The Campaign to Smear Dr. John Tanton--and the Truth

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

May 7, 2011
When New York Times reporter Jason DeParle wrote his unprofessional and intellectually dishonest story about Dr. John Tanton, he carefully included this sentence: "Dr. Tanton, 77, declined interview requests, citing problems from Parkinson’s disease." DeParle added, somewhat ominously, "This leaves his files to speak for themselves." [The Anti-Immigration Crusader, by Jason DeParle, New York Times, April 21, 2011] DeParle gave uninitiated readers--those not savvy to the Times’ disdain for patriotic immigration reform proponents--the impression that he wanted to include Dr. Tanton’s opinions but, sadly, he was unavailable for comment. Like so much that the Times publishes about immigration, DeParle had it half right. Dr. Tanton did decline and he does have Parkison’s disease. But DeParle could have learned in great detail what Dr. Tanton’s positions are on immigration by simply going to his website. One section, called "Answering My Critics," is designed to help reporters ferret out the truth about Dr. Tanton’s immigration philosophy--a challenge they so far have not met. Or DeParle could have studied Dr. Tanton’s seminal essay End of the Migration Epoch that concludes with three fundamental questions about immigration that everyone should ask. Sadly, the Times along with its mainstream media colleagues refuse to respond to any of Dr. Tanton’s appropriate and rational questions. They are:
  1. How many people shall we admit, and what factors should be taken into account in setting this limit?
  2. Who should be chosen to immigrate, and what criteria should be used for choosing among candidates?
  3. How can we humanely enforce the rules we decide upon?
DeParle’s story was 2,900 tedious words that rehashed the same tired old stuff, much of it guilt by association--a favorite tool of those who trivialize (or slander) Americans sincerely concerned about the consequences of over-immigration and the resulting overpopulation that creates irreversible environmental degradation.
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