The National Press Club has framed front pages of various newspapers on display, including one from the Midland, Texas, paper with the headline “Local Rancher Elected President,” reporting on George W. Bush’s victory over Al Gore. It’s funny because it’s correct but somehow incomplete.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution does the same thing on a much smaller scale regarding immigration, but it’s not funny. As I’ve written here and here, a perennial source for quotes is local immigration lawyer Charles Kuck, but his leadership of a local group that lobbies for permissive immigration laws is never disclosed. It’s clear at this point that this is not an omission but a conscious choice by the editors to hide his role as a lobbyist for a noble cause they consider beyond normal journalistic rules of disclosure.
The paper did it again earlier this month, in “Legal path to U.S. clogged” (behind the paywall). It quoted Rosemary Jenks, accurately describing her as “the director of government affairs for NumbersUSA, which supports lower immigration levels.” But then it describes Kuck this way: “who teaches immigration law at the University of Georgia,” and later, “an Atlanta-area immigration attorney and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.” All that is true enough, but incomplete — Kuck is vice chairman of the lobbying group GALEO, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. Not someone who happens to get their direct mail, not even an adjunct, which is his role at UGA’s law school, but one of the people actually directing the activities of an immigration lobbying group — and that affiliation doesn’t have to be disclosed? “In the tank” doesn’t begin to describe it.