Politico’s Couric piece a Trojan horse

posted at 7:57 am on April 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Let me state from the start that I enjoy Politico, the brash newcomer at the junction of journalism, New Media, and politics. However, they have hit bumps in the road since their inception in trying to parse the line between reporting and opinion, and today the wheels came off the wagon. Gebe Martinez initially appears to report on a purported brewing controversy between Katie Couric and Latinos, but it becomes apparent that Martinez is offering an opinion column on immigration policy using Couric as a dodge:

The Latino-led action against CBS comes at a critical time. The rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric, hate crimes against Latinos and election-year political pandering on immigration has caused Hispanic leaders to forcefully push back against the scapegoating that touches immigrants and various generations of Latinos.

NCLR, MALDEF and the National Hispanic Media Coalition now have websites aimed at correcting “inaccuracies” in the media. The CBS broadcast is serving as the latest example of unbalanced reporting.

In its written complaint to CBS, MALDEF cited a Texas comptroller’s study noting economic benefits due to the presence of undocumented immigrants. MALDEF also maintained the CBS report exposes the woman “and implicitly leads her to believe that she is protected from deportation.” And it portrayed birthright citizenship as “an unfair benefit to immigrants rather than a core principle” of constitutional law.

One gaping hole in the news story involved a hospital administrator’s statement that the facility has “uncompensated care of over $200 million a year,” which the reporter tied to emergency room care for non-citizens. But how is that known if the hospital does not verify citizenship or legal vs. illegal immigration status?

Civil rights leaders also contended Couric’s broadcast was inconsistent, not just because of her brand as “America’s sweetheart” but also because, in June, she is to receive the 2008 Alice Award, named for Alice Stokes Paul, the women’s suffrage leader and author of the Equal Rights Amendment.

In fact, Martinez supplies one unsupported charge after another without providing any evidence to support his opinions. A rise in hate crimes against Latinos? An increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric from who — John McCain? Where is the reference? Where is the supporting data? Martinez scolds CBS for not vetting a hospital administrator’s on-air statement for the same thing, a lack of supporting material, but Martinez never bothers to research the $200 million figure and its methodology, either to prove it false or true.

In fact, Couric really isn’t the focus of Martinez’ claim. It serves as a Trojan horse for Martinez’ own political pet cause. He wants to grab readers by offering a little dish about Couric’s already-teetering career as a news anchor to then spend most of his article arguing against the border-security lobby. This becomes obvious when the only immigration organizations Martinez chooses to contact in this article are MeCHA and the National Council of La Raza. That certainly screams “balance”!

If Martinez and Politico want to offer factless argument and invective, let them run it as an honest opinion column and quit hiding behind Katie Couric’s skirts.


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Politico’s Couric piece a Trojan horse

For some reason, I read that completely wrong and subconsciously rearranged the words into something naughty.

James on April 30, 2008 at 8:15 AM

Ed,

Who cares?

You seem to be a bit off your feed lately in terms of focus. You’re either blatantly peddling for McCain or wandering off in a wilderness of irrelevant topics.

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

A fine piece for a personal blog, but seems a little out of place for this site.

mpbk on April 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Let me state from the start that I enjoy Politico…

Thanks for clearing us up on that, ’cause we had no clue that you liked the Washington Post’s bastard child.

logis on April 30, 2008 at 8:28 AM

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

The photo of Couric was worth the space on it’s own. The lady is a Liberal shill, and offers zero to the public in the way of balanced news. However, she is friendly to the eyes!

I also enjoy the politico, and find them to be a refreshing source of news each evening. The politico is proof positive that Liberal minded journalists can actually do a decent job of reporting the news if they put boundaries on themselves, while making a huge effort to perform a job rather than shovel an ideology.

Keemo on April 30, 2008 at 8:28 AM

What,Katie is a Trojan horse,since when did she become
the ah hum spokesperson,like Homer would say that’s just
crazy talk!haha

Lets see,Katie’s a Liberal,wait a tick,their eating their
own,ya know thats not right!Ha ha

canopfor on April 30, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Paranoia is a huge part of the Latino community. I’m guessing because so many of them are breaking the law. Latinos go out of their way not to be part of the American melting pot, while corporations pander to those who will not learn this nations language by making the present majority press “one” for English.

Latinos like other minorities looking for power in America are playing the victim card. They suffer from hating each other based on which third world country they come from, yet they take legal action whenever they feel they are not being treated fairly. They are living a life of crime by their very existence in this country, and are being led by those who want power and will use them for their gain, just like back home.

Americans are sick of it, and CBS is reporting it. Don’t sue the messenger.

Hening on April 30, 2008 at 8:34 AM

Ed,Ya better get more Obama articles,it seems with
some of the comment’s your going to cause withdrawls
or a mutiny,whichever comes first! Haha.

canopfor on April 30, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Well said Ed. As someone says above, this is a great blog piece.

It’s funny, in the early days of blogs, everyone wrote in a “news style” and now more and more, “news” pieces are written like blog posts.

Diogenes of Sinope on April 30, 2008 at 8:43 AM

I have not watched Katie for years. That picture looks as if she is loosing her hair. Not surprising though with so many years working for MSM.

Wade on April 30, 2008 at 8:48 AM

I enjoyed this post. It is here that I learn Ed is not an open borders amnesty nut. Many McCainites on this site have revealed themselves to be amnesty zealots in the comments. I love you man.

