April 8, 2006

The news that the “McKennedy” senate compromise bill on immigration reform went down in flames yesterday is a good thing. Hopefully, senators of all stripes will use their 2-week hiatus to honestly take the pulse of their constituents – if they did, I have no doubt there would be a much more aggressive move towards a real reform package that includes a well-guarded border fence, enforcement of the nation’s existing laws, and a practical, yet humane consideration of what to do with the estimated 11 million illegals already here. (My view: Allow anyone who has been here, say, 5 years or more, to re-enter at regional immigration stations where they can apply for a green card and a 2-year path towards citizenship. Otherwise, they must be reported by their employers and deported.) Others have chimed in as well:

Hugh Hewitt’s take is that the Dems made a big strategical error stalling the debate, but only if Republicans exploit that error.

Charles Krauthammer believes erecting a fence would in and of itself resolve much of the problems. I’m not so sure.

DJ Drummond at Polipundit offers another angle I had not previously considered. He writes:

The main responsibility, though, lies with the Media. The protests of which the MSM made such commotion, were largely high school and middle school students who saw the protests as a way to get out of school, and urban “progressive” groups which attempt to use any possible issue to attack traditional values and priorities. The MSM tactic of presenting biased polls as news, and manufactured events as some kind of barometer for public commitment, has been shameful and dishonest, and only weakens the already-plastic spine of Congress to address the issue with conviction and resolve.

The duty of the New Media, then, begins with correcting the image by providing facts and functional solutions. Whether by radio, blogs, or grassroots politics, the New Media must focus on those whose ideas need highlighting, and whose coordination drives home the argument and which provide solutions. It is not valid for New Media to only make the problem worse by rousing anger and resentment and drowning out calmer voices. Too much of the New Media is copying the tactics of the Old Media, pulling audience response by getting everyone angry, and doing nothing to support the people working to actually move the dialogue forward. This is plain wrong.

DJ is absolutely right here – a country is only as strong as it is well-informed, and in so many cases – the global war on terror, Iraq, the Hurricane Katrina reporting fiasco, elections coverage – the meainstream media continues to let this nation down through its incredible anti-Bush bias and atrociously-sloppy journalistic practices, and if the emerging “New Media” falls into the same trap as the “Old Media”, then the future looks grim indeed.

First it was Rush Limbaugh and talk radio, then the coming of age and explosive growth of Fox News, then, finally, as Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds writes in his new book, An Army of Davids, it was political blogs and the growth of the blogsphere in general. Taken together, the maturation of this alternative media as a voice of the people has sealed the fate of once-powerful and reliable voices like the Washington Post, the New York Times, CBS News, etc., only they don’t know it yet. When the corpses of these once-venerable institutions (and others) are someday soon splayed out for everyone to see, they will see that their deaths were the result of wounds self-inflicted by their own arrogance and disservice to a nation who had once trusted them to tell them the truth.

If the mainstream media isn’t up to reporting on a complex issue like illegal immigration honestly and without histrionics, then alternative media that has sprung up in it’s place will have to. The question is, is the blogsphere and alternative media up to the task? We can only hope.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:25 | Comments (2)
  1. GWS, You, like Lanny, are getting better every post. Your writing style hints of a journalist background but that is probaly not the case. I think that your writers flare emanates from the passion that You feel for the topics of which You pen. Keep up the great blog work, I look forward to my visits to Your site.

    The answer to our border problem is a complex one that has more to do with national security than anything else. Until we dismantle al qaida and stabilize the middle east we are vulnerable. It would also be in our best interest to help Mexico stabilize its own economy and create jobs where the people are. I think that the answer is to make the border land into actual new States and forget this border bull shit that obviously isn’t working AT ALL. It has been a while since we have created a new state. I think everyone would be a lot happier with that answer.

    Dollar Bill

    Comment by Dollar Bill — April 10, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

  2. Thanks for th kind words, DB. You’re absolutely right about one thing – until people experience life in the border states down here they just have no clue as to how big and how complex the problem is. If Vicente Fox goes and Mexico ever brings in a communist or socialist government, the floodgates will open even more. The time for the US to grow some you-know-what and get this problem under control is NOW.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 11, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

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