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Fox News Does Its Part To Help GOP Effort To Redefine 14th Amendment

Reported by Ellen - January 13, 2011 -

In a relatively softball interview with Rep. Steve King (R-IA) last week (1/7/11), “Democrat” Greta Van Susteren offered very little challenge to his radical push to reinterpret the 14th Amendment to the Constitution so as to exclude “anchor babies” from American citizenship. For more than a century, the Amendment has been interpreted by the courts as granting citizenship to all American-born children. But Van Susteren, an attorney, merely challenged King on going after children, rather than adults. She also either missed or overlooked the irony as King insisted, after putting forth his extremist ideas, that he’s “rooted in the rule of law.”

Fox News’ sympathy to King can be seen in the title of their video on FoxNews.com: Closing The Anchor Baby Loophole and its subtitle, “Rep. Steve King details proposed bill to put an end to birthright citizenship and the 'misuse' of the 14th Amendment.”

But before they got to immigration, King offered his views on repealing health care reform: I don’t want this malignant tumor of ObamaCare to metastasize. We’ve got to get rid of it and this is the beginning of the effort.”

King’s views were not regarded as extremist or even challenged on the grounds that about half the country disagrees with him.

Instead, Van Susteren argued the political practicalites: “As a practical matter, that elation you feel right now is going to, I suspect, dissipate because this is as far as it’s going to go.” She meant, the bill to repeal would either die in the Senate or be vetoed by the president.

Then it was on to King’s revisionist view of the Constitution. King said, “It’s a practice to grant citizenship to babies born in the United States. It’s not a law and it’s not a Constitutional directive…” His “solution” is a statutory change that puts “the marker down” and puts “an end to automatic citizenship.”

King went on to make the dubious claim that “roughly between 340,000-750,000 babies (are) brought into America for citizenship… The anchor baby issue is a magnet for the parents to come in.” That’s a questionable statistic, but Van Susteren only challenged King for targeting the babies rather than the parents.

It’s worth noting that King does not have the support of many key Republicans. Furthermore, he was recently "demoted" to vice chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee when he had formerly been considered a shoo-in for chairman – another sign that his views make the mainstream GOP queasy. But Van Susteren didn’t go there. She merely asked whether federal actions against illegal immigration “would have been different” if he’d been made chairman of the committee, “because many of us thought that you were gonna have that chairmanship.”

King acknowledged that it would make “a difference in the effectiveness” but “I will continue to drive an agenda at least in as aggressive a fashion as I might have had I been the chairman of the immigration subcommittee.” He added, “I’m rooted in the rule of law… I think the rule of law is an essential pillar of American exceptionalism.”

Except when the rule of law applies to immigrants.

But Van Susteren didn’t seem to think of that. She said cordially, “You may get the opportunity to do more because now your party is in the leadership here in the House of Representatives… you guys are in the drivers seat, at least on the House side.”