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The Senate began a debate on immigration reform today, and that seemed to be the focus on "The Early Show" on CBS this morning. Co-host Harry Smith interviewed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan. Smith chose to frame the debate as a "crackdown on undocumented workers" and ignored the fact that these "undocumented workers" are in fact in America illegally.

This morning’s program opened with a tease from Harry Smith:

It’s a tale of two presidential campaigns on page A26 of Sunday’s New York Times. 

At the top of the page, Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “Testing Presidential Waters As Race at Home Heats Up” follows Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen around the state in preparation to running for a second term -- and possibly for president in 2008.

The text box emphasizes Allen’s conservatism:

According to Pulitzer list, former Boston Globe editor never won one despite getting credit from network.

In The Money host calls for enough increase to run Hummers off the road.

It was only a small item carried on the headline banner of Fox News Channel March 25. The report told newsreaders that in Cheshire, Massachusetts, and unknown anti-war protesters had sprayed painted graffiti across a memorial honoring a soldier who died in the first days of the war in Iraq. This incident was not even worthy of a mention in any major media print publication or on other television outlets.

Sean Hannity has made border security and illegal immigration a major cause, spending time at and broadcasting shows from our border with Mexico. Give GMA credit for having Sean on this morning's show to discuss the issue. That said, Charlie Gibson put on a display of bleeding-heart liberalism at its most predictable, confusing compassion with tolerance of criminality.

Romenesko links to a letter written by Kim Alan Gigstead, a former Republican press secretary.

After Woodward and Bernstein's work on Watergate, too many reporters were "Woodstein wannabes," desperate for instant success by uncovering the next big scandal

Watergate's result

Re: "Newspapers then, and now," Tanya Barrientos' March 18 column:

Robert Klein Engler is an author and member of the Illinois Minuteman Project. After the massive protests in Chicago opposed to reforming immigration, WGN Chicago invited Engler on the air to talk about the issue and represent the group. But Engler says he was invited under false pretenses.

Engler wrote a report of his experience at the studio:

America should prepare itself for a continuous onslaught of “Democrats Will Take Back Congress” articles in the next seven and a half months. TIME magazine published one on Sunday entitled “Republicans on the Run.” In it, the authors proudly proclaimed: “In recent weeks, a startling realization has begun to take hold: if the elections were held today, top strategists of both parties say privately, the Republicans would probably lose the 15 seats they need to keep control of the House of Representatives and could come within a seat or two of losing the Senate as well.”

Now, the word “privately” was emphasized by me to make a point that becomes quite clear in the article: TIME couldn’t find any top strategists from either party to make this claim publicly. Instead, what TIME did was issue a bold prediction while neglecting to provide the reader any statistical evidence as to the likelihood of it coming true.

Alas, if facts were actually important to the article’s authors rather than idle speculation, they could have either questioned top political strategist Charlie Cook, or referred to an article he coincidentally wrote on this very subject in Saturday’s National Journal: “Despite national political trends indicating that the GOP is in serious trouble, a race-by-race ‘micro’ analysis suggests that Democrats cannot easily seize control of the House or the Senate this fall.”

Unlike TIME, Cook, who is considered to be non-partisan, actually used arithmetic and simple logic to analyze the current political landscape. How refreshing:

Howard Kurtz of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” (hat tip to Crooks and Liars) spent a lot of time Sunday addressing the firestorm started this week by radio host Laura Ingraham over negative media reports out of Iraq. One of Kurtz’s guests was Lara Logan of CBS who was clearly not pleased with these assertions. In fact, Logan, reporting from Iraq, appeared rather defensive (video link to follow).

Kurtz began the show:

“Souring on the war. As President Bush goes toe to toe with White House reporters, are news organizations turning against the war in Iraq? Are they focusing almost exclusively on the car bombings and mosque attacks and brushing aside signs of progress? Three years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, are they playing to the opinion polls with skeptical, even hostile coverage, or is the administration just blaming the messenger.”

After a few video clips of the president and vice president, Kurtz said to Logan: “Bush and Cheney essentially seem to be accusing you and your colleagues of carrying the terrorist message by reporting on so many of these attacks. What do you make of that?”

Logan responded: “Well, I think that's -- that is a very convenient way of looking at it.” Logan then blamed the lack of balance in Iraq media reports on security issues:

Over at the CBS News blog Public Eye, Brian Montopoli broke down the Rich Noyes Media Reality Check on the trial of Saddam Hussein. Montopoli seems to be missing a major point of Rich's: that the very trial itself is newsworthy in that it demonstrates the difference between the political system under Saddam and the political system in Iraq today, which instead of merely slaughtering Saddam in two minutes -- the way he often conducted business -- Iraq is attempting to create a rule of law:

A 'tension convention' - that's how Don Imus would have described the ill-concealed ill will on this morning's Fox & Friends Weekend between Juliet Huddy and Julian Phillips.

Apparently, the AP doesn't think that illegal immigrants are breaking the law:

More than 50,000 people gathered downtown Saturday as part of a national protest against a crackdown in immigration laws, including federal legislation aimed at criminalizing illegal immigrants and building more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. (emphasis added -ed.)

Is Neal Gabler jealous of Helen Thomas' status as a leading Bush media antagonist? You might think so, judging by the barbs Gabler aimed Thomas' way on this evening's Fox News Watch.

Fellow NBers,

Anybody want to discuss Elite Eight? Can the Tigers beat the Horns? Can the Bruins beat the Tigers?

Is Tyrus Thomas amazing or what?

Here's your chance to talk hoops on Elite Eight weekend with your fellow NBers.