Reading in Republicese
It’s no secret the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) has been hemorrhaging subscriptions and pink-slipping or buying out longtime employees. The newspaper is running on spit and steam and faltering badly. Efforts at maintaining unbiased journalistic integrity went by the wayside long ago at the agenda-driven newspaper.
Seeing Red AZ has previously written about the revealing guidelines from the Society of Professional Journalists and the policy of using words to change attitudes.
Articles written by Cronkite School student interns are filled with grammatical blunders and jargon, most often found in student unions and dorm rooms. Although faced with a steep learning curve and few journalistic mentors, the fledgling staffers have obviously been given the rule book for describing those found in drophouses:
1. Human smugglers: Commonly known as coyotes, these are transporters handsomely paid by the co-conspirator smuglee.
2. Suspected undocumented immigrants: These are illegal aliens. There is little reason to “suspect” them of such activity. Finding numerous unrelated, non-English speakers in one car, truck or house, is an indication of a sure thing. The words migrants, immigrants, undocumented, desert crosser must also be in the guidebook and are used interchangeably with “suspected undocumented immigrants.”
3. Undocumented: Not quite. These folks have plenty of documents. Stolen from unsuspecting citizens, even children, whose medical records provide a fertile ground for undetected theft. Counterfeit and fraudulent documents including driver’s licenses, social security cards and birth certificates are not in short supply. Providing such documents undergirds a lucrative black-market business, facilitating illegals as they establish themselves in American cities — renting homes, applying for jobs and enrolling their children in school.
4. Victims held against their will or kidnapped: They are in the drophouse awaiting the stolen and/or forged documents to enable them to rent apartments, enroll their children in school and find employment. Sometimes their paid transporters will demand more money for these services, holding the criminal trespassers until family members wire additional funds. The old adage about lying with dogs and waking with fleas, applies.
5. Pregnant women: Illegal females doing their best to ensure that their newborns will be born on U.S. soil, granting them instant citizenship — which will enable the rest of the family left behind in Mexico to access the generous benefits of family reunification, otherwise known as “chain migration.” Once born, little Jose will be the conduit for both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and sundry relatives.
6. Jobs Americans refuse to do: Like that construction job your brother-in-law, Mike, had for twelve years until it became more cost-effective to employ Miguel, an illegal laborer who was willing to work off the books, for substandard wages. The fact that there are three families living in his single family dwelling who could share the payments made it a win-win for everyone but Mike.
7. Citizens of Mexico or Mexican nationals: See numbers 2 and 3.
8. Ransom: True kidnap victims, most often from wealthy families, who are held against their will by strangers who vow extreme harm or death, unless their families pay a bounty for their safe release are said to be held for ransom. These folks don’t qualify since they were initially conspiring with the same people who are now demanding additional money. See number 4.
9. Rescued: Police agencies, usually responding to tips, locate those who have invaded the United States in violation of our law. They are not in need of “rescue.” They are in need of deportation.
Here’s a typical article in Republicese.