L.A.Times Writer Pits 'Religious' Demonstrators Against 'Hard-line' Immigration Law

In nine short paragraphs, Los Angeles Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi offered readers a slanted look at how "Immigration demonstrations kick[ed] off in Arizona" yesterday, when the state's new anti-illegal immigration law went into effect [except for the portions ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge].

Reporting from Phoenix, Riccardi jumped straight away into loaded language (emphasis mine):

Opponents of Arizona's hard-line stance on illegal immigration launched a small religious procession from the state Capitol before dawn Thursday, the first of a series of demonstrations for the day the nation's strictest immigration law was due to take effect.

So who organized the religious procession? Is it purely a protest by otherwise apolitical religious folks, or were secular political interest groups involved? Riccardi didn't elaborate.

Riccardi went on to quote demonstrator Alfredo Gutierrez -- tagged simply as "a former state senator" -- complaining that "[w]e live here in a climate of fear.... The context of Arizona is foreign to this country. This is basically a nation that's become hostile to its own people."

That's pretty strong, arguably "hard-line" rhetoric from the anti-Arizona law contingent, yet Riccardi didn't find a supporter of the law to rebut the allegations. What's more, Gutierrez is not a random protester, he's the boycott director for Somos America.

Isn't calling for a boycott of business against his fellow Arizonans "hostile" to his fellow Arizonans? Riccardi never raised that question nor included information that might bring his readers to raise that question.

Political Groups Media Bias Debate Protesters Immigration Labeling Arizona law Major Newspapers Los Angeles Times Online Media Nicholas Riccardi Alfredo Gutierrez