Valiant on April 30, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Not really sure what the point of that article was tbh.

I couldn’t care less if some latino hack wants to agitate about open boarders. I estimate his influence as a shade below Markos. Big deal.

Ares on April 30, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Ed,

Who cares?

You seem to be a bit off your feed lately in terms of focus. You’re either blatantly peddling for McCain or wandering off in a wilderness of irrelevant topics.

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

So don’t read the ‘irrelevant’ topics. This isn’t Burger King…you don’t get it your way.

Asher on April 30, 2008 at 8:58 AM

Ed,

Who cares?

You seem to be a bit off your feed lately in terms of focus. You’re either blatantly peddling for McCain or wandering off in a wilderness of irrelevant topics.

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

A “news” site is shilling for amnesty/open borders. Seems relevant to me. Thanks for the post Ed.

brtex on April 30, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Right from the beginning I was suspicious of politico. Everything I have read ranges from slight leftist bias to flagrant. They came from nowhere to being seen and quoted by everyone. Who put up the money? It must have been alot since they hit the ground running.

peacenprosperity on April 30, 2008 at 9:29 AM

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Yeah, you’re right. Not calling McCain names like some Kos Kid and peddling whatever other cheap lie/slur one can come up with is really just shilling for him.

amkun on April 30, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Politico == YALB (Yet Another Lefty Blog)

bofh on April 30, 2008 at 9:38 AM

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Yeah, you’re right. Not calling McCain names like some Kos Kid and peddling whatever other cheap lie/slur one can come up with is really just shilling for him.

Uh, I don’t know if you’ve been reading Ed the last few days, but he’s been calling McCain “presidential,” “sticking to the issues,” and “campaigning on the concepts of freedom and liberty” with absolutely no discernible evidence of any of the aforementioned.

Just ask the North Carolina GOP.

The Blog is supposed to be “Hot Air,” not “Mists of Cheap Perfume.”

BigD on April 30, 2008 at 9:42 AM

If an increase in hate crimes meaning me yelling at my gardeners because they did a lousy job last week…I am guilty.

right2bright on April 30, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Politico has NEVER been about the facts. If you can show me more than a handful of posts that tilt rightward I would be shocked. Every poll they have has the same results it would if it were posted at MoveOn or DailyKos. Even during the Republican Primary is was blatantly obvious that Jonathan Martin was a complete McCain shill (as was his buddy Carl Cameron at FOX). Objectivity is not a Politico virtue.

davenp35 on April 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Katie’s utility is not behind her skirts, heh.

Okay, that’s crude, won’t do it again…

Harry Schell on April 30, 2008 at 10:10 AM

If CBS and Couric put out the piece one can expect that it greatly under-played the illegal immigrant damage to the USA.

jukin on April 30, 2008 at 10:40 AM

NCLR, MALDEF and the National, Hispanic Media Coalition now have websites aimed at correcting “inaccuracies” in the media.

Hey, why doesn’t the pro American integrity groups have national media correcting websites and directly go after networks for the many, many, maddening, egregious illegal alien excusing puff pieces?

Oh yeah, thats because anti American integrity groups receive many millions of our taxpayer dollars and us Americans are just, on our own.

Guess our own government and the NCLR/MALDEF/ACLU cabal have their own version of the Fairness Doctrine after all.

Apparently we’re supposed to get the hint and calm down

Speakup on April 30, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Facts are irrelevant nowadays. All that matters is what you can make others believe. Politico is ego-driven and I stay away from them for that reason. Ironically, the only place I ever bump into them is here or on Fox News, and I don’t pay much attention in either case.

Connie on April 30, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Right from the beginning I was suspicious of politico. Everything I have read ranges from slight leftist bias to flagrant. They came from nowhere to being seen and quoted by everyone. Who put up the money? It must have been alot since they hit the ground running.
peacenprosperity on April 30, 2008 at 9:29 AM

The Washington Post set up The Politico and staffed it with their own people. Its slant is significantly to the left, even when compared to the rest of mainstream media.

I think a lot of political junkies love The Politico so much just because it’s an innovative format. It’s not really presented as traditional “news” or “editorial.” Instead, it’s written as a political gossip column.

Therefore none of The Politico’s articles can ever technically be called “biased” in and of themselves. Of course the authors always have an ulterior motive, but the people who get off on the emotional side of politics don’t consider that a bad thing. Like all soap opera addicts, they consider that part of the fun.

logis on April 30, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Why would you like Politico?

During the Republican Primary when the race was heated, there were several links from here to Politico.

Every story linked (as I recall) had fatal flaws in fact and logic. None were reasonable or truthful, and every one had more spin than Journalism.

Now that’s not their entire work, but it seems on the occasions I’ve seen links to Politico, the stories and writing was between sub-par and miserable (occasionally rising to the height of mediocre).

I’ve quit taking links there. They certainly have never impressed me with their writing, their accuracy, their balance, or their fact checking. Is there something aside from these that is “likable” about them? Or have I amazingly been linked there the only dozen or so times they’ve completely flubbed a story?

gekkobear on April 30, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Politico is horrible, not reliable.

Chakra Hammer on April 30, 2008 at 3:31 PM

That pic of Katie is freaking me out. Her left eye is looking at me but the right eye is looking away. How does she do that?!

Rosmerta on April 30, 2008 at 4:58 PM