3rd in the series The Manipulators
Your old saw for the day:
- If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… it must be a duck
Your words for the day (definitions according to Dean):
- reporting = observing and retelling an event as factually as possible without inserting personal opinion or conclusions
- commentary = using an occurrence or news item to showcase personal prejudices, opinions, judgments, et cetera
- journalism = winging it; making it up as you go; use of facts optional
- story = that mix of reporting, commentary, and journalism that The Big P pours over our mindsets on a daily basis. And they call it “news.”
Well, we got your STORY right here: The Houston Chronicle, January 16, 2013, Section A, page 1, title: US unmoved by plight of dying daughter. Author: Jenny Stonebottom.* (I made that name up; it might be considered bad form to openly criticize a writer for The Big Pee.)
What Stonebottom shared with us:
The article opens under the topic I M M I G R A T I O N on the front page. A dying illegal immigrant (Mexican) cannot see her parents (in Mexico) because the US government says, “Uh uh! No way.” Parents (legally in Mexico) haven’t seen her in 9 years. She is 20 years old, has a husband but her last name is not his, and she has a daughter about 6 years old from “husband” with a different name; he is also from Mexico, but, is in the US legally with a green card.
The US bureaucratic reasoning for denial is covered in-depth, apparently to illustrate their remorse for being the unfeeling, callous, and unmoved bastards that they are — albeit legal in their obstinate denial of a sanctioned entry.
A local Catholic official chimes in with his 2-bits of criticism: the bureaucracy is out of touch and US immigration law needs to be overhauled.
When her illegal status was revealed, the sick woman was booted out of one hospital which was named in the article, apparently to instill shame in them for their heartlessness. She did no better with the backup plan because the freebie government hospital would not do surgery since “the tumor was inoperable.”
The “husband” cannot afford to get her back home before she dies, a Plan B, so to speak, for dealing with cold-hearted bureaucratic obstinacy. He says he will pay for a post-mortem trip back home.
Stonebottom did give a little bit of fill-in of facts: Those distraught parents can’t get the furlough because a decade ago they flouted US immigration law and lived in the US illegally until caught and deported. Even though it has been 9 years since the parents last saw their daughter, they are still being denied one last look.
The tone of the article is clearly designed to (1) wring from the reader empathy for an unfortunate fellow-soul caught in circumstance and bureaucratic coldness, and (2) to give the writer a leg up in the journalistic “we-are-so-much-better-than-that” achievement competition.
I would wager that most readers identified with the empathy angle of Stonebottom’s article. After all, it was on page one of the local major, so all the facts must have merit. But, that’s…
…NOT WHAT I READ. I read about a hotbed of criminal activity being whitewashed by a Pulitzer-seeking graduate of PAU.** Note the following points:
- Mom and Dad (in Mexico… now) have a history of circumventing US immigration law. That makes them UNDESIRABLE ALIENS.
- Mom and Dad have not seen their “beloved little girl” in nine years. The concerned, bereaved parents, then, sent (or left) their 11-year old daughter alone into a foreign land for what purposes, only God knows. HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
- That 11-year old girl was transported across the US-Mexico border under dangerous conditions (exposure to elements AND illegal smuggling operations). Sounds like CHILD ENDANGERMENT.
- The 20-year old illegal alien has a child, apparently about 6-years old. That means that someone had sex with her at least once when she was about 13 years old. No way around this one: SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR, which reinforces the HUMAN TRAFFICKING observation.
Clearly, the 20-year old dying woman is a victim of many injustices, but none of them committed by the US bureaucracy or US immigration law, as writer Stonebottom is alluding. At first glance, one might think she was fortunate to have found someone to look out for her, say… her “husband” who entered the US legally and has a green card. She is lucky; the US is not:
- Husband who has a different last name and a legal green card is apparently the father of her child. IF THIS IS SO, he would be the RAPIST who SEXUALLY ASSAULTED A MINOR. As “husband,” it is likely an ongoing criminal act.
- Husband who has a legal green card has been HARBORING A FUGITIVE FROM US IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT for years.
- If husband with legal green card was instrumental in TRANSPORTING an ll-year old minor illegally across the US-Mexico border, how many other laws besides CHILD ENDANGERMENT did he violate?
- Has husband with the legal green card demonstrated RESPECT FOR and COMPLIANCE WITH US laws and customs, which would be a condition of his continued LEGAL residence in the country of the United States of America? Or is he, like his purported in-laws, an UNDESIRABLE ALIEN who should be deported immediately?
And how ’bout that Catholic Church Official for Migration (not immigration, mind you… MIGRATION…)? He unflinchingly casts rocks at US immigration law — and the bureaucrats charged with implementing them — from behind the walls of the institution that has become infamous for shielding pedophiles (a form of CRIMINALITY) from public accountability. Instead of self-righteously wasting time — time the dying daughter does not have — reviling the United States government and getting his name in the papers, why hasn’t he petitioned his Church (which surely has more money than God) to foot the bill for taking the dying woman back to her parents for her passing? Caesar gets his due, the God-fearing, hapless 20-year old gets reunited with her parents, and Stonebottom gets her Pulitzer for some other story (or at least a shot at the finals) without irritating the likes of me. Win-win-win-win, am I right?
* May I have the envelope, please? er-r-r-i-i-p… And the winner for BEST JOURNALISTIC ACHIEVEMENT FOR DECEIVING THE PUBLIC is: HARVEY RICE and AURORA LOSADA of The Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, for “U.S. not moved by plight of dying daughter,” January 16, 2013, Section A, page 1. C’mon, give it up, folks – clap-clap-clap-clap-clap… (Please, someone get me a bag.)
** Piss Ant University
Next up: Stroking the hot buttons of public perception