Esther J. Cepeda and Bill O'Reilly chatted in 2007 about leaving race and ethnicity out of the illegal immigration debate.
Esther J. Cepeda and Bill O'Reilly chatted in 2007 about leaving race and ethnicity out of the illegal immigration debate.
August 2007 I went on Chicago Tonight to talk about Elvira Arellano's role in the heating of the immigration debate, and how she contributed to divisive feelings about Latin American illegal immigrants.
I went on CNN Headline news the summer of 2007 to talk about the case of Robert Gallegos a police officer accused of breaking his son's teen classmate's jaw.
Copyright 2007 Voxant
May 2, 2007
Thousands Protest Nationwide For Immigration Rights
Greta Van Susteren, William La Jeunesse
Show: FOX ON THE RECORD WITH GRETA VAN SUSTEREN
Date: May 1, 2007
Head: Thousands Protest Nationwide For Immigration Rights
Sect: News; Domestic
Byline: Greta Van Susteren, William La Jeunesse
Spec: Immigration; Protests & Demonstrations
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Immigrants take to the streets coast to coast, from Chicago to San Antonio to right here in the nation's capital. We have the latest on the ground from around the country. We begin in LA with FOX News's William La Jeunesse. William, what was it like today in those streets?WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it wasn't too bad. I mean, obviously, compared to last year, which was breathtaking in its scope and really surprised police last year in terms of those numbers, 625,000, this year, just a fraction of that. We're looking at, in this particular rally that I attended, just about 10,000. Last year, this particular rally pulled about 200,000.
Now, if numbers are simply a measure of success, well, then, you'd say this is a failure. The organizers, they got their spin on. They say that's not the case. They have kept this issue in front of the public, and now, as this is entering a very critical phase in terms of negotiations in Washington, they say they own the space. And if you look at the air time dedicated to this issue, then in that case, well, they feel pretty good about that -- Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, William, the thing what bothers a lot of Americans in particular about these protests is to see protesters waving foreign flags on the streets there, instead of American flags. They find that offensive. Any counter protests to the protests today?
LA JEUNESSE: Not out at the location that I'm at. I think there have been a few around the country, but very sparse. Of course, you remember last week those radio deejays from around the country held their own protest, if you will, in Washington, D.C. That's where decision makers are. So not out here directly, and the police don't encourage that kind of thing. It just gets ugly. But the police were very heavy out here, so no, we didn't see any significant counter protests. Oh, a few individuals right here and right here would come up to me and say, Why didn't you say this? Why didn't you say that? And I go, Well, OK. We try to get their point across. But pretty marginal, really -- Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the particular problem or controversy over immigration, it hasn't changed in a year. There were big numbers last year. In fact, if anything, it at least appears to me to have gotten heated up. What's the explanation for the lower turn-out?
LA JEUNESSE: Well, I'll give you several. Number -- and again, this is a little bit of spin and a lot of truth. Number one, the raids by ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, which for a long time, frankly, did nothing, are finally stepping up. And the administration wants to show that they're doing something, so they've arrested about 220,000 in the last year, deporting criminal aliens, number one, and also individuals at workplace enforcement. That's making a difference. That's scaring people because they're afraid if they skip work or miss work, then they are going to be known, and the employer, of course now, and in some cases, in some states and localities, is liable for hiring illegal immigrants. So they stayed on the job. That's one rationale.
The school kids, most of them stayed in school, marginal number in that point. Number one, the deejays -- number three -- on Spanish-language media, both on TV and in radio, they urged people either not to come or extremely ambivalent. Last year, the deejays were very instrumental in getting people out.
And finally, in many cases, the hard-liners among the organizers did not get along with some of the other organizers, so it was very fractured. And we were trying to set up, you know, where we were going to be, where you're going to -- all the kind of logistics that the media needs to know. We couldn't get a straight answer out of the people, like it was, you know -- it was the Three Stooges arranging some of this stuff. So we're not surprised that the turnout wasn't maybe as organized as it was last year -- Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, William, thank you. All right, from Los Angeles, we're going to go to Chicago. Joining us, Chicago Sun-times reporter Esther Cepeda. Esther, what was it like today in Chicago?
ESTHER CEPEDA, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Hi, there. We had the exact opposite of the effect in Los Angeles because we had a major raid here last Tuesday, and that just really made people angry. They came out, and it was just -- the fury was there. And it was kind of very palpable when you're out on the streets. People were angry. There were things being burned in effigy. There were people really putting a lot of emotion into it, although it was a very orderly crowd.
VAN SUSTEREN: Although numbers don't necessarily show success or failure, they're somewhat interesting to us. Any idea the number on the street this year in Chicago, compared to even a year ago on this day?
CEPEDA: Yes, that's a really fascinating thing about this particular story. Last year, we looked at numbers somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000. This year, the organizers of the march were looking at 5,000 or 6,000. That's what they put on their petitions when they looked for the permits. We had estimates of about 60,000, and the final police counts were 150,000 people out on the streets.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You say things were -- they burned things in effigy. What was being burned in effigy?
