Last week, The New York Times printed an editorial entitled "Immigration Misery." And the first line of the piece went like this. "A screaming baby girl has been forcibly weaned from breast milk and taken dehydrated to an emergency room so that the nation's borders will be secure."
Well, that did not happen. There were two babies admitted to two Massachusetts hospitals after a federal raid on a New Bedford factory that was exploiting illegal workers. But both babies had pneumonia, which caused dehydration according to doctors. No "weaning" was involved.
Now we brought those facts to the attention of The New York Times ombudsman Byron "Barney" Calame, who wrote back to us, "I don't find a factual error in the statement that the editorial makes about the baby. Seems to me that the complaint you raise falls into the area of opinion."
But of course it does not. The Times used a false scenario to condemn the federal raid. Here's what Marvin Kalb said on "The Radio Factor" today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN KALB, HARVARD'S KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT, FORMER CBS AND NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think that lead sentence, which you quoted, is just about the worst lead I have read in The New York Times editorial in years. It absolutely makes no sense.
Bill, this is a very important point. And I think that your listeners have to be apprised of it. When somebody is writing an editorial, whether in The New York Times or anywhere else, it is my belief that it has to be based on fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So why did The New York Times distort the facts? Well, many committed left media want blanket amnesty for illegal aliens and a continuous flow of foreign nationals into the USA. They believe the new voters will gravitate towards the Democratic party, which offers more direct payments of public money to the poor. Thus with millions of new voters, the power in America shifts to the Democrats, which is what "The New York Times" wants.
Barney Calame probably doesn't understand that. With all due respect, he's kind of clueless. A few months ago, The Times ran a hatchet piece on my book, "Culture Warrior." We expected that. But book editor Sam Tannenhaus really went over the top with a sub headline that read, "How did Bill O'Reilly, an unemployed has-been a decade ago, turn into a moneymaking empire?"
Now it is true that 11 years ago, I was unemployed. Perhaps because I was studying for a master's degree at Harvard, where Marvin Kalb was one of my instructors. Somehow The Times left that out.
As for the has been label, I entered Harvard after six years of anchoring one of the most successful syndicated programs in history, "Inside Edition."
Now in the letter, I pointed those things out to Barney Calame. And guess what Barney said? The headline was an opinion. Barney, come on! There are facts in this world, Barn. Get a grip.
Now I mention all this because honesty in journalism's on the run. Enterprises like The New York Times want to change the country and will report dishonestly to make that happen. No baby in New Bedford, Massachusetts was forcibly "weaned" from her mother's breast by federal agents. It did not happen. And The New York Times knows it did not happen, but will not correct the record.
By the way, The Boston Globe, which is owned by The New York Times ran an immigration headline today that said, "Arrests Across the U.S. Break Up Families." Sounds like another fair and balanced report.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
While elements at NBC News continue to cheap shot FOX News on a daily basis — because we hammer them nightly in the cable news ratings — NBC itself is sinking fast.
ABC's Charles Gibson again beat Brian Williams last week by the largest margin in 18 months. NBC's cable networks continue to be ratings disasters, and even "The Today Show" is losing audience.
So NBC News might be do less cheap shotting and more honest reporting which, of course, would not be ridiculous.