Guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor last night, Laura Ingraham responded to former President Bush's recent statement that nativism may be standing in the way of immigration reform by claiming that it's "ludicrous" to say opposition to reform is fueled by "hostility to foreigners."
What Ingraham may have missed is that Bill O'Reilly, the host of the very show she was filling in for, has repeatedly attacked immigrants. For instance:
O'Reilly wondered whether children of Mexican immigrants in U.S. "have any kind of traditional value system" or are "setting up Acapulco North." On his radio show, O'Reilly wondered whether children of legal and undocumented immigrants from Mexico who are attending school in the United States "have any kind of traditional value system at all, vis-à-vis what America used to be," or whether they are "taking their Mexican values, because most of them are Mexicans, and, you know, basically setting up Acapulco North." [The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 8/15/06]
O'Reilly: "[Y]ou're on a nice block ... and then the house next to you is turned into an illegal alien Club Med." On his radio show, O'Reilly said:
O'REILLY: From the very beginning when I started covering immigration more than seven years ago, I told you this is about social engineering; and this country's whole political process is being changed by millions and millions of people pouring in here with a totally different lifestyle and a totally different frame of reference as far as America is concerned.
You've got the folks who don't have emotion invested in it, other than the farmers down and the ranchers down on the border are going -- as the lady just called up, [caller] -- say, look, I got garbage in my -- on my ranch every day. I mean, I'm under siege. They have emotion invested in it. But those of us up here don't.
Unless you live in a town, like Farmingville, Long Island -- we went over this before -- where you bought a house, you spent a couple of hundred thousand dollars, you're on a nice block, your kids are happy, and then the house next to you is turned into an illegal alien Club Med. And this happens all over the country. [The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 3/27/06]
O'Reilly claimed to have exposed the "hidden agenda" behind the immigrant rights movement: "the browning of America." O'Reilly claimed that Charles Barron, a New York City councilman, had revealed the "hidden agenda" behind the current immigration debate. O'Reilly told his radio listeners: "[T]he bottom line is Charles Barron said last night is there is a movement in this country to wipe out 'white privilege' and to have the browning of America." But in the interview, Barron at no point claimed that he and other advocates for immigrant rights are motivated by a desire to force white Americans into the minority -- despite O'Reilly's repeated efforts to provoke such an acknowledgment. [The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 4/12/06]
Ingraham herself wrote in her book Power to the People, "Our national power and identity comes in part from our shared American culture and language. This power will continue to be eaten away if we don't stop the double-talk and defend our borders."
Maybe it's news to Ingraham, but asserting that immigrants are going to destroy America's culture absolutely qualifies as "hostility to foreigners."