Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Fox News Channel’ Category

https://i1.wp.com/imagesource.allposters.com/images/MG/194408.jpg

Is it disputable that television news, primarily ABC, CBS, and particularly NBC, has been dominated by liberal bias for decades? Anecdotally, probably not. While cable network the Fox News Channel has raised more than a few hackles due to their apparent right-leaning coverage, FNC does attempt, not always successfully, to live up to their motto, “Fair and Balanced” by consistently presenting both conservative and liberal commentators and their respective views on just about every program on the network. “Fair and Balanced” is not an aphorism adopted by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC, and it tends to show. Why do so many liberals become incensed when the “F-word” Network is even mentioned? Mostly because they do tend to lean right most of the time–something radically new for a television audience that has been pummeled with left-leaning media bias for decades, so much so that most people don’t even notice anymore.

But what about the radio? While the supposed “common” knowledge of the liberal blogosphere trouncing the conservative alternative is a bit specious at best, in the world of talk radio, the truth is quite telling–conservative radio is simply thumping the liberal option. This isn’t necessarily surprising news considering the abject failure Air America Radio has been, so much so the progressive station was forced to file for bankruptcy in October of 2006 (despite previous refutations that the rumors of AAR’s demise were unfounded–spin.)

It’s obvious people prefer not to listen to liberal radio. Perhaps they get too much of that in their evening television news broadcasts, which could also stand as another indication as to FNC’s meteoric success–the people, having grown tired with liberal TV bias usually lacking balance, have opted instead for conservative bias with regular, moderate liberal balance. Whereas TV is almost entirely a liberal news medium, radio, which tends to offer greater honesty and less politically corrected pretense, is almost entirely a moderate to right-leaning news alternative, as was shown this week by the Center for American Progress (who apparently played a little fast and loose with their numbers–further down), much to their consternation.

First, the anemic Crooks and Liars perspective…

The (conservative) spirit of the radio

radiographic21.gif

I knew talk radio in this country skewed heavily to the far-right, but I had no idea it was this bad.

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:

* In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

* Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk — 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

* 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

That’s astounding. America embraces progressive ideas on almost every issue of national significance, but according to this report (.pdf), prepared by the Center for American Progress and Free Press, progressive ideas have practically been wiped from the radio dials.

Now for the more expansive Newsbusters view…

 

Group Led By Clinton’s John Podesta Outlines Assault of Conservative Radio

Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 21, 2007 – 13:52.

The supposedly “free speech” left are out in force trying to silence all voices in the media with views different than their own just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Potentially more worrisome, one liberal advocate in the middle of this debate has close ties to the Clintons, although it is quite unlikely the press will convey such when its recommendations are disseminated with their predictable stamp of approval.

*****Update: Michelle Malkin is all over this.

With that in mind, the left-leaning Center for American Progress published a report Thursday detailing how conservatives dominate the talk radio dial, and exactly what needs to be done legislatively for liberals to wrest control over this medium (emphasis added throughout):

  • Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
  • Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
  • Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.

Imagine that.

For those unfamiliar with the Center, its President and CEO is none other than John Podesta, the former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. And:

  • The Executive Vice President for Management is Sarah Rosen, who was also a member of the Clinton administration.
  • Senior Vice President for Development Debbie Goldberg worked for the Clinton campaign.
  • Senior Vice President and Director David Halperin was a speech writer for President Clinton.
  • Vice President of Communications Jennifer Palmieri was Clinton’s White House Deputy Press Secretary.
  • Senior Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg worked at the Office of Management and Budget under Clinton.
  • Vice President of Finance and Operations Brad Kiley worked for the Clinton administration.
  • Ditto Peter Rundlet, Anna Soellner, Debbie Fine, and Michelle Jolin.

In reality, the staff and Senior Fellows listing of this Center reads like a Clinton administration Who’s Who.

