Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is "News-Ish"?

THIS is "News-ish"...

(Denying in-state tuition to undocumented college students would ‘be stamping out hope,’ Noriega says, Karie Meltzer, Texas Independent)
When Rick Noriega heard that Texas A&M University’s student senate voted to keep illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition rates, he was surprised –- but not angry.
Rick Noriega?

It's illustrative of how deep the hole is for TX Democrats that progressive news-ish organizations are starting to look to marginal candidates for leadership on big issues. What's next? Chris Bell on Education Finance? (Another moon-shot perhaps?)

Another telling point you're dealing with news-ish and not news? Unfair treatment of the opposing side's opinion:
Noriega said about 20,000 students –- not just immigrants, but students from other states — have gained access to higher education because of this law.

“I don’t know any rational argument that could refute the fact that that’s a good thing as it applies to our values as Texans,” he said. “Education and higher education are core fundamental values of Texas.”

IRCOT’s petition claims at least 8,000 illegal immigrants are attending Texas colleges and universities and receiving in-state tuition. However, a 2006 report from the Texas Comptroller’s office says the number of undocumented immigrants who attend Texas colleges and pay in-state tuition is unknown, so estimating the cost associated with HB 1403 is difficult.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) is confident the court will reverse the law. IRCOT’s attorney, David Rogers, said the case is still in discovery mode. But if the state law is upheld, Berman plans to file legislation to reverse it on purely economic grounds.

“The $42 million we’re spending on these illegal aliens should be benefits going to Texas students in the form of loans or grants which they aren’t getting,” he said. “The law says we have to educate these students from K5 through 12th grade; we don’t have to educate them in college.”

David Hinojosa, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, is defending the state in the case.

“We think this is a frivolous case. People like [Rep.] Leo Berman don’t like undocumented immigrants,” Hinojosa said. “They want to make lives as miserable as possible for these people.”
Bracketing an opposing opinion with two opinions the writer favors, thus allowing the favored position to both frame, and respond to the argument, is a tactic employed not just by news-ish organizations, but by actual news organizations themselves. You find a lot of this on Op/Ed pages and in opinion columns: 1. There can be no reasonable argument against the favored position. 2. The opposing position says ..... 3. But they're wrong because.....

To be fair, it's also found a LOT in blogs and other amateur writing, on both sides of the political aisle.

To their credit, these news-ish sites (and the InterLeft that's increasingly using them for source material) are very good at latching on to the approved narrative and beating readers over the head with it. They did a very good job of establishing the truthiness around Perry's actions in the Cameron Todd Willingham case, and they maintained the fallacy that Bill White was a credible candidate up until the obvious. Now they're playing right along with the tune "Bill White was a bad candidate".

When they're not calling Texas voters ignorant that is.

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