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Bogus information isn’t confined to the Internet

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Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003 10:00 pm

Lodi News-Sentinel Editor Richard Hanner writes that the "lawless informational frontier known as the Internet" is rife with misinformation and even hoaxes.

Well there's a lot of that bogus information in the standard print and electronic media. The New York Times had a spot of that kind of trouble, right?

But like 'junk science,' the infection of misinformation spread by our major media often becomes deeply embedded in the society and culture reaching to the halls of Congress.

For instance, the widely spread claim that illegal aliens - all 8 to 11 million of them - pay more in taxes than they take in public services.

Even the most casual observer knows that the property taxes on a house with 20 occupants cannot support the social services that those 20 people use.

Since they work mostly for cash, that lets them out of the state and federal taxes that hapless law-abiding taxpayers must shoulder.

We read that workers too poor to live in decent circumstances, and doing low-pay work that Americans won't do, send back to their home nations $28 billion a year - $12 billion to Mexico alone.

The Center for Immigration Studies has the data to debunk that and many other immigration urban myths. It is located at http://www.cis.org/.">www.cis.org/">http://www.cis.org/. But, like the too-trusting Internet user, who doesn't double check for Internet legends, too few professional journalists check immigration information before regurgitating material handed to them in press releases and boiler-plate stories.

Barbara Vickroy

Escondido

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