A NYT editorial writer learned a disturbing fact yesterday: it turns out they call it "illegal immigration" because it's against the law.
This little fact is going to be a serious crimp in the NYT's efforts to end prosecution of illegal immigrants.
In a February 22 editorial called "Enforcement Gone Bad," the NYT argued yet again that U.S. policies regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants need to be changed.
"The failures of the immigration system are many and severe, but the main problem is not that the country is catching too few undocumented immigrants," the NYT wrote. "It is catching too many."
But the editorial went on to justify its argument this way:
The numbers might suggest we are besieged by immigrant criminals. But of all the noncitizen Latinos sentenced last year, the vast majority — 81 percent — were convicted for unlawfully entering or remaining in the country, which is not a criminal offense.
Oh no you didn't!
As most law-abiding Americans know, things that are unlawful are also criminal. Which is why -- nearly two weeks later -- the NYT issued this correction yesterday:
An editorial on Feb. 22 stated incorrectly that unlawfully entering the country is not a criminal offense. It is a misdemeanor for a first-time offender.
A misdemeanor -- hey, isn't that kinda like a parking ticket? No biggie! The NYT editorial writer responsible for this particular screed was so certain of his position that he/she hadn't bothered to consider whether it might contradict the law. We may not be "beseiged" by immigrant criminals -- but until the laws get changed, the NYT might as well do the right thing, and support their enforcement.
That's what The Ethicist would tell them to do.
Then comes today's priceless fix of an "Arts, Briefly" item identifying the director of the Broadway adaptation of Nora Ephron's "Sleepless In Seattle" as Edward Zwick.
That set off a flurry of excitement yesterday, that the director of "Glory" and "Defiance" would turn the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romantic kerfuffle into a good-versus-evil morality tale set during World War II. Perhaps instead of agreeing to meet on top of the Empire State Building, the long-distance lovers could schedule their first date on the beaches of Normandy, or perhaps the Reich Chancellery, or even Hitler's private bunker! What a marvelous show-stopper that would be.
But alas, in today's corrections column comes news that Edward Zwick will not be the director after all. Instead, apparently, the director will be Joel "No Relation To Ed" Zwick -- a television comedy director of such classics as "Two And A Half Men" and "The Love Boat: The Next Wave."
Say it ain't so, Joel!. Here is the bad news in its entirety:
A report in the “Arts, Briefly” column on Wednesday about plans to make a musical based on the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” misidentified the director. He is Joel Zwick — not Edward Zwick, also a director. (They are not related.)
But are we sure this story is now correct? There's always the possibility that the director is, in fact, Charles Zwick, the director of the Office of Management And Budget in 1968.
Here's hoping, anyway.