Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joseph Farah's Yellow Tale

Farah's yellow tale

Posted: June 20, 2006
1:00 am Eastern

By Rebecca Hagelin
© 2010

Joseph Farah's column published yesterday fails virtually every test of Journalism 101.

In "Mike Pence sells out," he makes numerous false charges and engages in character assassination based on sloppy research.

Other than that, it's a pretty good piece of journalism. Yellow journalism, that is.

Joseph is a friend and former colleague, and he usually does a pretty good job of getting things right. But this time, he's just plain wrong. Even so, I wouldn't dream of attacking his character. But I will boldly attack a Farah product that is faulty, especially one that maligns a good man and honorable statesman such as Mike Pence.

In delivering what he claims is "the whole story" about the congressman from Indiana and his stance on immigration, Farah concocts an extremely yellow tale – instead of investigating the facts.

For example, he initially claimed that Helen Krieble, who runs the Krieble Foundation, was the widow of founder Vernon Krieble. In fact, she's his granddaughter. (After someone pointed out this ridiculous error, Joseph did fix that part of the column).

A simple phone call, before publication, would have prevented this rookie error. But in committing this oversight, Joseph was only warming up.

Let's consider some other specifics:

  1. FARAH FALLACY: Pence "sold out" because of Helen Krieble, who runs the Krieble Foundation. Mrs. Krieble, he says, runs a horse farm and needs immigrant workers, so she "gave a chunk of her money to the Heritage Foundation to devise a national immigration plan that would permit illegals to stay."

    FACT: Although the Kriebles have for many years donated to Heritage for general operations, neither Helen Krieble nor the Krieble Foundation has given any money to Heritage for immigration policy development.

    FACT: Neither Helen Krieble nor the Krieble Foundation has ever given Mike Pence money for any reason (according to the Federal Election Commission – a fact easily available to the public and inquiring journalists).

    Even though he made serious accusations, based on bad information, Farah still claims he has insider information that we're supposed to believe.

  2. FARAH FALLACY: "Heritage dutifully responded and produced the Krieble plan, which bears a striking resemblance to the Pence plan."

    FACT: Mrs. Krieble delivered a March 1, 2006, lecture at Heritage in which she explained how she would structure a guest-worker program. And that's all we've seen of her "plan."

    FACT: On Oct. 19, 2004 – that's 2004, folks – Heritage produced guiding principles upon which any immigration reform must be based. We've also written analyses on nearly every aspect of the complex issue, all of which are easily available at But for journalists who don't know how to conduct basic Web research on the organizations and individuals they're slamming, here's a quick overview of our principles:

    • Consent of the Governed – Non-citizens do not have a right to American residency or citizenship without the consent of the American people.
    • National Security – Secure borders, especially in a time of terrorist threat, are crucial to American national security.
    • The Rule of Law – Immigration is no exception to the principle that the rule of law requires the fair, firm and equitable enforcement of the law.
    • Patriotic Assimilation – A successful immigration policy must include and emphasize a deliberate and self-confident policy that welcomes and assimilates permanent immigrants.

"The first priority is national security," Heritage experts Edwin Meese III and Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., write in an updated paper that applies our core principles to any temporary-worker program. "Congress must take steps to ensure that immigration policy, or the lack of immigration policy enforcement, does not undermine national security; and, from a national security perspective, preventing illegal entry and reducing unlawful presence in the United States is an imperative." Furthermore, "there should be no amnesty program for illegal immigrants." In fact, in an op-ed in the New York Times, Meese criticized the Senate immigration proposal for being an amnesty program.

No one could reasonably conclude that Pence is soft on border security after reading his plan (which incorporates the House security plan and is available on his website) or the May 23 lecture Pence gave at The Heritage Foundation. In both instances, he stresses that border security is Job No. 1. His Heritage lecture literally says "Step One: Secure Borders" and "Step Two: No Amnesty." Only then does he outline his temporary-worker program.

To the extent that Rep. Pence agrees with our principles, we're with him. We do have some serious reservations about his plan in its current form, and we're happy to work with him (as we would with any policymaker of any party) to make his plan better. For now, though, it remains a work in progress. And it bears mentioning that Heritage continues to adhere, on this issue and others, to its long-held policy of not endorsing specific pieces of legislation.

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story," the saying goes. But Farah has done just that. In the process, he has maligned Mrs. Krieble and Rep. Pence – great Americans making great sacrifices to make America a better place.

There's no question that Joseph Farah is a red-blooded, true-blue American. But on this story, he comes out yellow.

Related special offer:

"ALIEN NATION: Secrets of the Invasion – Why America's government invites rampant illegal immigration"

Rebecca Hagelin is a media commentator, public speaker on family and the culture, and the author of "Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture that's Gone Stark Raving Mad." To learn more about her book or to invite Rebecca to speak at your event, visit Rebecca's next book, "30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family," will be released by Regnery on April 6. Rebecca also was a frequent guest on "The Dickson/Chappell Report"

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