May 21, 2008

Paul Waldman at The Sanctuary (crossposted at DailyKos)

If your only source of news is cable during prime time, you might be among those who believe that the U.S. government and American society are groaning under the weight of undocumented immigrants. You might believe that there is a terrifying crime wave attributable to illegal immigration. You might believe that undocumented immigrants feast on a cornucopia of social services, while avoiding paying taxes. You might also believe that they are voting illegally in large numbers, and that they bring with them all sorts of diseases. You might also believe that there are secret plans afoot to give away American sovereignty, as the United States joins with Canada and Mexico in a North American Union similar to the European Union. You might even believe that there is an enormous "NAFTA Superhighway," running all the way from Mexico City to Toronto, in the works as we speak.

All of these ideas are false, but you might believe them if you watch prime-time cable news. We at the Media Matters Action Network have documented the spread of this kind of misinformation in our latest report, Fear & Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News, which focuses on the three cable hosts most responsible for spreading misinformation and fostering fear and anger about undocumented immigrants: Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Read on...

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