My January 13 VDARE.COM column "CBS' 60 Minutes Fires First Shot in New H-1B Battle" set off a barrage of e-mail.
The 60 Minutes show, "Imported from India," was hosted by an adoring Lesley Stahl (firstname.lastname@example.org). She fell hook, line and sinker for the PR pap advanced by the Indian Institute of Technology and its shills.
In what was essentially an infomercial, [transcript] nary a word was spoken on behalf of American engineers, American universities or American workers who have been and will continue to be displaced by IIT graduates and other H-1B visa holders. Immigration reformer Rob Sanchez, publisher of H1BNews and www.zazona.com referred to Stahl in his newsletter as an "IIT frat girl."
After VDARE.COM posted my highly critical essay, irate IIT graduates sent me arrogant, self-congratulatory notes. Some mail was nasty. The subject line in one e-mail read, "The middle finger from an IITian." Several accused me of "xenophobic hostility."
Later that week, just as the flurry died down, Rome Hartman, the producer of "Imported from India" emailed me. Hartman, who acknowledged getting swamped with mail wanted "to set the record straight."
Referring to my harsh assessment in VDARE.COM, Hartman insisted that 60 Minutes had done a professional story.
"We did our homework on this story. We were not somehow 'snowed' into doing a 'puff piece,' as some comments have suggested. IIT is a distinctive educational institution, by any measure, and its graduates have accomplished much, in India and abroad. It's worthy of note, and we took note of it. It isfar more selective than the most selective U.S. universities; it does occupy a lofty position in the Indian imagination. IIT graduates have made important and creative contributions to the U.S. tech sector, and to our economy. These are facts. We did not 'diss' American universities, students, or professionals simply because we recognized the excellence of an institution halfway around the world, and of its graduates. To level that charge at us betrays a narrow view of the world, and a broad-brush resentment that is neither constructive nor attractive."
I asked Hartman if I could have Professor Norm Matloff of the University of California at Davis respond. Matloff, a computer scientist, has been described by Peter Brimelow as 'one of the leading figures in the immigration reform movement."
In his reply to Hartman, Matloff introduced himself as a liberal Democrat and an immigrant's rights advocate. He further identified himself as one who has recruited students from IIT.
Then Matloff stated that the IIT curriculum and faculty are "good" rather than "great." And he challenged Hartman's often-repeated statement that IIT H-1Bs are paid at market rates.
To conclude, Matloff charged that CBS was guilty of journalistic irresponsibility. Where, asked Matloff, were the dissenting voices?
And Matloff strongly urged that, with H-1B visa legislation scheduled to sunset this year, 60 Minutes do a story on the impact of 195,000 H-1B visas issued annually in an economy when American programmers have been fired.
"This is a very serious problem, one that it is high time for 60 Minutes to revisit," wrote Matloff, referring to the quite good 1993 60 Minutes H-1B segment "North of the Border." (Hartman: "We did that story.")
Matloff sent his e-mail on January 25th. 60 Minutes rebroadcast "Imported from India," on March 2. I sent the message a second time.
Finally, on March 11th, I received a reply. In short, 60 Minutes isn't budging.
Reiterated Hartman, 60 Minutes is "proud" of the story, was not influenced by any public relations campaign, did not disrespect American students or universities - but only recognized the "extraordinary" place that IIT occupies in Indian society and imagination
Hartman's response didn't acknowledge of the lack of balance and held out no promise of a story from the U.S. worker's perspective. Worse, his note did not indicate the least interest in pursuing the other side.
All of this is disappointing but not surprising. Once again, concerned Americans with reasonable and valid views are ignored. This is how our foes in the media elite deal with us: they ignore us.
Instead of going toe to toe on the facts, or at least being fair and balanced, the media proceeds as though it holds the high ground and dismisses criticism without further ado.
Is it any wonder that the public holds the media in such disdain?
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.