Washington Post Trades on Kids' Fears to Sell Pro-Immigration Views

The KidsPost section of The Washington Post on June 28 features a lesson on how to manipulate the minds of children to instill a liberal point of view.

An article entitled Rallying in Support of Illegal Immigrants, Kids Say Families Could Be Separated presents the issue of illegal immigration in the scary context of kids being taken from their parents. 

The 11-paragraph story, filled with pictures of smiling girls, red, white and blue balloons and the American flag, never acknowledges that illegal immigrants have broken the law.  Instead, the children who read KidsPost are told that these people are “in the country without having permission from the U.S. government.”

Telling kids that someone is doing something “without permission” is practically the same as telling them it is the coolest thing in the world.  Every kid does things without permission.  To equate breaking the law with such a pablum-esque euphemism – doing something “without permission” – is a transparent attempt to win sympathy and influence thinking. 

Winning sympathy seems to be the point of the entire story.  Every child quoted in the piece supports the idea that illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States.  One child, a U.S. citizen, is “afraid” her illegal immigrant parents will be deported.  Another, who is an illegal immigrant, says she will be “sad” if she has to go back to live in Mexico and that she would “feel like a stranger there.”  Two other children who are citizens are also supportive.  One says the “government should help these people.”  The other says children shouldn't have to pay for their parents mistakes: “It's not their fault that their parents are not legal.”

In a sidebar on the immigration legislation before the Senate, Need to Know: Immigration, A Legal Debate, KidsPost again describes illegal immigrants as “people who are in the United States without the permission of the U.S. government.”  It continues, “Some U.S. lawmakers want the immigrants to become legal because it's better for the country's security if the government has records on all residents.”  The article then puts in simple language some options for making illegal aliens into legal citizens. 

It is only in the second to last paragraph that lawbreaking is mentioned. “Additionally, some senators believe that illegal immigrants, because they broke the law, should be punished and sent home, not rewarded with permission to stay.” 

The concept of the KidsPost – getting kids interested in reading newspapers – is admirable.  But when the readers, still forming ideas and opinions, are fed nothing but the liberal media elite's talking points, the real danger of media bias becomes apparent.

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.