CEPEDA: There were some lab coats and some things with military helmets that were burnt in effigy, that had the president's name on it, as well the ICE initials, Immigration Customs Enforcement. There was a Statue of Liberty that was crucified, just a lot of things that we did not see last year, so just some angry sentiments.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was it -- was it -- did you have a sense that this wasn't just an immigration protest, but also one about the war in Iraq?
CEPEDA: You know, there was a lot of that, and it kind of speaks to the other point about the fractitious groups. There are a lot of agendas going on here, and certainly, there were people out very much protesting the war in Iraq. But it kind of -- everybody got together and made it about immigration, effectively.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any counter protesters?
CEPEDA: You know, that's really fascinating. The Chicago Minuteman Project, as well as a few other groups that are here, they decided that they were going to go across town and lobby at various other places, at representatives who are supporting measures, pro-illegal-immigrant measures here in Chicago. And so they had said that they were not going to make a presence here.
But there were two people on the corner of Columbus and Jackson today that did have signs saying, We support immigration, we don't support illegal immigration. And the crowd kind of went crazy. And there were 40 Chicago police officers surrounding two individuals that simply had posters, and it really brought the tail end of the parade to a standstill.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Esther, thank you. From the middle of our country, from Chicago, Illinois, we're going to go now to San Antonio, Texas. Let's bring in FOX News's Chris Gutierrez. Chris, what was it like on the streets in San Antonio today?
CHRIS GUTIERREZ, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Same song, different verse, as we saw out in LA, Greta. We -- organizers here expected somewhere in the realm of 30,000 demonstrators. But if our counts are correct, we counted about 1,000.
GUTIERREZ: You're exactly right, especially considering last year, there were hundreds of thousands statewide. William La Jeunesse hit on this earlier, and that's what a lot of people down here are echoing, is that they think that the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, raids really scared some people. I talked to ICE, and what they say, they maintained that they never do random raids. For them to hear that folks down here in San Antonio, folks out in LA, folks in Chicago, wherever you live, would actually be concerned that they would wind up at a raid like the one we saw here in San Antonio is ludicrous to them, really.
They -- for months and for weeks, they actually kind of target where they're going at. We talked a lot this week, and today, of course, obviously, about the job that ICE does and who they go after and what they're doing. They catch criminals, Greta. And there's no doubt in either one of our minds that they have caught some bad guys. Sure, we've seen the numbers. But for people to be concerned and not to come out and protest -- ICE is kind of on the edge of saying that's kind of an excuse on their end because they've never come out and randomly attacked folks or try and raid or round up illegal immigrants who are voicing their concerns out here in the public.
VAN SUSTEREN: So I take it, then, that there were no arrests for immigration issues at this protest.
GUTIERREZ: No. It's a very good point. In fact, we saw San Antonio police officers actually checking out and going home because the numbers were much smaller than what they anticipated. It was during a shift change, and we asked some of the officers, You're leaving already? You're going home? He says, You know, they had anticipated paying us some overtime, just in case the numbers grew to the 30,000-plus that they were expecting, but since they were so small, they're actually going home. Others were lined up along the parade route just so those marchers could, you know, navigate, snake their way through downtown San Antonio without disturbing traffic too much.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chris, one of the things that Esther said is going on in Chicago is that there were some items burned in effigy or symbols burned in effigy. Did you see anything remotely like that in San Antonio?
GUTIERREZ: We didn't see that. But one thing that we did see, Greta, is something that stuck with me. A lot of the protesters were carrying these crosses. This one here is for Jesus Lopez, for example. Each one of these white crosses carried by the demonstrators represents a life lost trying to cross the Mexican border, most of the time Mexican nationals. Actually, Jesus Lopez, I'm told, was a Mexican national, tried to cross into the United States, but died in the desert. And he died, Greta, according to organizers, trying to live out the American dream. So they had organizers and demonstrators carry these white crosses in a sign of solidarity. But we didn't see anything burned in effigy.
VAN SUSTEREN: I take it that immigration is a giant issue in San Antonio.
GUTIERREZ: You bet. Texas in general. We saw similar protests and marches in Dallas. We saw them in Houston. And of course, we saw them here in San Antonio. I'm down here on the river walk right now. A cultural -- Hispanic culture thrives in San Antonio. And to have a raid (SIC) that produced, again by our numbers, a little more than a thousand people, or around that, kind of makes you wonder what exactly was the concern with people showing up.
Again, we mentioned at the top of the hour folks not being able to come out until after work. A lot of people talked about the livelihood of the folks taking part in these raids (SIC). If, in fact, they are illegal immigrants, can they afford to miss work like they did last year? A lot of times, the kids last year took a lot of heat from a lot of people across the United States for skipping school, for missing school. This year, we didn't see that. But around 5:00 o'clock, around quitting time, we saw the numbers out here in San Antonio grow tremendously.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Chris. It's a giant problem down in Texas, but likewise around the country, as we've seen today, and certainly here in Washington. Thank you, Chris.
