December 9, 2016
Bookmark and Share

When in Doubt, Blame Immigrants and ACORN

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CONTACT

Ben Fishel (202) 756-4145

bfishel@mediamatters.org

 

 

When in Doubt, Blame Immigrants and ACORN:

 Media conservatives choose scapegoats over substance

 

 

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Media Matters for America released a study documenting how conservative media figures have repeatedly used undocumented immigrants and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) as scapegoats in recent discussions of major news stories. As the study details, time and again, these charges have been based on misleading claims or outright falsehoods.

 

Media conservatives have made a sport of vilifying ACORN and immigrants. In lieu of engaging in substantive policy debates, they simply point fingers at the poor and disenfranchised. It is both dishonest and irresponsible,” said Media Matters spokesperson Erikka Knuti.

 

Media Matters’ study documents numerous examples of media conservatives returning to their favorite scapegoats, including:

 

EXPANSION OF THE STATE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

In reporting on or discussing the 2009 expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), many in the media asserted or uncritically repeated the claim that the bill would provide health benefits to undocumented immigrants. In fact, the legislation includes a citizenship verification process and explicitly states that “[n]othing in this Act allows Federal payment for individuals who are not lawfully residing in the United States.”

 

2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS

Several conservative media figures have claimed or suggested that excessive lending to undocumented immigrants was responsible for the financial crisis, but have failed to cite any credible evidence to support that claim. They also advanced the idea that ACORN contributed to the housing crisis by “bullying” banks into lending irresponsibly to minorities, and in many instances, asserted that the group used the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to intimidate banks into making risky loans. But as Media Matters has documented, the assertion that the CRA had anything to do with the financial crisis has been widely discredited.

 

2009 AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

In their coverage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, many in the media falsely asserted or uncritically reported accusations that the legislation would provide tax credits to undocumented immigrants. In fact, the bill limited the Making Work Pay tax credit to individuals with Social Security numbers, thereby excluding undocumented immigrants. Numerous media figures have also claimed that ACORN would benefit from the legislation -- to the tune of $4.19 billion. In fact, the act does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding; ACORN itself has said that it is ineligible for the funds. The false claim was based on a misrepresentation of a provision in the House version of the bill that would have appropriated $4.19 billion “for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.”

 

U.S. CENSUS

Reporting on the 2010 U.S. Census, many in the media have focused on ACORN’s reported role as a national partner with the Census Bureau in its effort to recruit more than 1 million temporary workers to knock on doors and baselessly suggested that the group will fraudulently influence the count in favor of Democrats or that the Obama administration is politicizing the process. In fact, ACORN is reportedly one of “more than 250” groups that are partnering with the Census Bureau to recruit workers.

 

2008-2009 MINNESOTA SENATE RECOUNT

In covering the Minnesota Senate recount, many in the media seized on a Republican talking point that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has “ties” to ACORN, in many instances using it to suggest that he would be biased toward Democratic challenger Al Franken over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

 

Full Research Item HERE: http://mediamatters.org/items/200904070005

 

###

 

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Media Matters for America is the first organization to systematically monitor the media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. For more information, visit www.mediamatters.org.

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News