Starting to get the picture? As you can imagine, this is why this group is so concerned with the following statistics it shared with its readers:

  • 91 percent of the political talk radio programming on the stations owned by the top five commercial station owners is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
  • 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk radio are broadcast each weekday on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk.
  • 92 percent of these stations (236 stations out of 257) do not broadcast a single minute of progressive talk radio programming.

Picture becoming clearer? Yet, there was more:

  • 76 percent of the total talk radio programming on the 65 stations in the top 10 markets is conservative, and 24 percent is progressive.
  • 423 hours and 40 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast in the top 10 markets each weekday compared to 135 hours of progressive talk.
  • More conservative talk is broadcast than progressive talk in each of the top 10 markets, although the disparity is less than five hours of total airtime in New York (18 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk vs.16 hours of progressive talk) and Chicago (33 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk vs. 29 hours of progressive talk).
  • In four of the top 10 markets, progressive talk is broadcast only two hours or less each weekday (Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, and Atlanta).

Understand why these folks are unhappy?

Of course, as you would imagine, these folks don’t believe these statistics are at all a function of market forces. Instead:

Our view is that the imbalance in talk radio programming today is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast regulation resulting from pro-forma licensing policies,17 longer license terms (to eight years from three years previously),18 the elimination of clear public interest requirements such as local public affairs programming,19 and the relaxation of ownership rules, including the requirement of local participation in management.

Color me unsurprised. As is typical, whenever a liberal is unhappy about something, it must be because government regulations aren’t tight enough.

Yet, what is truly fascinating is that one of the “problems” concerning under-regulation of this industry was deliciously implemented during the – wait for it – Clinton years:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed the national limit on the number of radio stations that one company could own. This resulted in the wave of consolidation that carried Clear Channel from 40 stations to over 1,200, and many other conglomerates to several hundred stations apiece.

The economics of radio station ownership changed in this period as a result of consolidation. Large, non-local owners aired syndicated programming on a wider scale across their national holdings. Advertising on local stations was marketed and sold by national firms, undermining the ability of local owners to compete. Many sold their stations. The number of locally-owned, minority-owned, and female-owned stations was constrained—and the very different programming decisions these owners make were less visible in the market.

In short, the removal of ownership limits created artificial economies of scale for syndicated programming (dominated by conservative talk). Because of the size of corporate radio holdings, this business model was profitable even if localism declined and local tastes and needs were not suitably matched.

Isn’t that marvelous? So, on the one hand, these folks – most of them members of the Clinton administration – believe that the “problem” of conservative domination over the airwaves was signed into law by – wait for it! – their previous boss, likely with some of their blessings at the time.

Yet, eleven years later, recognizing that this didn’t work out well for them, they want to enact new laws to fix the problem they created.

Isn’t that special?

Without further ado, here are their recommendations:

  • National radio ownership by any one entity should not exceed 5 percent of the total number of AM and FM broadcast stations.
  • In terms of local ownership, no one entity should control more than 10 percent of the total commercial radio stations in a given market, or specifi cally, more than:
    • Four commercial stations in large markets (a radio market with 45 or more commercial radio stations).
    • Three stations in mid-markets (between 30 and 44 total commercial radio stations).
    • Two stations in smaller markets (between 15 and 29 total commercial radio stations).
    • One station in the smallest markets (14 or fewer total commercial radio stations).

[…]

We recommend the following steps the FCC should take to ensure local needs are being met:

  • Provide a license to radio broadcasters for a term no longer than three years.
  • Require radio broadcast licensees to regularly show that they are operating on behalf of the public interest and provide public documentation and viewing of how they are meeting these obligations.
  • Demand that the radio broadcast licensee announce when its license is about to expire and demonstrate how the public can participate in the process to determine whether the licenseshould be extended. In addition, the FCC should be required to maintain a website to conduct on-line discussions and facilitate interaction with the public about licensee conduct.

And finally (fasten your seatbelts!):

Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting

If commercial radio broadcasters are unwilling to abide by these regulatory standards or the FCC is unable to effectively regulate in the public interest, a spectrum use fee should be levied on owners to directly support local, regional, and national public broadcasting.

