NPR Continues To Whitewash The Extremism Out Of Certain Immigration Voices
Read it all. If you are unfamiliar with Kris Kobach, Mark Krikorian, and John Tanton, follow the links in the article and read some more.
NPR recently published a laudatory (some would even say fawning) profile of the “one man” behind the controversial Alabama anti-immigration law, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. From it, we learn that Kobach “looked the part” of a “movie star,” “handsome and loaded with charisma”; that he is “deified by his supporters” in part because of his Ivy League credentials (Harvard, Oxford, and Yale); and that the time spent on immigration issues has been very “lucrative.” Gushed the reporter: “Official documents from Arizona indicate he made $300 an hour with a $1,500 monthly retainer, plus expenses.”
While exhorting a government to enforce its immigration laws may not be racist, that’s not the reason critics have given for blasting Kobach for “spread[ing] a message of hate and intolerance.” Kobach works on behalf of noted hate group FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. As a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he assigned students a book with an anti-Latino immigrant message.
As I wrote at the time, NPR has a right to interview whomever it chooses, but the fact that it avoided all mention of Krikorian’s bigoted views on immigrants is curious. Why leave out the fact that Krikorian is anti-immigrant and works for a think tank started by John Tanton, “a man known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials”? Or the fact that he believes “the moral argument” for opposing immigration is “patriotism”? (Incidentally, FAIR is part of the Tanton network.)