I must say that I had never even heard of the Breitbart news site until a few months ago. And my first impression was amusement more than anything else, especially when they referred to me as a “top Democrat.” (They did get the Democrat part right, but…) Yet, I’m coming to respect them more and more, as they are doing a great job of covering a topic the mainstream media (MSM) is reluctant to investigate properly — the H-1B work visa and related topics such as OPT. (Of course, Computerworld does an excellent job, but as a trade paper it is not MSM.)
Just in the last few days alone, Breitbart has run interesting articles on Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, plus an analysis by Professor Ron Hira of Marco Rubio’s views on H-1B, and one on Rubio’s deep pockets tech funders. We all know the huge role that money plays in politics, but that last article is pretty scary.
Many of my readers think the MSM is horribly biased on H-1B issues. I’ve generally defended the MSM, saying they are merely ignorant, victims of the tech industry’s relentless PR campaigns to implant in the American consciousness the ideas that we have a STEM labor shortage, that the foreign STEM students are all geniuses, etc. But I must say that even I was taken aback by something a reporter from a top MSM outlet recently said to me in an e-mail exchange. I had corrected her terming H-1B visa holders as “immigrants” (many hope to immigrate, but H-1B is simply a temporary work visa), she replied,
I am aware that the term of law for foreign workers on temporary visas is “non-immigrant.” But it is legal jargon that we avoid [at this MSM outlet], in no small part because its tone is insulting to the foreigners. (From non-immigrant to non-person is not a long way.)
I had written here before on the manipulation of language by the industry PR people, but “insulting”? “Non-person”? Really? The above statements by a journalist at a major newspaper are really laughable — and pathetic. It is this sense of things spinning out of control in the country that are making the “outsiders” so attractive to many voters these days.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently ran a piece on Breitbart, fascinating background.