A fee based on a sliding scale (1 percent for small markets, 5 percent for the largest markets) would be distributed directly to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with clear mandates to support local news and public affairs programming and to cover controversial and political issues in a fair and balanced manner.

We estimate that such a fee would net between $100 million and $250 million and would not overly burden commercial radio broadcasters.

As you might imagine, the first set of recommendations are a total perversion of the free-market system.

Yet, what’s potentially more amusing about all this is the final category concerning violators paying a fine to support public broadcasting.

Think about it: if the plan is to get more liberal points of view on the airwaves, and these folks are looking to get more money to public broadcasting, aren’t they basically admitting that PBS is INDEED a disseminator of liberal opinions?

Somehow they missed this delicious irony…or did they?

Of course, if a left-leaning group composed largely of Clintonistas are willing to admit the liberal bias at PBS, maybe the discussion should be whether or not government funding to this organization should be immediately halted.

Barring that, it seems logical given this group’s concern for balance in media that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, the Associated Press, Reuters et al should have to pay moneys to Fox News, the Washington Times, the National Review, and the Weekly Standard to compensate for liberal bias in print and on television.

Now that’s a cockamamie scheme I might be able to get behind.

As for Crooks and Liars claim that “America embraces progressive ideas on almost every issue of national significance,” different polls provide different results, as evidenced in the sourced link from their quote. One can find almost any information to back up their personal beliefs–in this instance, the left-leaning organization, Media Matters.

UPDATED!!!!

It looks like the Center for American Progress, while attempting to dampen free speech, were a bit deceptive in their number crunching with their original report (surprise!)

Again, from Newsbusters…

Conservative Radio Dominance Not as Grave as Liberals Proclaim

Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 22, 2007 – 15:37.

Update (Ken Shepherd): Maloney tells me he’ll be on the John Gibson radio program on Fox News radio shortly after 6:20 p.m. to discuss this.

As NewsBusters reported here and here, liberals around the country are carping and whining about conservatives having too much control of AM radio.

In fact, just yesterday, the Center for American Progress issued an outline as to what needs to be done to counter what it views as an unfair dominance of the airwaves by conservatives.

With that in mind, Brian Maloney has taken a look at the data collected by the Center to identify just how bad things really are for those poor liberals trying to compete with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al.

What Maloney found – not surprisingly – was that the Center fudged the numbers a bit to make it look like things were much worse than they actually are (emphasis added throughout):

[A] quick glance at the study reveals something else: they’ve greatly downplayed the amount of lefty talk actually airing.

In fact, the mistakes are so obvious, they shatter the study’s credibility. According to the methodology cited on page seven, “hosts were categorized as conservative, progressive/ liberal, or indeterminate/ neither based on self- identification, show descriptions, and listings in Talkers Magazine. Only hosts with evident and near- indisputable leanings were categorized.”

That’s where the survey’s clear bias is exposed: they clearly have a much easier time labelling a “conservative” host than a “progressive” one.

No surprise there, right? After all, anybody slightly right of center to liberals is a conservative. Yet, to be classified as a liberal by a liberal, you practically have to have a hammer and sickle on your lapel.

To prove the point, Maloney offered some examples:

  • San Francisco’s KGO is listed as featuring only three hours of daily liberal talk! If this refers to Bernie Ward, what about the four hours of hyper- lefty Ray Taliaferro (shown in top- left photo)? Or two hours of liberal- leaning Pete Wilson? Finally, why don’t the 17 hours or more of “progressive” weekend programming count?
  • The report lists KABC / Los Angeles as featuring no liberal talk, but morning host Doug McIntyre’s four- hour show fits the study’s “progressive” criteria, having sat on the “left” side of the Talk Radio Rumble panel at the recent New York City convention organized by Talkers.
  • In New York City, why weren’t WOR- AM afternoon hosts Hennican & White listed in the “progressive” column? Ellis Hennican is not shy when it comes to promoting a leftist viewpoint.
  • In Washington, why isn’t urban talker WOL listed on the liberal side as well? Take a look at the schedule: is there anything unclear about Al Sharpton’s leanings? The same goes for the stations with this format in Detroit, Philly, Chicago and elsewhere.

