Ashley Parker's cheery piece on immigration "reform" (opening a path to legalization and citizenship to the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally) in Friday's New York Times was marked with labeling bias, pitting opponents as "conservatives" and "the right" against unlabeled supporters of amnesty proposals like Sen. Chuck Schumer. They were either simply called Democrats or not given an identifying label in "Senators Look to Last Decade's Failures for Lessons on Immigration Overhaul." In all there were five instances of conservative labeling, zero liberal ones.
Parker relayed some tips from former Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi:
It is a tip that Mr. Lott says he has communicated to the staff of Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican involved in the current effort, and so far Mr. Rubio seems to be heeding the advice. In recent weeks, he has focused on conservative media powerhouses, tirelessly wooing influential voices on the right like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.
And, at least in the early stages, they are taking steps to reach across the aisle, even with the words they choose.
“The most important lesson I took way from 2006 and 2007 is that people had no faith that there wouldn’t be future waves of illegal immigrants,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat of New York in the Senate’s bipartisan immigration group.
To show that he is serious about an overhaul, he explained, he is especially conscious of the language he uses; Mr. Schumer now refers to “illegal immigrants,” a term preferred by the right and an acknowledgment that the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country did, in fact, break the law.
In a similar linguistic concession, Mr. Rubio, during Monday’s immigration news conference, referred to the “undocumented” workers, a term generally preferred by Democrats and loathed by his party’s conservative wing.
The Times has been decent about using the accurate term "illegal," but plenty of their reporters, especially Julia Preston, have lapsed into evasive, politically correct-speak like "undocumented."