A New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference asserted that on the issue of immigration, McCain "has not changed his basic position." Similarly, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson stated, "McCain hasn't changed his position on providing illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship, but he now has a new approach: secure the border first." In fact, McCain's current support for securing the border first represents a reversal of his prior position.
On MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann named CNN host Lou Dobbs the "winner" of his "Worst Person in the World" segment for calling the Anti-Defamation League a "joke," as Media Matters for America documented.
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On Lou Dobbs Tonight, National Council of La Raza's Janet Murguia accused host Lou Dobbs of using "hate groups to make your case on immigration," noting that Dobbs had aired a graphic from the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group linked to white supremacists. Dobbs responded: "You got anything a little more recent?" He also asked, "How long was that on the air?" When Murguia responded, "It doesn't matter how long," Dobbs replied, "Of course it does." Dobbs also labeled the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as "absolute advocate groups for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens" and said of the ADL, "They are a joke."
A Washington Post article described Sen. John McCain as a "conservative maverick" and asserted that he has committed "heresies on taxes, immigration and campaign finance." Yet Kane did not mention that on immigration and taxes, McCain has either reversed or shifted his positions to more closely align himself with the mainstream of the Republican Party.
A New York Daily News editorial endorsing Sen. John McCain asserted that McCain "has delivered 'straight talk' and risked the consequences of unpopular positions," citing as an example McCain's "forceful advoca[cy] of comprehensive immigration reform," claiming that "[c]haracteristically, he has held his ground against an anti-immigrant fervor that rivals ... have exploited." In fact, McCain has reversed his position on a key element of the immigration debate and has offered inconsistent statements on whether he would support his own comprehensive immigration bill.
The Washington Times claimed that during his 2004 Senate campaign, Barack Obama "took positions" on health care for undocumented immigrants, mandatory minimum sentences, and single-payer health insurance "that conflict with statements that he has made during his run for the White House." But the Times omitted key parts of Obama's statements on these issues, the inclusion of which would have undermined its characterization of Obama as having changed his positions.
On Glenn Beck, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that a sign in downtown Los Angeles identifying "La Raza Plaza" "is perhaps a racist sign." He further stated: "And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign?" Later in the program, Gilchrist said the "Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups" and asserted: "They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information."
On American Morning, Dana Bash asserted that Sen. John McCain made "a concession" to "conservatives" on the issue of "illegal immigration" during CNN's January 30 Republican presidential debate, when McCain said he would not, in Bash's words, "vote for his own legislation allowing citizenship" for undocumented immigrants if it came to a vote on the Senate floor. But Bash failed to note that just days earlier on Meet the Press, McCain had said he would sign that very legislation into law.
Discussing immigration reform, CNN's John King stated that Sen. John McCain "has changed his emphasis -- he still says a guest-worker program, still says treat those here illegally humanely." The Wall Street Journal similarly reported that McCain "subtly alter[ed] his position without actually reversing it," adding that "[t]he lesson he drew from the debate last year ... is that Americans 'want the border secured first, and I would do that.' " In fact, McCain's current support for securing the border before implementing a guest-worker program is flatly inconsistent with his previous assertion that, unless other changes to immigration laws are also passed, "people will risk their lives to cross our borders -- no matter how formidable the barriers -- and most will be successful."
Discussing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, CNN correspondent Carol Costello remarked on The Situation Room that the issue "literally drives some off the deep end, like Lou Dobbs."
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Lou Dobbs agreed with a viewer that "[t]here was not one question about illegal immigration" asked during the recent Democratic presidential debate, saying, "You know, I noticed that. I wonder why." But, during the debate, CNN's Joe Johns asked Sen. Barack Obama if his health-care plan would "cover the estimated 12 million or so illegal immigrants" in the United States. And Wolf Blitzer later asked a similar question of John Edwards.
A USA Today article described John McCain as "a maverick senator from the West" who has taken "maverick stands, including votes against Bush's tax cuts in 2001" and "his sponsorship last year of an immigration bill that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in this country," while a USA Today editorial asserted that "McCain's chief sin, apparently, is that he has broken ranks on issues that include campaign finance, President Bush's tax cuts, illegal immigration and global warming." Neither the article nor the editorial mentioned that McCain has since shifted positions on the Bush tax cuts and immigration.
Chris Matthews falsely suggested on MSNBC's Morning Joe that Sen. John McCain has "stood his ground" on the issue of immigration. In fact, after originally calling for a policy that both strengthened border security and established a guest-worker program, McCain now emphasizes securing the borders first.