One of the most racist arguments anyone could make, is that certain groups are associated with disease. Ian Haney Lopez, among others, categorize this as a cultural assumption of inferiority- immigrants breed crime and disease, blacks are lazy, etc. We would expect to hear such arguments from the klan, or perhaps another nativist white supremacy group, but a paid ABC News Contributor? This is insane. Here is what Laura Ingraham said on her show, as captured by Media Matters:
INGRAHAM: And now the reports over the weekend about the spread of TB and other illnesses in this country and diseases that we thought we had vanquished that were basically eradicated from American society, including one resistant strain of TB that I believe, in 60 percent of the cases, can be fatal. So this is serious. And who’s to blame if, heaven forbid, an American citizen dies of a communicable disease spread by the these folks spreading all over the country. The government spreads the illegal immigrants across the country, and the disease is spread across the country. Who gets the blame here?
To respond to this argument is almost justifying its merit, so I will not do so; however, I will make some additional points.
Even though ABC News essentially endorses this racist rhetoric, the good news is Laura Ingraham’s audience has dwindled down. According to Talkers Magazine, Ingraham’s listening audience has plummeted to just over 2 million listeners. At one point, Ingraham was over 7 million.
Maybe the day is coming where someone the likes of Laura Ingraham will be relegated to the militia crowd.
The article by Heather “Digby” Parton of AlterNet, “Why Is ABC Paying Laura Ingraham Lots of Money to Be a Racist?”, makes the argument that part of Abc’s decision to hire Laura Ingraham as a contributor was based on the perception-only of right-wingers- that the media is somehow liberal. As Noam Chomsky says, power is asserting the opposite, so if the establishment tells us that the media are liberal, then the only allowable question is, how liberal. Of course, we educated people know that the media is only as liberal as the corporations that own it.
There is no question, however, that ABC decided to hire Ingraham on the basis of attracting older white leftovers from Fox News. What Parton omitted from the article is that Laura Ingraham is not just a racist towards undocumented workers, she is a racist to all minorities, as her actions and words for the last 30 years prove such; and hiring this type of person shows you how dysfunctional our discourse has become. It shows you that at the end of the day, ABC would rather attract the tea party crowd rather than a growing demographic in the Hispanic community. Too often in America, corporations are making the calculation that it is better to have racist views associated with their brand, than it is to do the responsible thing, and condemn such hatred. This just illustrates what a sorry state of affairs we are in. Corporations are not associating themselves with racists to defeat the liberal media myth, they are doing so because a financial calculation has been made.
Writing for Americablog, John Aravosis makes some great points about Laura Ingraham being bad for the discourse. Check it out if you can by visiting the link below.