Ear to the sidewalk: Issue 4

Posted: Apr 04, 2006 12:06 AM

Liberals dominate both televised media and academia these days, and two sets of awards announced this week expose the most obscene offenders in each realm.  In this week’s roundup of the conservative movement, I’ll tell you about these awards, as well as discuss which groups are speaking up on immigration, PACs that have a policy focus, and an anti-earmark bus tour.

Media Research Center DisHonors Awards

Thursday night I was surrounded by an impressive group of conservative Who’s Whos at the Media Research Center’s annual gala.  We were there to pay disrespects to liberal reporters (in absentia, of course) as part of the annual DisHonors Awards.

In a program that included Townhall columnists Cal Thomas, Tony Blankley, Linda Chavez, and Larry Kudlow, the nominees in five different DisHonor categories were announced.  Chris Matthews won two: the Slam Uncle Sam Award for calling Jane Fonda’s sympathy toward North Koreans “objective,” and the Cindy Sheehan Media Hero Award for encouraging Sheehan to run for Congress.

CNN’s Jack Cafferty won the Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award for admitting on air how much he wanted to see Karl Rove wear a prison jumpsuit.  Rosie O’Donnell won the I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award for calling President Bush a war criminal.  Conservative powerhouse M. Stanton Evans said in his “acceptance” speech for O’Donnell that the comedienne “went to charm school on a football scholarship.”

The winner of the Aaron Brown Memorial Award for Stupidest Analysis went to none other than Ted Turner, whose perspective on North Korea left me absolutely speechless.  When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer takes the conservative side, you know you’re watching history in the making. You’ve got to watch Turner’s comments here to get the full effect.  It probably surprised no one in the audience that Turner’s jaw-dropping analysis won “Quote of the Year” at the end of the evening based on a poll of the audience.

Other Townhall.com friends included in the program: Ron Robinson, president of Young America’s Foundation; Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute; and Ken Cribb, president of Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Collegiate Network announces the Pollys

Speaking of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, another set of dubious awards was announced yesterday by the ISI-sponsored Collegiate Network – the annual Campus Outrage Awards, popularly known as the “Pollys.” 

While almost every conservative college student I know believes their professors or college administrators qualify for the Pollys, the CN had the difficult job of picking the most outrageous examples of liberal extremism in academia today.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the first-place winner was Yale University for choosing a former Taliban official with a fourth-grade education to receive an Ivy-League education.  Thanks to John Fund, the Young America’s Foundation, and Townhall.com’s own Nail Yale blog, Yale officials haven’t been able to escape the outcry – especially as they try to explain how they can ban ROTC on their campus while embracing Rahmatullah Hashemi with open arms.

Runners-up included DePaul University for stifling free speech throughout the campus; Stanford University and College of the Holy Cross for cracking down on their campuses’ conservative alternative newspapers; the entire University of California system for denying credit to students who used certain textbooks in their Christian high schools; and the University of Iowa and Canisius College for refusing to honor September 11th victims.

Think your campus deserves to be dishonored with a Polly?  It’s not too early to nominate your school for next year’s awards.

Taking Sides in the Immigration Debate

Most people on the Right agree that the current U.S. immigration system needs help, but few in organizational leadership have been willing to stick their necks out to take a specific position.  However, as the Minutemen continue to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, Judicial Watch fights taxpayer-funded day laborer sites, and Congress considers new immigration legislation, this trend is beginning to reverse.

Several groups view the legislation recently passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as amnesty for illegal immigrants.  “The first priority of any immigration reform bill must be to secure our borders,” says Bill Lauderback of the American Conservative Union. “By contrast, this bill undermines respect for the rule of law and encourages more illegals to storm our borders.”  Helle Dale of the Heritage Foundation agrees, noting that she is among the many who toiled for years to obtain a green card.  “Condoning illegal behavior is the way to create a problem, not solve one,” she says.  The Center for Individual Freedom has set up a tool so that those who believe the bill amounts to amnesty can blast fax President Bush and the 55 Republican senators.

Another problem with the proposed Senate legislation, says the Liberty Coalition, is that the power to decide who’s in and who’s out would be taken away from the courts and put into the hands of unelected officials in the president’s administration.  The Coalition is also disturbed by a provision that would require not only immigrants, but also you and me, to be run through a national database before we could be hired by an employer.

Overall, groups on the Right seem to favor the House-passed immigration legislation, since it focuses on national security and avoids provisions that could be seen as amnesty.  But Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, likes the Senate version better.  She says we need not only more border security but also “a plan to deal with the illegal aliens already here (the vast majority of whom are hard-working, tax-paying and otherwise law-abiding members of our communities); and more flexible and realistic legal immigration policies that allow us to admit more permanent residents and guest workers as our labor needs require.”

Some conservatives are choosing to propose solutions instead of focusing on the two options currently before Congress. Tim Kane and Kirk Johnson of the Heritage Foundation have outlined how to implement a guest-worker program without including amnesty. And Jon Dougherty of the Freedom Alliance believes any immigration reform should provide for the incarceration of illegal immigrants, the punishment of employers who hire illegals, a tracking system for green card holders who overstay their visas, and the building of fences in high-traffic areas.

Hold onto your hats, readers. The fight over immigration reform is just beginning.

PACs Aren’t Just Partisan

Tired of Republicans who seem to have abandoned their conservative base?  You’ll be happy to learn about a few political action committees more concerned about ideology than about the party line.

The goal of the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund is to increase the percentage of pro-life women in Congress and high public office.  At the SBA List's 2006 election cycle kickoff last week, Michele Bachmann wowed us all with her articulate outspokenness that will make her a pro-life leader in Congress if she wins the congressional seat in Minnesota’s Sixth District.  Two incumbent congresswomen were also in attendance to receive their SBA List endorsement: Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (OH-02).  And these ladies aren’t spouting pro-life rhetoric just for the sake of upcoming elections – they’ve each got a long-standing record to prove it.

Two other PACs are also looking out for fiscal conservatives.  The Club for Growth endorsed a fiscally conservative Democrat in a recent Texas primary – and won.  Rep. Henry Cuellar was the first Democrat ever endorsed by the Club, and the win sent a huge message both to big-spending Republicans and to Democratic Party leaders who don’t believe their constituents care about spending and taxes.

In addition, the National Taxpayers Union Campaign Fund (NTUCF) endorses candidates based on the NTU Congressional Candidate Survey, the Member's past NTU Rating and the Member’s NTUF BillTally.

All Aboard!

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation is taking a nationwide bus tour, and several big-spending lawmakers will find their hometowns on the tour route.

“Lawmakers need to hear this message loud and clear from taxpayers: it is time to put an end to the earmarks extravaganza,” Americans for Prosperity Foundation President Tim Phillips says. “AFPF’s Ending Earmarks Express will rally taxpayers across our nation in support of a smaller and more accountable government.”

You are invited to attend join the Ending Earmarks Express at any of its stops around the country.  The bus will take off from Washington, D.C. this Friday, where attendees can wave goodbye while munching on a lunch of pulled pork.  The bus will also stop in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.  All but the latter stop were chosen because of a big federal earmark in the state – such as $35,300 spent to protect Kentucky bingo halls from terrorists, and $1.5 million spent to house Dick Gephardt’s archives.


Stay tuned to the C-Log this week as I report in from the Grove City College conference I told you about two weeks ago: “Mr. Jefferson Goes to the Middle East.”  My full report will be published in next week’s column.