Wednesday, May 11, 2011


William Jacobson is in a snit about something President Obama just said:

In writing about Obama's "alligator moat" speech yesterday, I didn't pick up on this comment (video here), which is being reported as a dig at Fox News (emphasis mine):
One CEO has this to say about reform, 'American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of the society. Immigrants have made America great, as the world leader in business and science, higher education and innovation.' You know who that leader was? Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News, and is an immigrant himself. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Rupert Murdoch's views, but let's just say he doesn’t have an Obama sticker on his car. But he agrees with me on this. So there's a consensus around fixing what's broken, and now we need Congress to catch up. Now we need to come together around reform that reflects our values as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
This was not a dig only at Fox News, it was a dig at all of you who make the distinction between legal and illegal immigration....

Yeah? Well, if Jacobson is arguing that Murdoch likes legal immigrants but opposes immigration reform, he's either woefully uninformed or deliberately deceiving his readers. In fact, Obama omitted Murdoch's subsequent sentence -- uttered not long after Governor Jan Brewer signed that Arizona immigration law:

Some of the United States' largest cities and corporations joined forces on Thursday to lobby Congress to create a path for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status and to secure the country's borders.

Led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp (NWSA.O) Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, the Partnership for a New American Economy aims to put the spotlight back on immigration reform by publishing studies and polls supporting the economic benefits and ultimately pushing Congress for new legislation....

"American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of this society," said Australian-born Murdoch.

"As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents, and end illegal immigration," he said.

Emphasis mine.

Here's what Murdoch told the House immigration subcommittee in September 2010:

Our partnership advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship to responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority. It is nonsense to talk about expelling 11 or 12 million people. Not only is it impractical, it is cost-prohibitive. A study this year put the cost of mass deportation at $285 billion over five years. There are better ways to spend our money. [...]

A full path to legalization: requiring unauthorized immigrants to register, undergo a security check, pay taxes, and learn English would bring these immigrants out of a shadow economy and into our tax base. According to one study, a path to legalization would contribute an estimated $1.5 trillion to the gross domestic product over ten years.

Yeah, I know -- it would be nice if Murdoch's TV news organization reflected his views. It doesn't, except when Murdoch himself is on Fox. But Jacobson is leading you astray when he says Murdoch and Obama are at odds on this.

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