This week in the LA Times, writer Hector Tobar wrote about Meg Whitman, a GOP candidate for California governor this year, and how she fired her longtime housekeeper of nine years once she found that she was an undocumented immigrant. Now, Tobar is clearly biased in this article, only talking to women that he found in a shopping mart, without using any names as sources, claiming that he only did so so that these “moms”, as he calls them repeatedly, could speak honestly.
These were the first two flags that Tobar was heading into murky territory. Only talking to certain women (moms) in one shopping center is indicative of lazy research, but then there’s the fact that he couldn’t find one that let him use her name. That’s just bad journalism. He also finds ways to project his own thoughts onto the readers.
“One can imagine the housekeeper sadly casting her glance down on the freshly polished floors of that Silicon Valley mansion as she revealed this embarrassing truth. One can imagine her thinking: now my boss knows.”
One can imagine that after reading this, they would think he is a full of crap. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, no matter how biased Tobar’s article comes across, it is clear in the comments section of the article that this kind of topic can not be tackled so lightly, only using unnamed people’s opinions at a random shopping center. There need to be facts, figures, less sympathy and a news story that actually strives to tell people why Whitman was wrong, not just show that some (but not all) moms at the Brentwood shopping center think so.
Many people also saw the bias in the article, but unfortunately these people used it as an excuse to be racist, albeit subtle. Here are a few of the highlights:
“The white working class -- construction to be exact -- an industry, that has seen wages decline in real terms, largely because of the influx immigrants -- legal and illegal. Indeed in many cases these workers are shut out, as Mexicans and other Latinos have monopolized construction sites, hiring 'their own' -- 'cousins', folks from back in their home villages.” – Mitchell Young
It’s clear in comments like these that there are people out there who are convinced that immigrants are taking over the country, and in Mr. Young’s case he doesn’t even care of they’re here legally or not. Apparently they all have loads of cousins to hire. Now, I wouldn’t call this clear cut racism, but then only a few posts down he posts this:
“He is a biased Latino activist of a columnist, someone who doesn't care about the common good at all, but merely what is good for his own raza.” - Young
Annnd it comes flowing out. Young was able to hold it in a little bit, but after someone complimented Tobar on the fact that he did moderate any comments, he couldn’t help himself; obviously (to him), a Latino writer cannot write about something like illegal immigration with anything close to objectivism. Sadly, that IS racist thinking, punctuated by the fact that he used the Spanish word for race, raza, as if all Hispanics identify with it. Unfortunately Young isn’t the only reader who feels this way.
“If you follow his editorial column you'll know that 100% his commentaries are about the sad lives and oppression of illegal aliens. It's really hilarious. They break every law in the world, but "they're" the victims. If I'm not mistaken Hector was the son of two illegals (a perfect choice for the L.A. Times).” – Kurtiffrig
I guess Kurtiffrig (who I will refer to as Mr. Frig) was betting that people wouldn’t follow the column, because he is extremely wrong. Besides these different examples, all from Tobar's column, none about illegal immigration, Frig is attacking Tobar directly, calling him by his first name as if he knows him, but probably not due to the fact that he uses the offensive term, illegals, to refer to his parents. Add that to the fact that while his parents were immigrants, they were not illegal. Just clicking on his bio would show you that, but Frig probably doesn’t care about any of that.
And because there are over 200 comments, I’ll leave you with just one more example:
“You'd have to be out of your mind to hire a Hispanic after what this lying backstabber did to Meg Whitman. And look what lying illegal aliens have done to other women's careers - not just republicans, but far-left radicals. Of course she's illegal! Why would anyone go through the hoops of legal immigration when all you have to do is walk across the border.”– Doctorfixit
First he calls the maid a lying backstabber simply because Whitman didn’t realize she was illegal, and now all Hispanics are not to be trusted? This is why Tobar needs to write about topics like these much more carefully, and not empathize so much. I can understand why he feels the way he does, but unfortunately for him, not many people will. And its the people that can’t that are the ones that need to.