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    Saturday Night Card Game (Think Progress Punked by Fake Navy SEAL “Anchor Baby” Story)

    Saturday Night Card Game (Think Progress Punked by Fake Navy SEAL “Anchor Baby” Story)

    This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

    Think Progress, via its Wonk Room blog, thought it had the story of the year. 

    Not just the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALS.

    No, it was so much better, the killing of bin Laden by a Navy SEAL team which included “Rubén Mejía,” the American-born child of illegal Mexican immigrants.

    The original report was from a newspaper in Mexico, and was dutifully reported by Think Progress, which used the story to argue in support of the DREAM Act, Navy SEALs Squadron That Killed Bin Laden Included Rubén Mejía, The Son Of Mexican Immigrants (emphasis mine):

    For a long time, Latinos were underrepresented in the armed forces. Yet, this started to change dramatically as the Army launched “a vast recruiting campaign targeting Latino youth, placing ads in Spanish-language media, including magazines, radio, and television.” In fact, several military experts have come out in support of the DREAM Act which would legalize undocumented youth who go to college or serve in the military precisely because it would significantly increase the pool of qualified recruits in the Latino population — which comprises the majority of undocumented immigrants and is more likely to enlist and serve in the military than any other group….

    Meanwhile, many also claim that Latinos are being left out of the military’s highest ranks. “In the last 75 years, there have been only three (Latino) officers on active duty with three stars and just one with four. What’s the problem? We’re as capable, competent and educated as any other segment of society,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez stated last year. If the hundreds of Latinos who have died serving our country abroad aren’t enough to change that, hopefully Rubén Mejía’s brave and historic actions are.

    Think Progress was responsible for sending the story viral with this tweet:

    Hundreds of tweets linking to Think Progress, including by Markos Moulistas of DailyKos and Perez Hilton, sent the story soaring.

    Paul Reyes of USA Today, writing in HuffPo, beamed with pride:

    As an American, I’m relieved that the hunt for Bin Laden is over. As a New Yorker, I finally feel some sense of closure, nearly ten years after September 11. And as a Latino, I am proud that Ruben Mejia has set a heroic example of the innumerable contribution of immigrants to the United States.

    It was the perfect story with which to beat supporters of immigration enforcement over the head. The most heroic of actions by a so-called “anchor baby.”

    But the story turned out to be false, which Think Progress noted after several updates. 

    There was much embarrassment around the internet from people who ran with the story because Think Progress ran with it.

    But what if the story were true?  Would it have proven what Think Progress wants, which is passage of the DREAM Act? 

    Considering that the DREAM Act is directed at persons not born in the U.S., it’s apples and oranges.  The fictitious Navy SEAL Ruben Mejia would not be affected.

    And even as to children who were brought here illegally, service in the military as a pathway to citizenship is non-controversial; the controversy over the DREAM Act was that it was so broad in its application that it amounted to a wide-ranging amnesty.

    So in many ways, the story even if true was a non-story.  But it provided Think Progress with an irresistible play of the race card.  Too irresistible to fact check before running with it.

    I think I’m going to start charging for popcorn.

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    Comments

    I think I'm going to start charging for popcorn.

    Just charge half what the local cinema charges and you can retire on your own private island.

    I think the Onion reflects reality better than Thunk Progress.

    So, Thunk Progress's future story of Rubén Mejía throwing his medals over the fence will be false as well?

    No one knew that the Naval rank is Petty Officer, not Sergeant? Boggles the mind.

    From ThinkProgress:

    In fact, several military experts have come out in support of the DREAM Act which would legalize undocumented youth who go to college or serve in the military precisely because it would significantly increase the pool of qualified recruits in the Latino population — which comprises the majority of undocumented immigrants and is more likely to enlist and serve in the military than any other group.

    So, the DREAM act is amnesty for anyone who spends $100 to enroll in a local college. Speaking as someone who naturalized legally, and went to college, and served in the military, this is a really offensive idea.

    Meanwhile, many also claim that Latinos are being left out of the military’s highest ranks. “In the last 75 years, there have been only three (Latino) officers on active duty with three stars and just one with four. What’s the problem? We’re as capable, competent and educated as any other segment of society,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez stated last year.

    There are tons of Hispanics who do extremely well as enlisted men, but they complete college at half the rate whites do, and there were even fewer eligible 20 years ago when the present crop of senior Hispanic officers were going through officer basic.

    And DREAM would do nothing to bring more officers in. As LTG Sanchez is perfectly aware, you have to have a top secret clearance to be an officer. No one who comes into the country illegally is getting clearance, so he's just setting these guys up for failure.

    But that's par for the course. Affirmative action, amnesty, all of these things sound warm and fuzzy, but they set people up for failure. Looking at the demographics for college education, you can see that blacks and hispanics enroll in college more than whites, but fail more often. They're perfectly intelligent, but take any guy and put him in a program that's too hard for him, and he's going to fail. It really is unconscionable.

    Do these people ever think of the consequences of their actions? Yes, I know, a rhetorical question.

    A nice job of setting anyone named Rubén Mejía up for retaliation.

    1. If Think Progress had complained about the "underrepresentation" of Latinos on that Seal team, the story would still be going strong. They may be kicking themselves.

    Moreover, by not switching to the underrepresentation shtick after the Mejia hoax was exposed, they demonstrated what amateurs they are.

    2. Per the quotation from Think Progress, Ricardo Sanchez commanded coalition forces in Iraq when the insurgency took root and the Abu Ghraib scandal occurred. Instead of staying quietly retired in semi-disgrace, he is pontificating about Latino underrepresentation and is being touted as a Democrat Senate candidate.

    That's a real pro. People like Sanchez will go far in multicultural America. Before it disintegrates.

    (3. In fairness, note that the GOP ran Oliver North for Senator in VA despite his (vacated) felony convictions. NB: I am not necessarily criticizing the kind of shadowy operations in which North was involved; I am criticizing his (acquiescence in) being put on a pedestal.)

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