Post Worshipfully Labels Pew Hispanic Center 'Unbiased'

     The mainstream media, bolstered by liberal think tanks, already see global warming as caused by humans to be settled, incontrovertible science. Could the debate over the effect that immigration has on Americans’ jobs be the next case the media pronounces closed?


     That’s the impression The Washington Post’s Kim Hart gave readers in her August 11 story as she portrayed a liberal think tank as a neutral, “unbiased” observer of American social and political issues.


     “High levels of immigration in the past 15 years do not appear to have hurt employment opportunities for American workers,” Hart began her story, citing a Pew Hispanic Center survey released on August 10.  Hart included detractors of the study in her article, but praised the organization as “one of several research groups funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to develop and distribute unbiased information on controversial topics, such as climate change and genetic engineering.”


     Hart added that Pew “has published respected polls and reports on the role of Hispanics in the United States.”


     But Pew doesn’t merely study the Hispanic population in the U.S., it advocates policy, including more federal spending on immigrant children and a large guest worker program.


     On NPR’s May 16 edition of “News and Notes,” Pew Hispanic Center’s director Roberto Suro suggested boosting federal spending on immigrants. Lamenting that “we have an older population which has been in charge for a long time,” Suro suggested the government doesn’t spend enough tax money on young immigrants and children of immigrants.


     “[I]n an area of budget tightening and fiscal issues, where we’re trying to save our money, I think accommodation needs to be made between the older and the younger population in order to understand that these people are America’s future,” Suro suggested, calling for “more resources” and “more services.”


     On the August 16, 2005 “All Things Considered,” Suro dismissed a 200,000-a-year guest worker program as too small, complaining that “it would take a lot more enforcement” to make sure “the rest of the demand wasn’t met through illegal immigration.”  He also referred to “well-functioning channels now between Mexico and the U.S. that carry people here.”  


     In fact, a look at the Web site for Pew Charitable Trusts reveals the organization has a strong liberal slant with public policy issues.


    Pew Trusts help to finance the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), a liberal anti-alcohol industry advocacy group. Pew Trusts “advocate for universal, voluntary access” to pre-kindergarten, a campaign staple of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential run. Pew Trusts are “working to create a policy environment that leads to the adoption of mandatory federal limits on emissions that contribute to global warming.”


     Hart’s characterization of Pew as ideologically neutral is not uncommon at the Post. As the Business & Media Institute documented on Feb. 16, 2005, Hart’s colleague Shankar Vendantam failed to mention that Pew Center on Global Climate Change president Eileen Claussen was once appointed by President Clinton to serve as Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Environment, and International Scientific Affairs.