Media Spinning Against New AZ Law for All It’s Worth

by Warner Todd Huston | April 28, 2010 1:05 pm

The media has been trying its hardest to spin this Arizona immigration law to its agenda for all its worth. It’s such a swarm of media agenda journalism that even liberal reporters that write about the travel industry are trying to demonize Arizona over it all. We can see this in the facile reporting by USA Today’s travel reporter, Barbara De Lollis. Hers titled, “Arizona immigration law backlash? Traveler says state ‘is off my travel list for sure[1],'” is a screamer for the wild assumptions and unproved and unprovable assertions made in order to further the Old Media agenda.

De Lollis asserts that there is a “backlash” among travelers over the Arizona legislature’s decision to strengthen its immigration laws. She thinks that the tourist industry in the Grand Canyon State will find itself on the losing end of the stick because of “the USA’s toughest immigration law.”

That is quite a claim, isn’t it? One would think that she’d have reams of evidence to prove her contention that Arizona’s tourist industry will be hurt by the immigration law, wouldn’t you? Maybe she has some major travel industry spokesmen or organizations saying Arizona is out? Perhaps she has a few large corporations or government agencies announcing travel bans? Maybe she has some survey from a respected group like Gallup, or some such polling group?

No, none of that.

So what does De Lollis use to prove her case?


Yeah, Twitter. Twitter and a few comments on USA Today’s webpage.

Because a couple of people sent her a Tweet that they won’t go to Arizona, why that’s enough for Ms De Lollis to claim that there is a “backlash” against Arizona’s travel industry! De Lollis also pointed to a USA Today story that had a whole 750 replies appeared, some of which also said they’d never go to Arizona.

So, in a nation of over 300 million people in a world of billions of people, one or two Twitter messages and a couple of comments on a USA Today webpage was enough for De Lollis to declare that there is a “backlash” against Arizona.

Now, how many of these Twitterers ever went to Arizona anyway or how many of her USA Today webpage commenters ever would go, immigration bill or no, is another question. But even if every single one of them were to cease any plans to go to Arizona what scientific statistics could be gained from this? Not a thing, really. The number would be too minuscule to bother with as evidence of anything.

But because De Lollis wants to attack Arizona she uses this facile reasoning to invent a backlash to attack Arizona even as she has no proof whatsoever as evidence. This is the way the Old Media fans the flames of a story to spin it to their agenda.

De Lollis created a false premise. She then found a few stray comments from people that represent nothing greater than a momentary opinion, anecdotal evidence which, we all know, is no evidence at all. And then she spins that anecdotal “evidence” into “proof” of her false premise. Voila, now we have a “backlash against Arizona’s travel industry”!

So, let’s see if I can play that game. Here’s my headline: “Barbara De Lollis is a Shop Lifter”

OK, now if one of you reading this might affirm that in a comment, or a Tweet why then I can point to that as “proof” that my headline is correct… right? Does it matter if a comment added to a webpage is not empirical proof of my contention? Not if I am a member of the Old Media it doesn’t. Just making a serious charge is enough to go to press. And truth? Who needs it? It just gets in the way of a good story, right Ms De Lollis?

  1. Arizona immigration law backlash? Traveler says state ‘is off my travel list for sure:

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