Accuracy in Media

Have you noticed how the media go out of their way to avoid using the label “illegal alien.” The popular new term is “undocumented worker.” Recently, in the Washington, D.C. area, the Washington Post ran a story about an alleged rapist, finally caught by the police, who had been terrorizing women in Montgomery County, Maryland. His latest victim was a 13-year-old girl and the suspect has confessed to the rapes and admits he’s a danger to the community. But you had to read to the 8th paragraph to learn that this rapist was here illegally, making him an illegal alien.

Here’s how the Post reported that fact, back in the 8th paragraph: “Authorities said [Jorge] Rivera-Aleman, a native of El Salvador, was living in the United States illegally but did not say how long he had been in Maryland or whether he had a job.” Living in the U.S. illegally? Doesn’t that make him an illegal alien? He can’t even be described as an undocumented worker because he may not even have a job.

The story carried the headline, “Police Have Suspect In Attacks,” with the sub-headline, “Man, 37, Charged In Montgomery Rape.” To be absolutely truthful, the headline should have said, “Illegal Alien Charged with Rape.” But the Post doesn’t run that kind of headline because it believes that such coverage might incite “anti-immigrant” views and hysteria. That’s also why his status as an illegal alien was relegated to the 8th paragraph of an 11-paragraph story.

This story is typical of how the Post and other liberal media handle the issue of illegal immigration. In cases of criminal conduct and even rape, facts are played down in order not to inflame the population and provoke the public into demanding action from the politicians to crack down on the influx of illegal aliens into the U.S.

Referring to a series of rapes and sexual assaults over the last several months, the Post said that, “The wave of attacks prompted police to form a task force and school officials to warn parents to be vigilant.” By the same token, highlighting the rapist as an illegal alien might cause these same people to question an immigration policy that fails to protect our borders. The Post won’t be caught encouraging that kind of activity.

The story, if told in a truthful and more forthright manner, counters the prevailing notion that illegal aliens are coming here just to work, and that their cheap labor is essential to operating our economy. Here was a case of an illegal alien who came here to commit crimes, especially against women, and didn’t even bother to find a job. The story was vague about how he was supporting himself. It said that authorities said that he was “living in a room” on a street in the community. It seems that the public ought to demand more answers: How did he get in to the U.S.? And how was he getting money to survive?   It sounds like something for Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward to dig his teeth into. Come on, Bob, how about some investigative reporting here?

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