AP Puffs Illegal Immigrant-Friendly New Haven, Paints Conservative Hazleton Harshly

My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.

Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...

If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:

"I think New Haven is doing something that makes sense for New Haven," the mayor said Tuesday. "Service to one another in community, more than waving an American flag, defines the spirit of our soul."

to this:

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican, has said that illegal immigration is "destroying" his working-class city of 30,000 and driving up crime.

There are a couple of other paraphrased quotes by Barletta, but nothing to write home about. Furthermore, Barletta is described as "tough talking," while DeStefano has "embraced" illegals. Good DeStefano, bad Barletta.

While we are treated to praise from an illegal immigrant who will benefit from New Haven's ID progam and a college professor who says New Haven has a "tradition of championing the causes of outsiders," there is no one from the other side to balance this vision of utopian bliss. Are you going to tell me that everyone in New Haven is thrilled about this turn of events? I can assure you they are not, as I have seen other articles that document this displeasure...one by one of the authors of the piece I am criticizing. Did he lose his notes?

Conversely, we hear specifically from Hazleton's Rudy Espinal, one of a number of plaintiffs who is trying to overturn Hazleton's ordinance:

"It's time for the city to come up with a new strategy. If the intention was to get rid of crime, the job is not done," he said. "We are seeing the same amount of crime as we were before. It didn't work."

With all of the generalizations made that lead up to the above comment about citizens being upset about graffitti, crime, and motorists driving sans drivers' licenses, John Christoffersen and Michael Rubinkam were unable to find anyone in Hazleton who supports Barletta's illegal immigrant policies? Not one person? Amazing!

Thus ends another lesson of Nuanced Bias in Journalism 101. Class dismissed.


Media Bias Debate Immigration Connecticut Pennsylvania Associated Press Joe DeStefano Lou Barletta