As always, I am never shocked when statistics collated and presented by a liberal establishment don’t pass the smell test. After all, as I’ve written about for years, to these folks, one plus one can equal zero, one, two, or three depending on what answer best fits the agenda being advanced.

Great catch, Brian.

Read Full Post »

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.anniemayhem.com/blog%20pics/OlbermannNaziSalute.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Aside from Keith Olbermann‘s ridiculous anointing of Geraldo Rivera as “The Best Person in the World” (as opposed to his regular segment, “The Worst Person in the World” where in Bill O’Reilly regularly manages that honor) for his “noble” defense of illegal-alien Alfredo Ramos of Virginia Beach due to his successful extermination of two teenage girls in a drunk driving incident, the simple fact remains that Ramos would not have killed those young women had he not been in the country illegally in the first place.

Rivera’s deluded perception the accident had nothing to do with illegal-immigration goes beyond the pale. It at least has as much to do with illegal-immigration as it does with drunk driving. In fact, I would say it is about illegal-immigration first and driving while intoxicated second. Had our border been far more secure than it is now in its current revolving door state, Ramos might have never been allowed to enter this country illegally. He might never have made his way to Virginia Beach. He might never had decided to get drunk the night of the fatal crash. He might never have recklessly bumbled his way behind the wheel of a vehicle, and he might never have killed two innocent people as a result. Had Alfredo Ramos not been allowed to enter this country illegally, those two girls would still be alive today. It’s a simple fact that no one, not ever Geraldo Rivera can, or should deny. To do so, as he did on The O’reilly Factor last week, is shameful and deserving of scorn.

Instead, Keith Olbermann praises Rivera and such insipid statements as “illegal immigrants commit less crime than American citizens.” To Keith and Geraldo: well duh! When you have a country whose population sits at around 300 million individuals with 12 to 20 million more illegal-immigrants, it is not difficult to understand that fewer crimes are committed by illegal-aliens than infractions by legal residents. Geraldo’s case is a hasty generalization bordering tu quoque. The obvious reigns supreme–there would be less crime in this country were our borders secure, meaning there would be fewer rapists, pedophiles, murders, gang bangers, drug dealers, thieves, and drunk drivers. How difficult is that to comprehend? Obviously, for Olbermann and Rivera (and this preposterous article at Salon.com), it’s beyond comprehension.

Also last week here in Los Angeles, another ugly drunk driving incident made headlines across the country with yet another illegal-alien drunk driver, Hector Velazquez-Nava who happened to snuff out the lives of another two American citizens–this time renowned film director, Bob Clark and his 22 year-old son Ariel Hanrath-Clark. Even though Velazquez-Nava has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, he still wished to express his condolences and sorrow for their deaths. Didn’t I just mention he pleaded not guilty?

Because two high profile incidents such as these occured in a relatively short time frame, by no means should this indicate that all or most illegal-aliens are as ignorant and careless as were Ramos and Velazquez-Nava, but their cases acutely bring to light, in the most tragic of circumstances, only one reason as to why we must gain control of our southern border. Drunk drivers, regardless of citizenship status, are ticking time bombs. But if we were to competently disallow entry to a group of people who accept driving while under the influence as simply a degenerate yet acceptable aspect of their peasant culture–their “manliness” is defined by how much they can drink and not fall down, or not kill people with a car apparently–then that would rightly reduce the amount of unnecessary deaths. Is that too difficult to accept? Of course not.

