United States." Rush went on to say "you can trace the demise of California to this."
The Pew data Coulter referenced actually includes both "native born" and "foreign born" Hispanics of Mexican origin. Pew's summary of the data explained that "this estimate includes 11.4 million immigrants born in Mexico and 22.3 million born in the U.S. who self-identified as Hispanics of Mexican origin."
That means 65 percent of the people Coulter claimed that the United States has "taken in," were born in this country.
Using Coulter's flawed logic, if we were to analyze the number of people of Irish descent in the United States, the country has taken in 737 percent of the population of Ireland.