By now you know that the mainstream media's coverage of SB 1070 has been so inaccurate as to be considered journalistic malpractice. I've pointed out that much of the original incorrect information came from a botched April 22nd Republic Editorial.
However I must acknowledge that since that time, the Republic has done an outstanding job analyzing the bill. On Sunday, the paper took the extraordinary step of printing the entire text of the law together with analysis from several law professors.
And the paper has finally settled on a Nut Graph. A Nut Graph is a concise paragraph that falls mid story and explains the significance or key points of the story. Here's the Republic's description of the bill.
The law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.
That's pretty close, but even that paragraph didn't mention that in addition not requiring the officer to ask about immigration status if it's not "practicable," the law also allows the officer to take into account whether or not asking about the immigration status would interfere with an investigation. That provision provides even more protection for witnesses and victims.
Now compare the nut graph to what Republic editorial writer Linda Valdez wrote in the April 22nd editorial that created an national firestorm.
The broad anti-immigrant bill passed by the Legislature this week makes it a crime to be in the country illegally and gives local cops the job of demanding documentation if they have reasonable suspicion someone lacks it.
The need to carry proper "papers" falls squarely on Arizona's Latino population - including those born and raised in the Grand Canyon State.
Unfortunately it was Valdez' inflamatory and innacurate description that went around the world while the accurate nut graph was still putting on its shoes.