The New York Times outdoes even itself!


Ashley Parker does it again, concerning immigration: Ashley Parker got her start as Maureen Dowd’s “research assistant.”

We’ll pause for a moment to let you laugh. Or as you try to figure out what that could possibly mean.

Parker is part of the youth brigade at rags like the Post and the Times. This morning, she files a news report about the way the GOP is switching its stance on immigration.

Her report sits atop the front page of the hard-copy Times. By its placement, it’s the day’s number-one news story.

These are Parker’s first three paragraphs. Please note the highlighted claim:
PARKER (3/20/13): Republican opposition to legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants is crumbling in the nation’s capital as leading lawmakers in the party scramble to halt eroding support among Hispanic voters—a shift that is providing strong momentum for an overhaul of immigration laws.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Tea Party Republican, on Tuesday became the latest to embrace a more welcoming approach, declaring to the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants that if they want to work in America, “then we will find a place for you.”

While he never uttered the word “citizenship” and said a secure border must come first, Mr. Paul strongly implied that citizenship would eventually be available to them.
Even for Parker, that is astounding. Here’s why:

According to Parker, Rand Paul “strongly implied” that citizenship would eventually be available to illegal immigrants.

She tells you that in paragraph 3, above the fold on the Times front page. But if you read all the way to paragraph 19—you have to turn to page A18—she breaks down, confessing to this:
PARKER: When initial reports about Mr. Paul’s speech suggested that he was backing full citizenship for illegal immigrants, his staff quickly corrected the record, saying that he supports “a quicker path to normalization, not citizenship.”

But the political climate has moderated, and many Republicans are being forced to accept, if not outright embrace, some form of legalization for the illegal immigrants already in the country.
Duh. Rand Paul never used the word “citizenship” in his speech. And sure enough! When the AP reported that he had endorsed citizenship, his staff “quickly corrected the record.”

Parker knew that all along. But so what? On the front page, she told you that he “strongly implied” support for citizenship. You had to read very deep onto page A18 to get the actual info.

This situation was clear by early last evening; we saw it fully discussed on cable. The situation was clear to Parker too. But she decided to play on her paper's front page. You had to read deep for the truth.

The New York Times is a hopeless mess. Parker is under-qualified even by Times standards.

But this morning, the Times outdid even itself. What could possibly have gone through the mind of young Parker’s hapless “editor?”

The source of Parker's assertion: In what way did Paul “strongly imply” that citizenship would eventually be available to illegal immigrants?

In paragraph 5, Parker quotes these words. This seems to be where he did that:
PARKER: “Prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society,” Mr. Paul said in a speech before the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The remarks are a departure for Mr. Paul, who as a Senate candidate in 2010 called for an electronic fence and helicopter stations to help secure the border with Mexico.
Those words are a departure for Mr. Paul. But even before his staff's rebuttal, only an amateur would have thought that was an endorsement of citizenship.

Like any good research assistant to Dowd, Parker kept playing the fool even after the staff's rebuttal, and an editor let her do it. Gaze on the soul of your modern, Dowdian Times!


  1. Compounding the journalism by juveniles movement: Evan Soltas at Wonkbook at the Post cites to the Ashley Parker story this morning.

    Of course, the reality of immigration reform is that there will almost have to be a "path to citizenship." Under the current law, anyone who becomes a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible to file for citizenship after a five year period of time so long as they can show good moral character, know basic history and government, speak English and meet a few other qualifications. It would be bizarre, and I think almost unprecedented, to create a new class of "residents" who are not able to file for citizenship at some point in the future.

    1. Which, if you know the law, makes "taxpaying members of society" at least an "implication" of citizenship.

  2. Off-topic, but I thought this article might interest you if you missed it, Bob:

  3. Quaker in a BasementMarch 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    All this time, I thought editors were useless ogres. Guess I was wrong about that. The absence of an editor is sorely reflected in Parker's alleged reporting.

  4. And, Parker foolishly wrote:

    The remarks are a departure for Mr. Paul, who as a Senate candidate in 2010 called for an electronic fence and helicopter stations to help secure the border with Mexico.

    In fact, there's no contradiction between preventing new illegal aliens from sneaking in vs. allowing illegal aliens who are already here to stay here. In fact, that combination is more or less addressed in all the immigration proposals.

  5. People of a certain age who have risen to authority and power fear others with authority and potential power, most of whom will also be of a certain age. To assure their status, said people in authority, as soon as they get a grip on power, appoint and anoint not the knowledgeable peers who might challenge them but ambitious and talented, yet young and inexperienced people whom they can manipulate and control.

    A very old tactic, probably for eons. At work everywhere for years now. (One way to neutralize most of the Vietnam/60's generation.)