There are far too many reasons as to why the illegal-alien population is detrimental to the United States, and I’ve covered those many times before throughout this site. The problem that arises from the opposition, including activists, is their lack of reasons as to why we should allow them free access, other than the fact that the wealthy, whether they’re liberals or conservatives, democrats or republicans simply want as much access to an easily exploitable labor base (i.e. modern slavery) as possible. Those who desire the unrestricted admittance of illegal-aliens only desire their exploitation without heeding the concrete consequences, even when those consequences end up killing American citizens.

If only Alfredo Ramos had been deported the first, or even the second time he’d been apprehended for DUI.

The image “http://people.clarkson.edu/~conleyba/Geraldo%20Rivera.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hispanic DWIs rooted in immigrants’ culture
Lifestyle, isolation figure in driving drunk

 

When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago.Then, last year, a young Hispanic man who authorities say was drunk nearly killed Hernandez’s only son, Diego, in a crash on a rural Johnston County road. Eliseo Hernandez’s daughter, who was nine months pregnant, lost her unborn child in the accident.

Hernandez has spent the past year following Diego through four hospitals and 14 brain surgeries. Diego only recently began to smile again and might never walk.

Hernandez said he hopes his painful journey will teach his friends and family a lesson. Car accidents are the top killer of Hispanics in North Carolina, and the disproportionate number of alcohol-related arrests and wrecks are an embarrassment to a minority already beleaguered by hard feelings over illegal immigration.

“It makes the Mexicans look bad, very bad,” Hernandez said. “The American people say ‘Oh, it’s just another Hispanic, the same as the others.’ ”

In 2005, there were 37 alcohol-related crashes caused by Hispanic drivers for every 10,000 Hispanics in the state, according to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That is more than three times the rate of alcohol-related crashes among non-Hispanics.

Hispanic leaders are struggling to stem a problem that they say is rooted in the waves of young men who leave the calming influences of church and family to labor alone in a new country.

“It’s difficult because you’re trying to compete with the loneliness,” said Tony Asion, public safety director for El Pueblo, an Hispanic advocacy group. “Then, as some learn, more come, and we start again.”

Carnage continues

Last month, a Johnston County father and son died in a fiery crash authorities say was caused by Luciano Tellez, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Dwane Braswell, 35, and his son Jerry, 9, were riding in a tractor-trailer cab on N.C. 210 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County when Tellez struck the tractor and rolled it into a ditch, where it caught fire.

Empty beer cans were found in Tellez’ car, but authorities say it is impossible to know whether he was drunk.

It was the latest in a string of such accidents caused by Hispanic men. In February in Salisbury, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her unborn child were killed. In October, it was two college students and a high school boy. In January 2006, a man from El Salvador killed a Hillsborough woman in a head-on crash and fled, leaving an injured passenger in his own car.

Researchers say drunken driving among Hispanics is at least partially explained by demographics. As in many places where immigration is fairly recent, the Hispanic population in North Carolina is young and dominated by men — both factors that make them statistically more likely to drive drunk.

Men in their 20s and 30s made up more than half the people charged with DWI statewide in the year ending last July. Nearly 40 percent of North Carolina Hispanics were 21- to 39-year-old men in 2005, according to census estimates. This same age range accounted for only 18 percent of blacks and 16 percent of whites.

Bobby Dunn, who counsels Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson counties, said his clients are often young men far from home with money in their pockets for the first time. Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have little experience behind the wheel.

They also see drinking as a way of showing their manhood.

“The magic number is 12,” Dunn said, or “un doce” in Spanish. “If you can drink 12 beers, you’re a man.”

Others say heavy drinking is part of a lifestyle dominated by long work days building homes, painting or picking crops.

Walking down Buck Jones Road to his apartment in West Raleigh, Alberto Gonzalez figured he would drink most of the 12-pack he had just bought that night, even though it was a weeknight.

Gonzalez, 29, said he hadn’t given much thought to spending a night without a beer in hand. “I just sit and drink,” he said. “Maybe a friend will come by. Other than work, this is what I do.”

Hernandez was part of an early wave of young men who came to North Carolina to pick tobacco. There were so few Hispanics in North Carolina then, he said, he couldn’t find a store that sold hot peppers or corn tortillas.

