NY Times article on GOP immigration divide ignored Democratic perspective

››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

A New York Times article that reported on the divisions among Republican members of Congress over immigration reform failed to quote a single Democrat on the issue. By contrast, recent Times articles focusing on similar divisions among congressional Democrats have made sure to include Republicans' viewpoints.

A March 31 New York Times article that reported on the divisions among Republican members of Congress over immigration reform failed to quote a single Democrat on the issue. By contrast, the Times has ensured that the Republican perspective has been represented in numerous recent articles highlighting examples of Democratic infighting.

In their article, "Conservatives Stand Firm on Immigration," Times staff writers Carl Hulse and Rachel L. Swarns focused on the intra-party conflict that erupted last week when a number of Senate Republicans threw their support behind a bipartisan immigration bill. By a 12-6 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006" on March 27, which includes a temporary worker program and allows illegal immigrants to achieve residency and, in some cases, U.S. citizenship. House Republicans, who passed a hard-line immigration bill in December 2005, immediately criticized the Senate proposal, claiming it amounts to amnesty.

The Times article included comments by several Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (AZ), Arlen Specter (PA), and Jeff Sessions (AL), and Reps. John A. Boehner (OH), Bob Beauprez (CO), Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Tom Tancredo (CO). But at no point did Hulse and Swarns note what Democrats have to say about either the Republican split or the issue at large.

By contrast, recent Times articles focusing on similar divisions among congressional Democrats have made sure to include Republicans' viewpoints. Most recently, Hulse himself wrote one such article on March 14 on the tensions among Democrats over Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) effort to censure President Bush. Headlined "Democrats Beat Quick Retreat On Call to Censure President," the article quoted Specter, Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist (TN) and Vice President Dick Cheney all assailing the effort.

In a March 6 article, "For Democrats, Many Verses, but No Chorus," Times staff writer Adam Nagourney reported on the "scattershot messages" and lack of an "overarching theme" among Democratic lawmakers nationwide. Nagourney included a quote from Jeff Lamberti, a Republican candidate for Iowa's Third Congressional District, as well as one from Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY), the chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee, who commented that Democrats were throwing things "against the wall to see what will stick."

Further, in a January 8 article published the day before Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing began, Times staff writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg noted the varying degree of support for a filibuster among Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The article, "Hearings a Test for Democrats and Alito," quoted Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) doubting that there existed "sufficient support for a filibuster."

Posted In
Government, The House of Representatives, The Senate
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
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