Arizona Immigration Law = "Nazi" Cops Gone Wild; Smearing Like It's 1995

Vol. 23, No. 9

Arizona's Immigration Law = "Nazi" Cops Gone Wild


"Tonight, Arizona's controversial new immigration law. Police will now be able to make anyone they choose prove they're here illegally."
- CBS's Katie Couric at the top of the April 23 Evening News. [Audio/video (0:12): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"On the broadcast tonight, battle lines over an emotional question. Can police stop you on the street if they think you're here illegally?"
- Brian Williams teasing the first story on the April 23 NBC Nightly News.

"A question: If a stranger walking down the street or riding the bus does not seem to be a U.S. citizen, is it alright for the police to stop and question him? Well, today the Governor of Arizona signed a law that requires police to do just that."
- Diane Sawyer leading off ABC's World News, April 23.

"In Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the country's largest Catholic archdiocese, called the law 'mean-spirited' and compared it to Nazi repression."
- CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker on the April 23 Evening News.

Reporter John Blackstone: "Kym Rivera brought her children to a demonstration today against Arizona's new immigration law. Her husband, born in El Salvador, was sworn in as a citizen last October....But she fears he'll become a suspect when police are searching for illegal immigrants under the new law."
Protester Kym Rivera: "He worries he'll be asked to leave this country because he was not born here. That he'll be separated from his children, from his wife of 15 years. Why should my husband worry?"
- CBS Evening News, April 26.

"With this new law, will you ramp it up? Will you, will you grab people on street corners? I mean, what will you do with this new law?"
- ABC's Bill Weir to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Good Morning America, April 25. [Audio/video (0:25): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


"Critics have focused on the term 'reasonable suspicion' to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics. What fewer people have noticed is the phrase 'lawful contact,' which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. 'That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law,' says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure."
- The Washington Examiner's Byron York, April 26.

Ex-NYT Reporter Rues Arizona "Police State," Reminds of Nazi-Occupied Denmark


"I'm glad I've already seen the Grand Canyon. Because I'm not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state....Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It's an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona - and anyone passing through - walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: 'I Could Be Illegal.'"
- The New York Times's Linda Greenhouse, formerly the paper's Supreme Court reporter, in an April 27 op-ed.

NBC Pretends Snide Liberal Comics Are Real News


Correspondent Andrea Mitchell: "It's now gone beyond protest to threats of a boycott, as Arizona becomes a laughingstock to some."
Seth Myers on Saturday Night Live: "Can we all agree that there's nothing more Nazi than saying, 'Show me your papers'?..."
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart: "It's not unprecedented, having to carry around your papers. It's the same thing free black people had to do in 1863."
Mitchell: "Anger over the law has gone viral. On Facebook today, pages like this one: 'Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, welcomes you - unless you're a Mexican or look like one.'"
- NBC Nightly News, April 27. [Audio/video (0:55): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Nothing Gets by These Einsteins


"Law Makes it a Crime to Be Illegal Immigrant."
- On-screen graphic during a noon-hour segment about Arizona's new immigration law, MSNBC Live, April 26.

Does Tea Party Whiteness Make You "Uncomfortable?"


NBC's Kelly O'Donnell: "There aren't a lot of African-American men at these events....Have you ever felt uncomfortable?"
Darryl Postell: "No, no, these are my people, Americans."
- Exchange included in O'Donnell's April 15 NBC Nightly News report on the Tea Party protest in Washington, D.C. [Audio/video (0:17): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Smearing Like It's 1995


"Watch your words: Former President Clinton warns harsh anti-government talk could lead to violent acts, like the Oklahoma City bombing....There is a lot of attention tonight on comments made by former President Bill Clinton, who has weighed in on the angry anti-government rhetoric, ringing out from talk radio to Tea Party rallies. He warns that sometimes firing people up with caustic comments can have unintended and dire consequences."
- Fill-in anchor Elizabeth Vargas on ABC's World News, April 16. [Audio/video (0:08): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"In so many ways, this moment feels like that same moment from McVeigh's era, from Timothy McVeigh's era in Oklahoma City. You know, you have this profound sense of change going on in the country - it's cultural, it's social, it's technological, embodied in many ways by President Obama that scares a lot of people about the fact that are, think they're losing their country. You have a right-wing media that is encouraging a lot of this behavior. And you have a right, a Republican Party that, if not encouraging it, is certainly tolerating it at this moment. And I think it's a very combustible and very dangerous moment for the country in that regard."
- New York magazine writer John Heilemann on The Chris Matthews Show, April 18.

