File this one under the "no duh" department. On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews attempted to outline his stance on illegal immigration but prefaced it by declaring: "I don’t want to be the conservative here. I’m not comfortable playing that role."

Matthews uttered what has to be the Understatement of the Week, during an exchange with Ron Reagan Jr. and former John McCain spokesman Todd Harris, on the June 12th edition of MSNBC's Hardball.

The Washington Post (“Immigration Judges Often Picked Based On GOP Ties,” June 11) is trying to create another crisis for the Bush administration. Reporters Amy Goldstein and Dan Eggen charge that immigration judge appointees are unqualifed. Here's their lede:

Looks like the MSM just can't wait to declare President Bush a lame duck. Matt Lauer tried to grease the skids on this morning's "Today." Interviewing White House press secretary Tony Snow at 7:05 am EDT, Lauer first suggested that it would be very difficult for the president to get an immigration bill through Congress. Then, this.

On the June 12 "Early Show," anchor Harry Smith again pounded Tony Snow, and Tony Snow again responded with a reprimand. Smith, who recently offered a puffy interview of Al Gore, continued his harsh interrogation of the White House press secretary. When discussing the G-8 summit, Snow asserted that Bush has "taken the lead" on initiatives such as climate change.

The immigration bill crafted by U.S. senators and White House negotiators behind closed doors may have been Topic A on talk radio over the past few weeks, but after heavy positive coverage of the “landmark” deal on May 17 and 18, ABC, CBS and NBC provided surprisingly little airtime to the hot debate.

Forget the banter about Paris Hilton among the panelists on last evening's Fox News Watch. A deadly-serious matter later arose. Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton flatly alleged that to promote multiculturalism and allay Americans' concerns about immigration, the MSM and the Department of Homeland Security spiked a story about a terrorist dry run by 12 Syrians.

Longtime readers of The Wall Street Journal's editorial pages know three things:

  • The paper's editorials and opinion columns are usually among the best anywhere -- and not just on business and economics.
  • The Journal has for years had every reason to be proud of the fact, as the late Robert Bartley noted, that it is one of the few papers readers would buy for its opinion pages.
  • The Journal has, for 23 years, held an uncompromising "liberal" viewpoint on immigration that almost all conservatives have long since abandoned. The Journal's point of view can be summed up in five words it used in a July 3, 1984 editorial -- "There shall be open borders."

A copy of that editorial, posted for fair use and discussion purposes only, can be found here (the title is "In Defense of Huddled Masses") in a post about Journal columnist Peggy Noonan's effective break on June 1 from The Journal's doctrinaire stance.

The 1984 editorial's defining sentence is:

If Washington still wants to "do something" about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders.

"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." - George Wallace, from his 1963 inaugural speech as Governor of Alabama.

ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Friday night lamented the lost “hope” in the defeat of the compromise “immigration reform” bill as Gibson fretted about how “polarization” killed it. “Immigration bust,” Gibson teased World News: “Is there still hope for immigration reform after a highly touted deal falls apart?” He then led the newscast by repeating his “hope” line: “Many had great hopes for the compromise.” Turning to George Stephanopoulos in Iowa, Gibson proposed: “The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive.” Stephanopoulos agreed as he held conservatives most culpable: “This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill.”

That prompted Gibson to ruminate: “So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?” Stephanopoulos confirmed: “Certainly not this big problem, Charlie, even though, as I said, a majority of Americans support it.”

On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate’s immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment."

ABC's Charles Gibson fretted Thursday night over the likely impending demise of the “landmark” immigration deal as George Stephanopoulos blamed conservatives and on NBC Chip Reid faulted “extremes on the left and the right.” Gibson teased World News: “Tonight, the landmark compromise on immigration is in big trouble on Capitol Hill. Some Senators saying if we can't pass this, we can't pass anything.” Gibson proceeded to assert that the bill “was considered the best hope for doing something on immigration.” After a story from Jake Tapper on the debate in the Senate, Gibson expressed frustration to George Stephanopoulos: “What's so counterintuitive to me, George, is that a lot of the Senators who think and say most strongly that something has to be done to reform immigration are the ones who are voting for these killer amendments.” Stephanopoulos held conservatives responsible: “They are getting a lot of cross pressures, Charlie, particularly on the conservative side.”

Meanwhile, on the NBC Nightly News, Chip Reid described how Democrats are opposed to the temporary worker program because of how it may take jobs from Americans and Republicans are opposed to what they consider “amnesty” for illegals -- both mainstream views in the two parties. Yet Reid applied an “extreme” tag: “You've got the extremes on the left and the right trying to kill the entire bill, rather than except the provisions they detest.”

Earlier this morning on the Fox News Channel, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell talked to the gang at "Fox & Friends" about the poor ratings at the "CBS Evening News" since Katie Couric took the helm.