NPR’s Liasson Excludes Amnesty Opponents from Immigration Story

NPR’s Mara Liasson noticeably left out anti-illegal immigration conservatives on Tuesday’s Morning Edition as she reported on President’s Obama’s latest push for “comprehensive” immigration reform. Liasson only played clips from the President, Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Republican consultant Marty Wilson, who claimed that “the hardline approach on immigrationis not going to work.”

Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent’s report by noting the President’s forthcoming speech later in the day outlining his “principles for an immigration overhaul.” He continued by recalling how “President Bush’s immigration efforts encountered opposition from his own party, and many Republicans are also likely to resist President Obama’s efforts.”

Instead of turning to those who would be part of such a resistance, Liasson quickly turned to an excerpt from Obama’s recent commencement address at Miami Dade College, where he proclaimed, “I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system…and I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers.”

After playing her first sound bite from Rep. Gutierrez (who boasted, “I have to tell you, we’re headed in the right direction. I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in recent memory”), the NPR reporter highlighted that the Illinois Democrat was “among the dozens of people invited to the White House in recent weeks to talk about immigration. Along with Democratic members of Congress…there were two Republicans, moderates Michael Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.” However, Liasson misidentified the New York City mayor’s political affiliation, as he hasn’t been a Republican since 2007.

Towards the end of her report, Liasson introduced her two clips from Wilson, who managed Carly Fiorina’s failed 2010 Senate bid in California, by stating that “Republicans say they want to pass bills that would enhance border security, not legalize undocumented workers. But GOP strategist Marty Wilson thinks that’s shortsighted. Wilson ran Carly Fiorina’s Senate race in California, a race he says she lost because she didn’t get enough Hispanic votes.”

Besides criticizing the supposed “hardline approach on immigration,” the Republican strategist, in the correspondent’s words, “thinks Republicans should add a guest worker program to their border security bills that would allow them to appear welcoming to Hispanics without angering their conservative base with talk of amnesty.”

This isn’t the first time this year that Liasson has conspicuously excluded anti-illegal immigration conservatives. On the March 18 Morning Edition, the NPR correspondent apparently couldn’t find any to comment for her report on Utah’s new and “milder” guest worker law.
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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