CBS Ignores Border Security; Lets Howard Dean Go Unchallenged

CBS News has not reported this week on Janet Napolitano and Bill Richardson---Democratic governors facing reelection in 2006 in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively-- declaring states of emergency stemming from US-Mexico border security issues. Neither The Early Show nor the CBS Evening News have touched the story. Yet on Sunday, the day after Richardson issued his state of emergency declaration, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer pitched a softball which DNC chairman hit out of the park to slam Republicans as "scapegoating" immigrants for the upcoming 2006 midterm elections:

Bob Schieffer, host: "The other day you said something about Republicans will blame immigrants. They'll become the scapegoats, the next time."

Doctor Howard Dean, DNC chairman: "Sure.

Schieffer: "What was that about? What did you mean by that?"

Dean: "They scapegoated African-Americans in 2002 by the president using the word `quota,' which was a racial quoted word. They scapegoated gays for obvious reasons in 2004. They put gay marriage on the ballot in 11 states where gay marriage was already against the law. Now they're going after immigrants. You see it now. Tom Tacredo, the most anti-immigrant member of Congress, endorsed by Ken Mehlman--'We welcome his contribution to the debate.' I don't think we welcome bigotry as a contribution to any debate. You have Arnold Schwarzenegger saying he welcomes the vigilante group the Minutemen to his state in California. We have James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, IDs and all this kind of business. So they clearly are cranking it up because Rove knows that people are mistrustful of immigrants.

Dean: "The right thing to do is have the President stand up and say, 'We're not going to cater to people who divide America any more,' but the trouble is he benefits from that. He benefited from that in 2004. His party benefited in 2002. In 2006, immigrants will be the scapegoats."

At that point, running up against a "hard break" for commercial, Schieffer thanked Dean for coming on as a guest. Oh well, maybe next time, only, don't expect Schieffer to press Dean on why Richardson, a Democrat of Hispanic descent, told MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell he thinks the Minutemen are "well intentioned" and "patriots.":

O'DONNELL: You say the federal government is not doing enough so you're taking the matter into your own hands, doing something by declaring a state of emergency. What about the Minutemen who have been trying to help in states like New Mexico and Arizona? Why don't you want their help?

RICHARDSON: I want trained law enforcement people to do the work. Many of the Minutemen are very well-intentioned. They're patriots. But I worry that because they're not trained, because they don't have the skills and equipment to deal with illegal aliens and illegal drugs, as law enforcement does, as Border Patrol, that we're going to have some unfortunate incidents.

So this is why I took this action, to get my local sheriffs, my local law enforcement in New Mexico to be able to hire trained personnel that know how the deal with illegal aliens and illegal drugs and kidnappings and mutilation of animals. That's why I did it, Norah.

Early Show CBS Evening News Face the Nation