"Anchor baby" is widely acknowledged to be a pejorative term to describe the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Fox News' Juan Williams has called it "derisive" and "ugly," and one Hispanic Republican group declared it to be "defamatory." So why is a national news anchor using it as if it were accurate?
On his 8 p.m. ET broadcast last night, CBS Radio News anchor Bill Whitney introduced a report this way: "They're called anchor babies, children of illegal immigrants who provide an anchor in the United States. In Arizona, there's a move afoot to weigh those anchors."
The following report, by contrast, did not use that term at all, so it's a puzzle as to why Whitney used it in the first place, let alone felt the need to portray it as an accepted description.
Sadly, Whitney's use of the phrase on CBS Radio News is not the only recent example of a mainstream outlet using these inflammatory words. Last month, Fox News Latino described the child of actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem as an "anchor baby."
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On his radio show, Mark Levin cited a recent study predicting that an ice age will occur in the next 10,000 to 100,000 years as purported evidence that humans should not "try and control carbon dioxide" emissions that contribute to global climate change. But Levin did not mention that the study's co-author reportedly warned against using the study to argue that "we should stop fighting warming" and stated: "There's no excuse for saying 'we've got to keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.' "
A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.