"What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno's hands-on management of Waco, the Branch Davidian compound?...Obviously the answer is talk radio. Specifically Rush Limbaugh's hate radio....Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now and you have had it for 15 years."
- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann naming Rush Limbaugh the "Worst Person in the World," April 19 Countdown.

"The pitched attacks by some Republicans and conservatives during the health care fight have drawn criticism as incendiary, as have the use of terms and imagery like the placing of target cross hairs over the districts of vulnerable Democrats who backed health care."
- New York Times reporter Carl Hulse in an April 15 story.

"I looked up the definition of sedition, which is 'conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state.' And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck, and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right next - right up close to being seditious."
- Time's Joe Klein on The Chris Matthews Show, April 18. [Audio/video (0:29): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Liberal Editor Scoffs: "No Serious Ideas Left on the Right"


"It's a movement without serious ideas. Look at poor David Frum, you know, someone who's actually a kind of consequential guy, protégé of Buckley himself, more or less evicted from the movement....There are no serious ideas left on the right."
- New York Times Week in Review and Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, April 26. [Audio/video (1:30): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Horrified by "Travesty" of Delaying Big Energy Tax


Host Bob Schieffer: "The administration has decided to postpone bringing up the climate change bill. I know you write a lot about that. What do you make of what's going on here?"
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman: "This is a disaster, Bob. This is a travesty. Basically, we were about to send the first bipartisan legislation for radical moves toward more green energy, more green jobs and putting a price on carbon. It was all set up for Monday. We had Lindsey Graham, Kerry, Lieberman....Lindsey Graham - shame on the Republican Party. There's one Republican for advancing green energy in this country? One Republican Senator dare step out?"
- CBS's Face the Nation, April 25.

Fretting Over GOP's "Stalinesque Purge"


"Republican purge. Arlen Specter is out. John McCain, Charlie Crist and Robert Bennett are all being threatened on the right. Is this any way to run a party, or run it into the ground?...Coming up, what happens to Republicans who don't march to the right-wing tune? Well, they're getting purged. This is Stalinesque, this stuff....You see a party basically pruning itself. Going around and saying, 'Well we really don't like Arlen Specter. You go find something else to do. Go be a Democrat.' We see this with Charlie Crist, perhaps, being given the boot....All being treated like, well, you know, like tissue rejection, like 'You don't belong here.'"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 20. [Audio/video (0:19): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Time for a Surgeon General Warning Against Profits?


"Should average Americans think about big Wall Street institutions the way that some have come to think about tobacco companies, that is, companies whose core activities are harmful to the country?"
- CNBC's John Harwood to President Obama in an interview segment aired on NBC's Today, April 20. [Audio/video (0:19): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Sam's Fantasy: Supreme Court Justice Al Gore


ABC's Sam Donaldson: "Let's go further. The Constitution does not say you have to be a lawyer to be on the Supreme Court."
Co-host George Stephanopoulos: "That's right."
Donaldson: "I give you Al Gore."
Stephanopoulos: "Al Gore?"
Donaldson: "All right, he's 62. But, he's still a few years kicking. I think he's confirmable, although there would be a fight to some extent. I think he might make a very good Justice."
- ABC's Good Morning America, April 22. [Audio/video (0:35): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Iceland Volcano = Punishment for Humanity's Crimes Against Mother Nature


"A British friend sees this as 'judgment for the bad things we have done to the Earth.' Another thinks this is the beginning of many years of volcanic activity, thus heralding the end of civilization as we know it."
- Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum writing about the erupting volcano in Iceland, April 19.

Sign up to receive Notable Quotables  via e-mail.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Geoff Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, and Kyle Drennen
MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen O'Boyle (703) 683-5004