Eric Alterman and Danielle Ivory have an excellent piece found at the Center for American Progress. They critique the right’s ridiculous assertion that swine flu is the result of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico:
First out of the box was known pandemic-ologist Michael Savage of Talk Radio’s The Savage Nation with this report:
“I'm going to talk about the horrible, horrible story of illegal aliens bringing a deadly new flu strain into the United States of America. Make no mistake about it: Illegal aliens are the carriers of the new strain of human-swine avian flu from Mexico….”
“Could our dear friends in the radical Islamic countries have concocted this virus and planted it in Mexico knowing that you, Janet Napolitano, would do nothing to stop the flow of human traffic from Mexico? And they are a perfect mule—perfect mules for bringing this virus into America.”
Wha? Seriously? Wait there’s more!
Savage wasn’t alone in fretting over the threat of illegal alien-transported killer germs. In a post entitled, “Hey, maybe we’ll finally get serious about borders now,” Michelle Malkin bragged, “I’ve blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the U.S. as a result of uncontrolled immigration.” Neal Boortz was also on the case on his radio show: There’s the bioterrorism angle… [W]hat better way to sneak a virus into this country than give it to Mexicans?... You want to get that epidemic into this country, get it going real good and hot south of the border. And, you know, then just spread a rumor that there's construction jobs available somewhere, and here it comes.”
Those who were not themselves experts naturally turned to those who were. Chris Matthews, for instance, checked in with noted pandemic expert Pat Buchanan to ask whether Mexican immigrants were the new “Typhoid Marys.” (Guess what Buchanan thought?) Sean Hannity asked, “Is this [swine flu] the latest border crisis?” The National Review Online’s Mark Steyn suggested that we rename the swine flu the “undocumented flu.” Neal Boortz suggested the the even-less politically-correct and less-clever “fajita flu.” And of course, Glenn Beck came up with this zinger: “If you are a family and you're down in Mexico and you're dying and those in America are not, why wouldn't you flood this border?”
So much ignorance. So much hate. Keith Olbermann broke it down like this:
Hey, Right Wing! It’s talk like this that is making rational thinking people head for the exits, effectively turning your tent into an umbrella! Stop talking! The breath you are wasting is making everybody sick!
Now go wash your hands!