At this point, baffled readers (at least this one) could use some kind of flow chart. (Maybe a New York Times-style infographic? At least a link to, say, opensecrets.org’s data on some of these groups.) Not to mention some mention of the money behind this inter-connected, multi-affiliated initiative and how we will likely never know its sources.
The Sun let Aguilar’s “anti-immigrant” line—that eye-grabbing one from the headline—stand alone, without context or question, again in the third paragraph. Ten paragraphs later, readers are told that Aguilar “criticized the Obama administration’s relatively high rate of deportations.” Like the Review-Journal, the Sun didn’t provide readers with enough context for these claims. (What’s true? What else should we know?)
So, Nevada Hispanics wants to convince Nevada’s Hispanics not to vote for Obama, in part because of his administration’s high deportation rate. This begs (or should) the question: what is the immigration agenda of the major alternative to Obama? Instead of summarizing Romney’s immigration plans for readers, the Sun inexplicably delegated that task to one Edith Fernandez, “an Obama supporter who attended the [Nevada Hispanics] event” last week.
What say you, Edith?
”It’s an interesting message they are sending about victimization when we think about (GOP presidential hopeful Mitt) Romney, who wants to use what’s happening in Arizona as a model for immigration here, and that turns our people into criminals, separates their families and in essence creates a state of fear and panic where people are going to hide and retreat,” said Edith Fernandez, an Obama supporter who attended the event.
Fernandez said Nevada Hispanics’ statements on immigration do not align with Romney’s. Fernandez also balked at the idea posed by Aguilar that it was Obama and the Democrats who failed to pass immigration reform.
Still, the Sun did far better for its audience on this story than did KTNV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Vegas (where I worked from 2005-2006). KTNV’s segment was brief, unquestioning (a “response” from the Nevada Democratic Party doesn’t suffice), never mentions money, and must have delighted Nevada Hispanics—whoever they are.
On the national level, CBS News’s Brian Montopoli (a former CJR writer) offered readers this useful context in his solid report on the group and its immigration messaging:
The Obama administration’s deportation policy has prompted anger from other Latino leaders, and a Pew Hispanic Center poll released in December found that Latinos disapprove of the Obama administration’s deportation policy by a two-to-one margin. The poll also found that just 25 percent of native-born Latinos knew deportations were higher under Mr. Obama than under his predecessor—something Aguilar says his effort is designed to change.
As Nevada Hispanics spends its $1 million of who-knows-whose money in this swing state—and as other dark money groups with other agendas arrive here—there will be opportunities for the Nevada press to do better. On June 13, for one, Nevada Hispanics is bringing former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer to Nevada to champion its cause.
Can Nevada Hispanics actually sway a chunk of the state’s sizeable Latino electorate? That, as the Nevada political reporter and pundit Jon Ralston recently wrote, “will depend on money, execution and the all-powerful media ”