A few days earlier, the same panel heard from the TV satirist Stephen Colbert, who told of his difficult day picking crops with migrant farm workers. His appearance, mostly played in character as a conservative blowhard, was a comedy routine wrapped around a heartfelt truth: that farm workers do a difficult and dangerous job that most Americans will not stoop to do.

We are not sure all committee members got it. We believe a lot more Americans would, if their elected leaders talked as bluntly and as persuasively as Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Murdoch — and with as much heart as Mr. Colbert.