All right, were you at a protest, a rally or a march today, and did you film it with a videocamera or with your cell phone? If so, send it to us right now. Just go to our Foxnews.com show page, or you can even e-mail video and images from your mobile service to Ontherecord@ureport.foxnews.com. It's all part of our new U Report. We want your newsworthy video right here on our air.
Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (http://www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.
Friday August 21 2009 this episode of Chicago Tonight week in review aired. The host, Joel Weisman, plus me, Bruce Dold and David Greising of the Chicago Tribune, and Mike North, Comcast SportsNet talked about politicians stumping at the state fair; Chicago’s Uptown area: the latest neighborhood grappling with rising violence; Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s a town hall meeting on health care; Chicago learning its Olympic fate in just six weeks; Bears quarterback Jay Cutler hoping to rebound from his dismal pre-season debut; and the Cubs struggling down the stretch.
Watch for priceless on-camera cell-phone call in the last segment, it was a fun show to tape!
Their embed function seems to not be working for me so follow this link:
Apr 30, 2009 9:51 pm US/Central
Some Think Flu Fears Are Overblown
Vice President Joe Biden is taking a lot of grief tonight for comments he made about the flu. He apparently went off message.
But did it help or hurt the public's understanding of the outbreak?
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.
Hundreds of people dying every day. Hundreds of thousands hospitalized.
Is it H1N1? No, just a normal flu season.
So what are we doing?
You can't say the president wasn't warned about Biden's "foot in mouth" disease before he picked him, but this time his gaffe may have been a public service, raising the level of hysteria for the virus gone viral.
Web columnist Esther J. Cepeda, the former Sun-Times columnist, calls it "the Mexican Swine flu Heebie-Jeebies." "Folks," she writes, "take a chill pill."
"Since Sunday, the nation has gone from zero to hysterical," she said.
And when people become hysterical, she says, they often look for scapegoats.
"There's some 'My gosh, all Mexicans are dirty and there's some 'Hey, all white people hate us' and somewhere in between are a lot of Hispanic people (saying), 'We're gonna wash our hands try not to cough on people and we're all good.'"
But it's not just the media.
"Politicians are guilty of the same thing," U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said. "We say things that we think will get attention. We better make sure we do it in a responsible way."
Sure enough, our "Chicken Little" cry was picked up, echoed and blessed.
"I want to thank the members of the press. Your news coverage has been factual, fair and focused. You have clearly chosen help over hype," Terry Mason, Chicago's public health director, said.
Well, there is some help being offered, with tips on prevention, and how to keep from spreading the flu.
Dr. Mark Dworkin, is a UIC professor, former CDC investigator and author of the just-released book "Outbreak," which studies epidemics around the world. He feels the hype might be an example of the end justifying the means.
"If we're lucky, this will be a relatively mild pandemic -- we want that to happen," he said. "We want to look back and go 'We didn't need to do everything we did.' That's what we want to see. But we don't have a crystal ball.
The good news, according to Dworkin, is these outbreaks usually come in waves, which means by the third wave, we should have a vaccine ready to combat it.
(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
This video commentary is an excerpt from a column titled "American Dream" published in the Chicago Sun-Times on December 6, 2007, pg. 22
I NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU, REX The Bears still have a fighting chance. It's slim, Aaron Schatz, number cruncher extraordinaire at footballoutsider.com, told me Wednesday. "It's 2.9 percent chance of making the postseason. Since 1983, only three teams have made the postseason after starting 5-7: Jacksonville in 1996 (9-7), San Diego in 1995 (9-7), and New Orleans in 1990 (8-8). That's three out of 102, which is 2.9 percent." So, there is hope. And there's fan faith. And I put mine in Rex long ago. Yeah, yeah, I take my lumps for being a diagnosed Rex-aholic -- I've got thick skin from shamelessly cheering the Cowboys -- but who can resist the underdog? Sure, he's had his ups and downs -- as have the rest of his motley crew -- but if anybody can get the lead out for the next four games, it's Rex. Besides, where's the fun in rooting for pretty-boy Tom Brady or admittedly legendary Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Brett Favre? Too easy. Congrats to them, but if this orange and blue ship goes down tonight, I'm proudly going down with it.
I NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU, REX
The Bears still have a fighting chance. It's slim, Aaron Schatz, number cruncher extraordinaire at footballoutsider.com, told me Wednesday. "It's 2.9 percent chance of making the postseason. Since 1983, only three teams have made the postseason after starting 5-7: Jacksonville in 1996 (9-7), San Diego in 1995 (9-7), and New Orleans in 1990 (8-8). That's three out of 102, which is 2.9 percent."
So, there is hope. And there's fan faith. And I put mine in Rex long ago. Yeah, yeah, I take my lumps for being a diagnosed Rex-aholic -- I've got thick skin from shamelessly cheering the Cowboys -- but who can resist the underdog?
Sure, he's had his ups and downs -- as have the rest of his motley crew -- but if anybody can get the lead out for the next four games, it's Rex. Besides, where's the fun in rooting for pretty-boy Tom Brady or admittedly legendary Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Brett Favre? Too easy.
Congrats to them, but if this orange and blue ship goes down tonight, I'm proudly going down with it.