How the NYT Uses McCarthyism to Poison the Immigration Debate
Jerry Kammer at the Center for Immigration Studies takes a look at how the New York Times has moved from a thoughtful pro-immigrant paper to a destructive force that encourages illegal immigration and demonizes the other side:
Far from seeking to turn the illegal tide, the Times welcomes it, defends it, and encourages it. Rather than advocating compromise on immigration policy, the Times stokes confrontation. Adding insult to injury, it attacks the character of those who disagree.
For instance, Lawrence Downes, the lead Times editorial writer on immigration, heaps scorn on those who express worry about the ability of unskilled and poorly educated immigrants to integrate into American life. He considers such concerns to be a mask for bigots, proof of nativist hostility. He calls them an "effective substitute" for the open racism that has been driven from the public square."8
In late 2012, a Times editorial touted its inclusive ideas for reform with this warning: "The hard-liners against reform — including the white-culture alarmists and the closet racists — have not gone away."9
This claim to see evil motivations among those it criticizes is the flip side of the editorial page's ability not to see non-American flags waved by those it supports. It is a familiar trope at the Times.
The 2012 editorial provoked former New York City Mayor Ed Koch to write an angry response. Said Koch, "I have never seen a more intolerant editorial in language and tone appear in the New York Times."10
This stridency matters because the Times represents the pinnacle of American journalism. Its editorials are followed by engaged citizens across the political spectrum, as the paper's first public editor, Daniel Okrent observed in 2004.
NRO's Mark Krikorian adds:
Kammer’s deeply researched piece sheds needed light on how and why the Times descended into the “racism is everything” school of editorializing on immigration. Given the Times’ continuing status as the newspaper of record, and the brewing amnesty debate, it’s important to give context to the flood of sanctimony on immigration sure to emanate from the editorial page over the next six months or so.
Screaming "racism" is nothing more than the latest form of McCarthyism, a way to demonize the other side and their arguments. The goal of screaming "racism" is to kill debate and silence the opposition. With the Times leading the way, we're seeing this phenomenon with same-sex marriage, as well.
The sad thing is that it's working. The political left is seizing the moment, and doing so by any means necessary. Screaming racism is a potent political weapon, especially when it can turn out college-aged voters.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC