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Huddy, Kilmeade Lose It Over Immigration Bill

Reported by Judy - March 31, 2006

Fox News' "Dayside" co-hosts Juliet Huddy and Brian Kilmeade on Friday (March 31, 2006) lost their journalistic cool in an interview with the organizer of a nationwide "Day without Latinos" in which Latino immigrants -- legal and illegal -- would stay home from work and school and avoid spending any money in the economy.

Javier Rodriguez, a member of the March 25 Coalition which organized last weekend's demonstrations against punitive versions of immigration bills pending in Congress, said organizers want to "put the nails in the coffin" of the House-passed version that would make it a felony for anyone to be in the U.S. without proper documentation. Rodriguez said organizers support a measure along the lines of the Senate Judiciary Committee measure, which would institute a guest worker program and allow those already here to eventually earn U.S. citizenship.

Rodriguez followed an appearance by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a moderate Democrat who is a favorite of Fox News. The interview with Rodriguez went well until Kilmeade turned unprofessional and told Rodriguez, "Can you tell them to leave home their Mexican flags?"

Rodriguez ignored that comment and continued to talk about the goal of having Latinos not work or shop to try to show Americans what the economy would be like without Latino participation. When he started to talk about students staying home, Huddy interrupted and told him the students in last week's demonstrations did not know what they were demonstrasting for.

"I respectfully disagree with you," she said, when Rodriguez said many students are aware of what's at stake in the immigraion issue. Huddy also accused Rodriguez and Latinos of "punishing the country that allowed them to come in here" and interrupted him at one point to say, "I want to say something."

"If you have to dig a tunnel to get in you probably don't belong," said Kilmeade.As a parting shot, Kilmeade said the next time Rodriguez came back they would show him "give and take" which would be "a new concept for him."

Fox News has always insisted that it separates fact and opinion and that its opinion shows, such as the O'Reilly Factor, are clearly labeled as such while its other shows are "fair and balanced."

But in this case, Kilmeade and Huddy not only let their opinions show but actively interjected them into the discussion. If an interviewer thinks a source is being dishonest, he or she can generally cite information from another source that contradicts it and ask the individual to explain or react to the discrepancy. But rather than citing a newspaper or wire servivce article or even a Fox News interview by a particular reporter about students not knowing what they were demonstrating for, Huddy could only refer to information from a friend who interviewed people at the rallies.

For a network that pitched a fit when Helen Thomas recently asked George Bush a tough question, Fox's Huddy and Kilmeade treated Rodriguez with disdain, disrespect, and hostility which he did nothing to provoke. At one point, Kilmeade shouted at Rodriguez that the show was not his pulpit.

What appeared to set them off was the very idea that Latinos would not work for a day. Apparently, Latinos are OK as long as they: (a) Come from Cuba instead of some place else and (b) do what they are told and keep quiet.

The interview showed the precarious nature of the Republican effort to court Latino voters. People like Kilmeade and Huddy could barely conceal their racial animosity toward Rodriguez.

Here's a link to an edited version of Huddy and Kilmeade's undisciplined performance.

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