Somewhere Bill O’Reilly’s Head is Exploding

Rupert Murdoch Gets Behind Immigration Reform
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Make note of June 24, 2010. It may be one for the history books — the only time a Fox News host is ever on record as referring to “illegal aliens” as “undocumented immigrants.”

This is the same news conglomerate were Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck are constantly harping on the invasion of “illegal aliens.” What brought about this seismic humanizing change? An appearance on Fox News last night by their boss Rupert Murdoch the Chairman and CEO of News Corp, which owns the news organization.

Murdoch joined a coalition this week to push for comprehensive immigration reform, started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The coalition which consists of corporations such as Boeing and numerous big city mayors is calling itself the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Bloomberg has strong feelings about the current anti-immigrant sentiments playing out in Arizona and other parts of the country. At a conference this week he called it “national suicide.”

“Our immigration policy is national suicide,” Bloomberg said. “I can’t think of any ways to destroy this country quite as direct and impactful as our immigration policy. We educate the best and the brightest and then we don’t give them a green card. We want to create jobs and we won’t let entrepreneurs from around the world to come here.”

In the six minute Fox interview, Murdoch said “I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with them.”

He also said “Republicans should reach out to Latinos.”

Bloomberg and Murdoch and their fellow moguls might just have the kind of cash and clout to break up the immigration logjam in Congress.

Murdoch sounded positively statesman-like. It’s too bad that his news commentators frequently incite the worst fears and prejudices in people to push up Fox’s ratings. Murdoch could really help the immigration debate by supporting a more “fair and balanced” approach in the news reporting.

Bloomberg said somebody needs to lead and explain to Americans the benefits of immigration reform. “You don’t fix it by saying ‘no’ and attacking the other guy.”

Did you hear that O’Reilly and Beck?

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. She has a master’s in public health from Texas A&M University and a master’s in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.