Blogs are great. Free of traditional journalism neutrality, or at least attempts for neutrality. More room for humor, gripes, knee-jerk reactions, and all the other ingredients that make writing more compelling to read than run-of-the-mill reporting.
A common, and entertaining thread, is the almost-daily discovery of ghosts that stand as proof of reporters’ complete inability to shed their biases – their liberal bias.
Exhibit A is a post this week on Greg Patterson’s Espresso Pundit, which, in all honesty, is king of conservative Capitol blogs.
Patterson grabbed recent voter registration figures that showed a dip in Democrat numbers to rip an Arizona Republic report from two months ago that he claimed stood as proof that the press corps has been begging God to make Republicans pay dearly for passing SB1070.
The article covered Democrats’ claims that SB1070 was driving, and would continue to drive, Latino voters to the Blue camp forever.
The article also included counter-claims by multiple sources, who said this was either premature or it was downright wishful thinking. Somehow, Patterson missed this. And so did the Arizona Republican Party, which issued a press release criticizing the article.
The comparative case study offered in the article was what happened in California after the passing of a sweeping anti-illegal immigration ballot proposition in the 90s. The proposition, as the Republic pointed out, has been credited (yes, this is true) for “solidifying California’s growing Latino population as Democratic and tipping the then-Republican state to a solidly Democratic one.” What shameful bias!
But wait, despite all the marching, candle-lighting, getting fired from Pei Wei, and photos of Adolf Hitler we saw in Arizona, “(SB1070 is) not going to have the same partisan effect,” said University of California-Irvine professor Louis DeSipio, the “expert on Latino politics and voting” quoted by the paper.
And it quoted ASU poly-sci professor, Rodolfo Espino. Judging by his name, he couldn’t possibly predict anything but a Latino mass exodus from the GOP, right? Wrong. Espino cautioned with the obvious: Arizona isn’t California. And we don’t have as many liberals, or labor-union troops corralling Latinos into the Democratic Party. The most definitive prediction Espino could come up with was “it could take years” to see if SB1070 will benefit Democrats.
This is a far cry from the quote overnight-sensation state Democratic Executive Director Luis Heredia gave the Republic. And if that wasn’t enough to impart readers with the feeling that the Democrat claims were questionable, the article also pointed out that ASU polling revealed that many Latinos weren’t exactly enamored with Democrats’ fight against SB1070.
The article even included a Latino Republican who said GOP pro-family, strong national defense and easing-up-on-the-public spending platforms meshed just fine with Latino values. “What doesn’t fit,” he said, “is this right-wing approach to immigration.”
That’s the heaviest statement in the article that could come anywhere close to promoting the notion that SB1070 has caused a permanent Latino-GOP divorce. How this can be construed as blatant media bias, I have no idea.
But, I’ll agree with Patterson on one issue: The article’s headline, “SB 1070 backlash spurs Hispanics to join Democrats,” is atrocious.
And I’ll say I’d like to see an article pursuing the possibility that SB1070 caused the spike in independent voters, or helped the Republicans gain 10,000 while the Democrats dropped by 500.
Still, I wonder if we read the same article.
– Christian Palmer