Got this missive Wednesday from a fan:
Good morning, Dave,
It seems you're the only journalist with the guts to ask if the victim and killers in the Fordem murder are illegal immigrants. Honestly, the WSJ and CT are just pathetic. Thanks, Dave, for having the courage and honesty to ask.
I have asked John Smalley, editor of the Wisconsin State Journal, why his newspaper is covering up of the fact that the people involved in the drive-by shooting Wednesday last week on Fordem Avenue were illegal aliens. He writes:
It's not that we were covering up anything, we were just more focused on the crime itself, the hunt for suspects, etc. Given all that, we hadn't explored the immigration status of the folks involved. It's reasonable to say we could have/should have pursued that information earlier but it just didn't seem like the top priority early on. Guessing you noticed that we did report on that in today's story. Thanks for your note.
Except that the State Journal still has not reported it. [UPDATE] Yes, a full week after the slaying, inserted midway through a sidebar on Page A-9 today reports "All of the [six] defendants except Prado-Velasquez are illegal immigrants, as was [the victim] Perez, according to North District Capt. Cameron McLay of the Madison Police Department." [I missed that sentence in my earlier version of this blog.]
The newspaper also backs into the subject at the tag end of the main, 23-paragraph article by quoting a retired Los Angeles police gang expert:
"They (gangs) are spreading across the U.S., partly because of the influx of illegal aliens coming across our southern borders and partly because they can make more money on the illegal drug trade the farther east they go," he said. "When they come into your community, they will recruit from local Hispanic gangs."
His advice for dealing with gangs: "Dry up the drug trade, close the borders and do something about the recruiting of young kids into these groups."
That is what is called, in the journalism racket, "burying your lede." These two paragraphs are the last and 5th-to-the-last in a 23-paragraph article.
And the The Page One story never does say "these guys are illegals!"
Police say Madison has 1,100 confirmed gang members in 40 separate gangs. "That is a high number when you think about the size of this city," said the police department's gang expert.
All of this good stuff is buried deep into the story under the most misleading of headlines: "East Side shooting an unusual incident."
Perhaps the city's only daily newspaper does not wish to rupture the tender sensibilities of its readers with the facts. Let's pander, instead, to their politics.
None of the TV news media has publicized this fact, either, that I can find. Nor WIBA radio. Perhaps the police have asked the news media not to print this news?
"Not at all. You were the first to ask, although the question has come up since," Captain Cam McLay told me today.[Blaska's Blog confirms fatal gang shooting involved illegal aliens]
Thus are police from Madison to Texas to Indiana involved in this single murder. When you are illegal, you can disperse much more readily.
Meanwhile, WKOW TV-27 is reporting that one of the alleged killers, age 21, attended Middleton High School under a false name, false address, and false date of birth.
Let's give war a chance
It is time for Mayor Cieslewicz and The Kathleen to declare war on gangs in Madison and Dane County. They must get together their top cops, bring in the state and U.S. Justice Departments as well as immigration officials.
Instead of declaring Madison some sort of sanctuary they must declare this city a gang no man's land.
To this point, they are worried about all the wrong things. A county task force is wasting Sheriff Dave Mahoney's time by dragging him through interminable meetings to criticize him for calling the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service whenever an inmate lands in his jail who -- gosh, this is strange -- does not have proper identification.
Racist? You try that sometime when you get pulled over for a broken tail light. No, officer, I have no I.D. whatsoever.
Last fall, the The Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities proposed that "racial impact statements" be prepared when any law or ordinance is under consideration.
We don't need no stinkin' papers
Take it from the English language's premier travel writer, Paul Theroux:
These people who are protesting being asked for identification by Arizona cops-have they been anywhere lately, like out of the country? Like Mexico, or Canada, or India, or Italy, or Tanzania, or Singapore, or Britain-places where people in uniforms have routinely demanded my papers? Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen is offended ("as a Latin American") by the Arizona law and recently claimed that all illegal immigrants are "workaholics." Has he been back to the land of his birth lately, Venezuela, and expected not to be asked for his papers? Ozzie, tell the police in Ocumare del Tuy, "I'm a Latin American," and see if that will end the interrogation. -- travel writer Paul Theroux in the Daily Beast.
A New York Times/CBS poll says nationwide, 60 percent of respondents said the Arizona measure is about right or doesn't go far enough, Politico reports today.
'No mas, no mas' says "senior" Obey
- On Dave Obey, the 40-year veteran incumbent, the $787 billion stimulus package that he pushed through Congress is sinking Charlie Crist in Florida and was sinking Obey in northern Wisconsin. Did not help that it was David Obey that pounded down the gavel to signal the passage of ObamaCare. (Memo to Comrade John: you can start calling Sean Duffy a sitting district attorney instead of "a reality show contestant." In fact, you can start calling Sean Duffy "the front runner."
- Jay Bullock at Folkbum says "I have a very bad feeling about this." (And that is all he says about it, so no need to click.)
- RealClearPolitics now rates Wisconsin's 7th as a toss-up, one of 35 Democrat(ic) seats so rated. Only one GOP seat is considered a toss up.
Is Feingold in trouble?
The esteemed political observer Stuart Rothenberg writes that Russ Feingold may also be hearing footsteps. Rothenberg writes that Tommy Thompson polled well against the 18-year-incumbent but -- as a politician with a lot of history -- may not have pulled off the "outsider" message in November.
Feingold's numbers suggest a serious GOP challenger could make his life uncomfortable, and the fact that the three-term Senator would go up with his first television ad in April is reason enough to take another look at the race. ... Polling, both public and private, shows that the Senator has slipped noticeably over the past few months and now is under 50 percent against potential GOP challengers. [Rothenberg Political Report: On, Wisconsin: Feingold Return No Sure Thing]
Ron Johnson of Oshkosh, whom I introduced to you on March 12, is all but in the race. He impresses me tons. Is a tea party favorite. Can wind up the stem. Has the ways and the means to build name I.D. Hey, if all the people named "Ron Johnson" in the state of Wisconsin vote for him, he's in.
The fact that there are now four Republican candidates in the field means there is blood in the water. Might there be more candidates? Seems very plausible.