NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conceded on Thursday's newscast that NBC has focused on the interests of those in favor of the immigration bill as he acknowledged “a lot of people” have a different perspective. A week after the immigration bill collapsed in the Senate, NBC got around to the other side -- but that's still sooner than ABC or CBS. With "Immigration Backlash" on screen, Williams explained how “as we have covered the immigration debate here, we have heard from numerous Americans who are trying to run businesses, make money and in some cases bring in ripe crops. They've been begging lawmakers for a workable immigration solution. A lot of people think this country is letting too many people in. Tonight we hear their take on immigration.”

In the subsequent report, David Gregory narrated video from North Carolina as he relayed how “a retired schoolteacher complains the reform plan ignores the steady flow of illegal immigrants” Gregory realized that “the anger in North Carolina is being felt around the country and it has created a nearly-unprecedented grassroots movement dedicated to defeating the immigration measure.” He characterized the view as part of “an anti-immigration assault” fueled by “opponents of the immigration bill who claim it's nothing more than amnesty for law breakers." But he then cited opposition to all immigration: "The issue cuts across party lines. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 50 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents, and 40 percent of Democrats think immigration hurts more than it helps.”

The Washington Post publishes a weekday free commuter tabloid called Express, which is distributed throughout the Washington, D.C., area, particularly at Metrorail stations and bus shelters. Towards the back of each issue, there is a section called "Look Out," which has, among other things, horoscopes, comics, and a section called "Today in History."

The "Today in History" section in the June 14 edition of Express mentioned that in 1777, "The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopts the Stars and Stripes as the national flag," which is the reason why June 14 is known as Flag Day. Accompanying the feature is a picture of a young man holding the American flag.

With the assistance of Google, I found that the picture was taken at a "immigration rally" that took place in Washington, DC on June 2nd. The photographer is Brendan Smialowski of Getty Images. The original caption for the photo said, "Activists chant during an immigration rally outside the US Capitol June 2, 2007 in Washington, DC. Organized by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition, immigration activists rallied before the Senate returned from their recess."

The rally was more than just an "immigration rally." It was organized by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition, and it advocated amnesty for illegal immigrants.

A quick hit this morning, as I'm on the road . . .

Question for our readers, astute observers of the political scene that they are. Scanning the news this morning, you see a report on the latest presidential poll. John McCain has lost over 1/3rd of his support. What's the first thing that pops into your mind? OK, the headline here is a hint, but isn't it obvious that McCain's pro-amnesty stance has hurt him badly among Republican voters? Well, apparently not so obvious to Tim Russert. Here's how it went on this morning's "Today."

TIM RUSSERT: John McCain's lost eight points since April, Matt.

MATT LAUER: What's wrong with his campaign?

RUSSERT: Well, he's having some fund-raising problems and I think Fred Thompson's presence is starting to draw folks away.

View video here

Does Lindsey Graham truly believe that his highest calling as a senator is to work with the likes of Ted Kennedy? Apparently so, judging by the South Carolinian's statement on this morning's "Today." Meredith Vieira interviewed Graham, a staunch supporter of the president's immigration plan, during the show's first half-hour.
TODAY CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: When you went home recently you were at a GOP meeting and you got booed over immigration. There are a lot of people in a lot of states -- conservatives -- who think this bill is bad and they see this as a litmus test.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-S.C.]: Well here's what I believe. This is a bill that's a million per cent better than the current system. I mentioned working with Ted Kennedy and I got booed. The lady in your piece earlier said no compromise. I'm a Republican conservative who believes my country is at risk by not solving immigration. I'm a member of the United States Senate who believes it's my job to work with Democrats to do hard things. This is no longer about immigration. Can your Congress, can your Senate, come together to do things that one party can't do itself? I think the answer is yes.

Is liberalism contagious?

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.