City Desk

Washington Times Scare Quote Watch

Today’s Washington Times splashes its A1 with a classic example of Times scare-quotery. In this instance, the “Coast-to-coast ‘movement’ ” isn’t really a movement, because that’s just what the hundreds of thousands of marchers his weekend in L.A. said it was. Not what America’s Newspaper said it was.

And proposals to grant some illegal immigrants citizenship shouldn’t really be called “amnesty” because—well, I mean, it is an amnesty and all, but—let’s just say some people just don’t think it’s a good idea.

But the Times’ skepticism doesn’t make it past A1. Follow the jump to “ILLEGALS, page A14,” and you’ll find the following quote:

Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who has led the fight against illegal immigration, said the committee’s proposal “provides nearly universal amnesty” for the more than 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S….“No plan with amnesty and a massive increase in foreign workers will pass the House. Amnesty and foreign workers are fundamentally incompatible with the House’s approach….”

Clearly that quote should have been rendered as such:

Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who has led the fight against illegal immigration, said the committee’s proposal “provides nearly universal ‘amnesty’ ” for the more than 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S….“No plan with ‘amnesty’ and a massive increase in foreign workers will pass the House. ‘Amnesty’ and foreign workers are fundamentally incompatible with the House’s approach….”

Meanwhile, in an A4 story titled “Bush Asks Congress to Boost Green Cards,” the subhed again lets “amnesty” get off unquoted: “Tells news citizens he opposes amnesty,” it reads. The rest of the article mentions amnesty twice more—no quotes.

Wes, Fran—come on, guys! Tell the copy desk to get with the program!

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