I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it with my own eyes. Fox News deliberately ran a headline that contradicted the facts of the story. How do I know it was deliberate misinformation? The correct information was contained in the first paragraph of the story.
The California Assembly passed a bill on Thursday that would make the state the first in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.
The first sentence from the Associated Press story states that “non-citizens who are in the country legally”, clearly defining that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for jury duty. Did the editor at Fox News not read the story written by the Associated Press? Do they not understand the difference between immigrants that are documented or undocumented?
Fox News headline: outright lie
The folks that produce Fox News may not be ready for prime time, but they certainly have the necessary education and journalistic background to distinguish between the the term “illegal” and “legal” immigration with respect to non-citizens. Consequently, I can only determine that their deliberately misleading headline was part of their editorial slant to pander to right wing nut jobs. (I don’t believe right wing nut job is in the journalistic vernacular, but Fox should use it to identify a swath of their viewers like they paint all immigrants as illegal.)
Associated Press drop use of “illegal”
The Associated Press just recently decided to drop the term “illegal” or “illegal immigrant” when referring to Mexicans who have crossed into the U.S. without proper documentation or illegally. A person can’t be illegal. The actions of a person are illegal. If we were to apply the same nomenclature to undocumented immigrants to those that hire them we would have stories full of “illegal farmers”, illegal motels”, illegal suburban home owner”, and “illegal manufacturer”.
Fox in a fight with AP
Fox News didn’t like that the AP dropped the term “illegal immigrant” from their stylebook. Newspapers and across the country use the AP stylebook to properly identify titles of elected officials, locations and organizations. People ardently against any immigration reform benefited from U.S. residents working in American as being labeled illegal. The conservatives at Fox News saw the AP change as aid and comfort to the enemy. If people can’t be maligned as a common criminal with the term illegal alien, American’s might come to regard these hard working folks as…human beings.
It is unfortunate that most people only skim the headline and never read or listen to the actual story. A sensational headline may lead some people astray on the facts, but deliberate misinformation in a headline is lying to the public. Thousands of people across the nation caught this one Faux News headline and now believe California is on the verge of letting undocumented Mexican immigrants serve on juries.
Fox panders to advertisers and right wing politicians
The cynic in me believes that the headline was concocted to drum up support against any change in the pending immigration bill. Fox News could care less about whether a comprehensive immigration bill is passed or not. Their goal is to retain their well groomed conservative audience for their advertisers. Few items retain the RWNJ attention better than the specter of “illegals” getting special rights.
How do I get out of jury duty?
Of course, conservatives, who hate the government, are the first ones to find an excuse to get out of jury duty. A common joke is for the a conservative to voice his or her racist beliefs during jury selection to be disqualified. For conservatives, jury duty, like picking grapes, is manual labor and they are above that sort of job. So I would think that conservatives would like the idea of sending a proxy in their place to serve on a jury and fulfill their civic commitment. However, conservatives probably wouldn’t want those non-citizen legal residents on the jury when they are being tried.
Fox News should retract lying headline
Fox News needs to retract their misleading headline and issue an immediate correction. In addition, they should apologize to the Associated Press for their malicious distortion about the story written by the AP.