Media demagogues immigration? Say it ain’t so?

From Colorado Media Matters:

Using distorted statistics and unsubstantiated assertions, Colorado’s broadcast media outlets and personalities have promoted a variety of myths and falsehoods regarding the issue of immigration. The media figures, most notably 630 KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles, also have used or promoted extremist commentary to complement their misinformation, which has portrayed immigrants as a monolithic group guilty of purported offenses ranging from being responsible for an alleged surge in U.S. leprosy cases to causing the deaths of 25 Americans each day. In tone and content, Boyles and the others have dispensed misinformation about immigration issues similar to that detailed in Media Matters Action Network’s May 21 report "Fear & Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News," which documents the "rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration that is heard on cable news." MMAN is a partner project of Media Matters for America.

The immigration-related dialogue frequently broadcast by Colorado’s electronic media largely has focused on issues such as the alleged crime rate attributable to undocumented immigrants, the myth that Denver is a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants, or the purported "reconquista," by which Mexico is planning to "re-annex" the southwestern United States. Much of the misinformation also has appeared on cable network news — for example, a Boyles guest on September 20, 2006, made the now-debunked claim that illegal immigration caused "7,000 cases of leprosy" in three years in the United States; the statistic was repeated later on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Boyles and other Colorado talk radio hosts also have made or promoted extremist comments regarding illegal immigrants, such as proposing that if captured they be forced to work on chain gangs or, in Boyles’ case, promoting a video depicting violence against Hispanic immigrants.

Read the full report. It’s a doozy.

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