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Geno’s Cheesesteaks and Media Bias on Immigration June 23, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.

Good letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday:

Bigger issue at Geno's

The Geno's "speak English" event is a great American story, but it also points out how distracted we can be from the real problem. I believe Joey Vento's little sign expresses his frustration of a much larger issue: the illegal, or to be politically correct, undocumented worker and our leaders' lack of action. Two blocks from Geno's, Inquirer writer Gaiutra Bahadur interviewed two Mexicans ("The World Weighs In," June 14) who refused to give their last names because they are here illegally, living in our city, their children enjoying an education and possibly health care.

To add some cheese to this meaty event, I haven't read of much anger directed to the real culprit of the problem – politicians in Washington who have dropped the ball on this big security issue and stand by as we fight among ourselves. Many of us should take our heads out of the sand instead of drawing lines in it and express our anger to our leaders for letting Americans down. Vento has encouraged me to take America's security seriously.

Stephen Dreher


The Geno's Cheesesteak Issue has touched such a nerve because immigration is a "big issue" in PA despite contrary claims by the Philadelphia Daily News. (See my post on those claims- "More proof that amnesty for illegal immigrants is a 'big issue' in PA" ). The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed illegal immigrants for its story on Geno's and even gave them the last quotation in the article as well– a chance to endorse Pat's over Geno's.

The way the Philadelphia Inquirer explains Santorum's visit to Geno's Cheesesteaks is also telling (my comments inline):

The senator's strange move, not formally announced to the media, seemed to signal his determination to continue using the raging immigration controversy as a means to close the gap with his Democratic election rival, state treasurer Bob Casey Jr. Most polls have shown Casey with a double-digit lead over the two-term incumbent. (papundit: So having a snack without telling the media first is a "strange move"? Does Casey issue a press release on every meal? And the Inquirer also portrays Santorum's comments on immigration as political opportunism rather than an attempt to educate voters about Casey's pro-amnesty stance.)

Santorum recently aired TV ads charging that Casey had "joined with Ted Kennedy and other liberals in supporting a bill that grants amnesty to millions who've entered our country illegally… . That's just not fair." Casey has said the commercial distorts his position. (papundit: The Philadelphia Inquirer does not challenge Casey's assertion. Instead it prints it as fact, which would make Santorum look like a liar if the reader didn't know that the bill Casey said he'd vote for really does support amnesty for illegal immigrants.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a record of printing Casey's claims without question. This is evident in a front-page article about Geno's and Santorum:

"We think Joe Vento has the right to run his business as he pleases, but we're guessing he doesn't know about Rick Santorum's hypocritical record on illegal immigration," said Saul Shorr, a Casey consultant. (papundit: I'm guessing Joe Vento wouldn't agree with Casey's pro-amnesty position on illegal immigration either.)

….The Casey campaign also points to what was, until corrected recently, contradictory language on Santorum's Web site on the issue: In Spanish, he favored "balance," and in English, he decried "amnesty." (papundit: Casey's strategy is to repeat a lie so frequently that people mistake it for fact. The "controversy" on Santorum's Spanish website is a great example. Even though the website is updated, Casey continues to use it as a political issue. He continues to claim Santorum was intentionally distorting his message on the Spanish site to pander to pro-amnesty Spanish-speaking voters. Yet it is Casey who said he'd vote for amnesty in order to pander to that same group of pro-amnesty Spanish-speaking voters and is now whining that Santorum's ads are pointing that out. See my other posts on this issue: "Casey's Spanish Language Website" and "Double Standard Watch: Spanish Campaign Websites.")



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