ABC News: You Get My Award for Crap Journalism

This morning I had the pleasure of stumbling upon the following article courtesy of ABC News: Border ‘Mayhem’? An Illegal Immigration Fact Check Shows Violence Declining.

Included in the article are these enlightening facts:

By numbers alone, the border region appears, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary and former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano put it, is as “secure now as it has ever been.”

More than 646 miles of the border are protected by fence, according to Customs and Border Protection.

More than 20,000 border patrol agents serve on the front lines — an 80 percent increase over 2004 and the largest number in history.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended along the border, which CBP uses to gauge the flow of migrants, is down nearly 55 percent from 2005. The agency captured 540,865 last year.”

Oh well that’s awesome! The border is protected everyone! It’s as secure as it’s ever been (which is how secure?) What the fuck? 646 miles of the border are protected by fence, well no need to worry there. No one has ever climbed over, or tunneled under a fence. An 80% increase in border patrol agents? Well that’s good, and they’ve captured fewer illegals coming across the border than they did last year. Well that’s…wait…they’ve captured fewer? With more agents? Well that means that due to the shitty economy and high rate of unemployment the flow of illegals has lessened over the last year or the new agents just aren’t catching everyone.

But then check out this fascinating contradiction from the article:

“Still, observers say the seriousness of the few crimes involving illegal immigrants that have occurred in Arizona border communities may be creating the false impression of a widespread violent crime problem that isn’t there…

Other sources say the uptick in violent incidents is a result of heightened enforcement and security measures which are acting as a “natural funnel,” forcing drug traffickers, smugglers and illegal workers trying to cross the border into a concentrated area of more dangerous paths into the country.”

Wait…huh? Hold on there ABC. It seems like you just told me why Arizona is reacting badly to a “few incidents” of violence from illegal immigrants, and that border security is awesome, and then went on to say that there has been an “uptick in violent incidents.” Maybe you’re just checking to see if I’m paying attention, or maybe the writers you have working for you are just idiots who don’t realize that they’ve used un-cited “facts” to contradict their own reporting.

So what the fuck is going on ABC? I mean, sure you could ignore all the data that has come out of Arizona in order to go with larger immigration figures to try and make a point about how racist people are for wanting to enforce border security. You can just ignore your own story about the fact that Pheonix, Arizona is the kidnapping capital of the United States. Of course pay no attention to other articles from organizations like the New York Times reporting on the waves of drug violence coming across the border, courtesy of Mexican drug cartels. And just ignore this article from Newsweek about the drug related violence of Mexican cartels spilling across the border. I don’t know what your sources are, but I’m sure they didn’t do their research either.

Here’s the thing, ABC: Arizona doesn’t need a reason to enforce federal immigration statutes. They don’t need to be racist, they don’t need to be experiencing the crime from illegal immigrants or drug cartels. The federal statute that allows local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law has been in place since the 1950s, and the new Arizona law is almost word for word a local adoption of what is already a federal policy.

But this post isn’t how I personally feel about the Arizona bill, though I think my opinions are probably fairly clear. This is a blog post about irresponsible reporting, un-cited sources, and a news agency with an agenda. I don’t think there’s a journalistic organization that understand the concept of unbiased reporting. Or journalistic integrity. Fuck you ABC.

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~ by K. Ritcheson on May 20, 2010.

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