- The Washington Times - Friday, April 30, 2010

RAZING ARIZONA

Ah, Arizona. It is a convenient vehicle for a media intent on criticizing the state’s new immigration law and vilifying Republicans in an election year. Boycotts, talk of racism and police states, May Day rallies in 70 cities with irate immigrants waving American flags - what’s not to like for journalists eager to ramp up drama? The situation has also granted politicians, civil rights groups, activists, labor organizers and celebrities, including Grammy-winning singer Linda Ronstadt, an ample showcase for charged rhetoric and morality plays.

“The media and the left have become so entangled on the issue that it’s almost impossible to sort out which ones are leading the charge to halt the law, beat up on Arizona and embrace 12 [million] to 20 million illegal immigrants into our national bosom and pocketbook. Those even-handed, professionally neutral journalists acted like they had joined La Raza,” says Business and Media Institute director Dan Gainor, who has tracked recent coverage.

“What the media and left don’t want to discuss is the fact that a failure of government - that same government that now controls our health care - is what led Arizona to this desperate measure. The craven cowards of both parties vying for votes have refused to secure our border. There must be no amnesty until Americans are satisfied our border is under control,” Mr. Gainor continues.

“America remains a nation that loves immigrants. But we hate law-breakers and the politicians and journalists who cater to them. The last amnesty bid failed because Democrats and Republicans joined together to defeat it. If team Obama wants to use the Arizona law to insert race into election 2010, hopefully American voters will ensure it’s a race they lose.”

RAISING CONSCIOUSNESS

“We are all angry at Arizona politicians, especially Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, for enacting legislation so extreme that driving while Hispanic is now a stoppable offense,” says the Rev. Luis Cortes, president of the faith-based group Esperanza, who also tells the public to “stand down” and predicts protesters “will prevail in the courts,” not in the streets.

But Old Glory is still a part of the thinking.

“This weekend there will be protests all across the country. We will follow our faith and our country’s long tradition of peaceful protests. We will get arrested praying. We will get arrested carrying American flags,” he adds.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders already is seeking an injunction against the new law, claiming it “intrudes” on federal territory. The Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center also plan a legal challenge. Colombian-born singer Shakira and the aforementioned Ms. Ronstadt, a Tucson, Ariz. native who is of Mexican-American descent, have also lent star power to the cause.

“Violent acts will only reinforce anti-immigrant beliefs. I ask all our people, especially our youth, to channel their energy into nonviolent protests,” Mr. Cortes cautions. “Remember, ultimately, it is Congress who has the power, and Congress who has the responsibility to permanently fix our broken immigration system.”

NOT THAT YOU CARE

11: Number of reporters who attended the first White House Correspondents Dinner in 1920.

2,600: Number of “White House correspondents” attending the 2010 version on Saturday.

PLAYING PRESIDENT

President Obama, the mini-series, was inevitable. Open TV and Film, A British production company, has such a docudrama in development, based on Newsweek writer Richard Woolfe’s book “Renegade: The Making of a President.” But who will play the president? The debate rages.

In years past, Anthony Hopkins played Richard Nixon, while James Brolin once portrayed Ronald Reagan. Timothy Bottoms and Josh Brolin played George W. Bush. Bill Clinton, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter all played themselves in assorted TV programs. Suggestions are mounting on the actor best suited to be Mr. Obama. A few suggestions, gleaned from fierce messages left at Deadline.com, a Hollywood insider blog:

Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Henry Lennix, Scott Lawrence, Kerry Washington, Tony Shalhoub, Daniel Sunjata -oh, and Tina Fey.

NO DRUMSTICKS ALLOWED

The White House “nerd prom” is not the only spectacle in town. United Poultry Concerns will demonstrate in front of the White House from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday to honor International Respect for Chickens Day and publicize its new motto, “Give a Cluck! Stick Up For Chickens!” which will be displayed, incidentally, on 100 area bus posters. Signs and banners provided, organizers advise.

POLL DU JOUR

• 77 percent of U.S. voters say relations between black Americans and white Americans are better now “than they were in the 1960s.”

• 55 percent say relations continue to be better “these days”; 23 percent say they are worse.

• 28 percent say relations between white Americans and Hispanics are getting better.

• 49 percent of U.S. voters believe relations between whites and Hispanics in America are “getting worse.”

• 37 percent say relations between blacks and Hispanics are getting worse; 19 percent say they are better.

• 24 percent say those relations are neither better nor worse; 20 percent were not sure.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 26 and 27.

The tipline’s always open at jharper@washingtontimes .com. Follow her at twitter .com/harperbulletin.

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