Squaring the Burkle.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 17 2006 4:54 AM

kf Tries to Square the Burkle!

Why I'm flummoxed by the Page Six scandal.

(Continued from Page 17)

Put Out More Flags-- L.A. Times True to Form: That propagandistic LAT story on Saturday's big demonstration, the one that mentioned the presence of Mexican flags only in the tenth paragraph, has now been amended and updated--to eliminate any reference to Mexican flags at all! The story now also contains the following:

In contrast to demonstrations 12 years ago against Proposition 187, Saturday's rally featured more American flags than those from any other country.

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From what I saw, this statement is false. There were about as many Mexican as American flags (as reported below).  Here's what to me seems a representative LAT photo of the crowd--judge for yourself.** Maybe it depends what part of the demo you were at and at what time. But at the very least "more American flags" is a highly deceptive assertion.  (If U.S. flags predominated, it would be only by a slim, 51-49-type margin.) It's hard to believe Dean Baquet thinks this is good journalism. ... [Thanks to alert reader V.] 

** Update: Reader J.G. notes a banner or placard in the upper-right hand corner reading "THIS IS STOLEN LAND"--another sentiment you won't read much about in the LAT (and another reason Mexican flags aren't the same as Italian flags). ... 8:10 P.M. link

Rally Report--Gran Marcha, Gran Backlash! Reader L.N. suggested I had exaggerated the number of Mexican flags at various immigrant protest rallies--maybe demo organizers had wised up to the lesson that flaunting allegiance to a neighboring country was not a good way to make most Americans want to let in more people who share your attachment!** So I went down to today's Gran Marcha against "anti-immigration legislation" in downtown L.A.:

Crowd size: Big! Bigger than a couple of football games--I'd say 200,000 plus. ***

Demeanor: Pleasant!

Makeup: 99 percent Latino (an oversimplification--I saw one T-shirt saying "I'm Mexican, not Latino")

Most telling placard slogan: "Somos illegales, no criminales!"

Flags: Evenly split between Mexican and U.S.,with El Salvadoran running a very distant (1%) third. And there were lots of flags. If you said "Mexican flag" every time you saw a Mexican flag, you never stopped talking.

** Q: Why are Mexican flags troubling in a way Italian flags wouldn't be troubling at, say, a Columbus Day rally? Simplest A: Italy's not right next door! ... For more on this issue, see this discussion with Jim Pinkerton. Pinkerton says flatly, "There will be a wall." He's for it. ...

*** Of course the very size of these rallies, when coupled with the pro-illegal immigrant sentiments and the Mexican flags, might hurt the cause of the ralliers. It seems likely to make many non-PC voters think, "Jeez, next year's rally will be even bigger. We'd better build that wall quick!" ...

Update: The Los Angeles Times, in a break with its recent trend toward improvement, fronts an embarrassing  100% PC rally story that mentions the U.S. flags (which marchers were told to bring) in paragraph one and the equally numerous Mexican flags (which marchers apparently decided to bring on their own) in paragraph #10.  I used to write this sort of press-releasey "news" account when my college paper assigned me to "cover" anti-war demonstrations that I'd helped organize! (Typical Kaus lede: "Thousands of marching feet filled Post Office Square to protest ..." etc.) The Times' effort is filled with representative quotes from participants, without a note of dissent. Bill Bradley, in New West Notes, jumps on this especially romantic LAT sentence, which was so prized it got its own graf:

The marchers included both longtime residents and the newly arrived, bound by a desire for a better life and a love for this county.

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