He had been a drinker in Mexico, he said, but it got worse in the United States. He didn’t have a family to tend to, and he felt very alone in a place where no one understood him.

“When you are young, you don’t think anything will happen to you,” he said. “When you have a family, you care more about your life.”

In fact, the increasing number of Hispanic women and children in North Carolina may explain why the prevalence of drunken-driving accidents and arrests among Hispanics has not grown with the population.

By some measures, DWI accidents and citations among Hispanics are actually diminishing.

Hispanics made up 18 percent of the 75,000 DWI arrests last year, while they accounted for 6 percent of the population. The portion of DWI citations going to Hispanics has crept up slightly since 2000, even as the growth in the state’s Hispanic population has outpaced overall population growth by more than 500 percent.

Since 2000, alcohol-related crashes among Hispanics have dropped from 9 percent of all crashes that involve Hispanics to 7 percent.

The pressure to reverse the trend is intense. Each fatality brings calls for deportations and tighter immigration controls.

Luke Steele, 49, adds up the deaths and sees a growing problem that stems from immigration. He said his daughter lost her college roommate to a Hispanic drunken driver in October.

Steele, a longtime fire rescue worker, also remembers a 1991 wreck in which a teenage girl was killed by an illegal immigrant who “skipped town before the case ever went to trial.”

“We’ve still got plenty of stupid white, black, pink and purple people that drive drunk. That’s plenty to go around,” he said. “The reality is if they weren’t here, they could not kill people [while] driving drunk.”

After the March wreck in Johnston County, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, a Charlotte Republican, reintroduced a bill that would require the deportation of all immigrants convicted of drunken driving.

And anti-immigration groups have seized on the issue as an effective marketing strategy for their cause.

“The effect on the labor force is real, but it’s indirect,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which favors tighter controls on immigration. “Whereas, an illegal alien who drives drunk and kills some newlywed couple is tangible.”

Asion, who leads El Pueblo’s effort to curb drunken driving, works to separate the DWI problem from the immigration debate.

Many Hispanics have not grown up with anti-drunken-driving messages, and it will take time for the ideas to take hold.

“It’s not something that you can do easily,” Asion said. “If it was, then the U.S. population would have already done it.”

News

Hispanics wary of fallout from deadly crash in Virginia Beach

Manuel Ayala, at right, has been in the United States nearly 20 years. He said many people automatically assume he's an illegal immigrant. Now,
Manuel Ayala, at right, has been in the United States nearly 20 years. He said many people automatically assume he’s an illegal immigrant. Now, “the discrimination, it’s going to show more,” said Ayala, owner of San Jose Mexican Mini Mart. STEPHEN M. KATZ/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

By GILLIAN GAYNAIR, The Virginian-Pilot
© April 7, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH – Because one Hispanic person is accused of causing a tragic accident, Monica Restrepo said, she now frets that many will be judged and be the brunt of insults.

“We’re very worried about what’s going to happen to all of us in the community,” said Restrepo, who owns the decade-old La Tapatia, believed to be one of the first Latin American grocery stores in the city.

Restrepo and other local Hispanics this week expressed their sympathy for the families of two Virginia Beach girls killed in a car crash March 30. But they also couldn’t mask their concern over a possible backlash against both legal and illegal immigrants.

They fear that because of Alfredo Ramos, people will categorize all Hispanics as drunken drivers and unauthorized immigrants. Ramos, 22, is charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Alison Kunhardt, 17, and Tessa Tranchant, 16. He had a record of three alcohol-related convictions in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake and had entered the country from Mexico illegally.

Many Hispanics said the public response to the incident has been incorrectly centered on Ramos’ immigration status instead of on drunken-driving laws and penalties.

“When someone has committed a crime, it doesn’t matter what legal status they have, what ethnic group – you’ve committed a crime,” said Mavel Velasco Muñoz, chairwoman of the Hispanic Leadership Forum of Hampton Roads. “We are not condoning it,” but, she said, the public is wrongly lumping together immigration issues and DUI laws.

