This morning, on Fox & Friends, anchor Steve Doocy interviewed Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on immigration. In the interview, Murdoch and Bloomberg advocated for a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants by making the case that immigrants create, not take away, jobs for Americans. Murdoch stated that the media needs to be used to “keep the pressure on” lawmakers to enact immigration reform:
DOOCY: The country is so gridlocked around this. What can business do that Washington, DC has not been effective in doing so far?
MURDOCH: Well you just gotta keep the pressure on the congressmen. You gotta do it on the press and on the television. It’s a political thing. They gotta fess up to it. [...] You gotta recognize that there are millions of bright and intelligent people around the world — whether they are in China or in Hungary or in Germany or something — who want to come to America and live the American Dream.
DOOCY: Right, but they can’t. [...] This is a political hot potato. How do get past the partisanship that is out there and is so biting for a while?
MURDOCH: I think we can show to the public the benefit of having migrants and the jobs that go with them.
The truth is, more than any other network, Fox News does the most to promote the talking points and platforms of those fighting to make sure immigration reform is never a reality. One step Murdoch could take would be pushing his own network to start providing genuinely “fair and balanced” coverage of the immigration issue. In the past, Doocy himself has falsely reported that “a lot of people are coming in” legally. “Just sign the guest book,” he remarked. While Bloomberg asserted on the show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, Doocy has erroneously reported that a Virginia anti-immigrant ordinance led to a “huge drop in crime.” Though Doocy used the term “undocumented immigrants” in his interview with his boss, he and his colleagues usually prefer calling them “illegals.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Media Matters has accused Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck of “serv[ing] up a steady diet of fear, anger, and resentment on the topic of illegal immigration.” O’Reilly has referred to illegal immigration as “an invasion from a foreign country, Mexico, into the United States.” Beck’s way of “keeping the pressure” on lawmakers has been to state that “every undocumented worker is an illegal immigrant, a criminal and a drain on our dwindling resources” and warn his viewers that “amnesty is coming.” In the past week alone, Fox & Friends, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity accused the Department of Labor of “going to bat for illegal immigrants” by enforcing wage theft laws for undocumented workers; Fox News propelled the idea that the Arizona law is needed because “it’s not just drug dealers … we’ve had Middle Easterners coming across that border as well;” and “baselessly” claimed that Democrats are not “committed to securing our borders” despite the fact that, under Obama, the border is reportedly safer than ever.
Murdoch and Bloomberg’s efforts are part of a new initiative called the Partnership for a New American Economy — a coalition of chief executives of several major corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Disney and News Corp who are pushing for immigration reform that includes a path to legalization. In the group’s press release, Murdoch stated, “Immigrants have made America great as the world leader in business, science, higher education and innovation. As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents, and end illegal immigration.” Murdoch is an immigrant from Australia.