Beatriz Amberman, a Virginia Beach resident and vice chairwoman of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, agreed.

“I wonder how many people are driving under the influence of alcohol and have been let go with a slap on the hand… and whether the system is actually working in that regard,” she said. “Rather than that… because of this one individual, we’re judging all undocumented workers.”

The tragedy gained national attention Wednesday through Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” when host Bill O’Reilly blamed the city of Virginia Beach and accused local officials of providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants. O’Reilly and TV personality Geraldo Rivera traded verbal punches on Thursday (video).

Locally, rumors swirled Friday among some Hispanics that federal immigration authorities were coming to Virginia Beach to raid establishments that employ illegal immigrants.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington said that such rumors are no t surprising, given the amount of attention the Ramos case has received.

“I can’t tell you that no investigation is going on, because that’s something we do on a daily basis,” Ernestine Fobbs said. “I can’t confirm or deny whether we have an active investigation going on at this time. It’s not something that we’d reveal.”

Ramos had worked briefly at Mi Casita restaurant on Bonney Road, according to Gary C. Byler, an attorney representing El Toro Loco Inc., the corporation that owns Mi Casita. Byler said Ramos was told not to come back to work when his documents appeared to be invalid. He was not working at the restaurant at the time of the car crash, Byler said.

It wasn’t unusual to see Ramos and other employees walking along Bonney Road and visiting establishments in Thalia Village Shoppes, business owners there said.

In the week after the car crash, there has been less foot traffic overall, said Junior Garcia, who owns La Tienda International Foods and Mi Tierra Restaurant.

Garcia said that since the incident, he has also noticed more police in the area and suspected that “we’ll probably have more police officers stopping Latinos on looks.”

Like others, Garcia was concerned about the response to the tragedy.

“I haven’t heard once that it was an accident,” he said. “White people also drink. I feel people have blown out of proportion his status and where he’s from. It could have been anybody.”

While he and his friends talked about the Ramos case at Mi Orgullo Latin Accessories in the same plaza, Jonathan Rodriguez wondered whether there would be such a public outcry had an intoxicated white citizen been accused in the girls’ deaths.

“Now they want to punish every Latin person out there,” he said. “Now it’s going to be harder for us…. You could be a citizen, but they’re still going to hate you.”

Local Hispanic leaders say they hope to turn the tragedy into an opportunity to educate more people about the dangers of drunken driving, push for tougher penalties for it and work for immigration laws that can be respected as fair.

Amberman, of the Coalition of Latino Organizations, said she is worried that “people want to look at only one side of the picture.”

The image “https://i2.wp.com/femmefan.com/site/images/featurepics/04_05Season/homer-simpson-beer.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Read Full Post »

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted the below Youtube video on his blog (sorry, you’ll need an account to Myspace, which is interestingly owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns Fox News which, as we all know, runs The O’Reilly Factor.) It concerns a grave distortion (and huge error of judgment) on the part of the perpetually-out-of-touch-with-humanity Bill O’Reilly with an egregious historical inacuracy concerning the Malmedy massacre 62 years ago when roughly 80 American soldiers were ruthlessly executed by their Nazi captors during the Battle of the Bulge.

From my friend’s blog

Bill O’Reilly, commentator for the F-Word Network, has chosen to reverse history, and use Malmady as a historical excuse, if not justification, for atrocities committed by U.S. military forces in Iraq. He’s reversed history in order to further his own propaganda.

To make matters worse, he not only hasn’t apologized, but the F-Word Network has seen fit to go back and alter their transcripts for both broadcasts.

I used to watch Keith Olbermann quite frequently, but somehow grew adrift of the habit. Seeing this video (which is actually quite old) compels me to offer Mr. Olbermann my strict attention once again via his nightly program, Countdown.

Thanks to my friend, John for the reminder.

Read Full Post »