By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Carr talk

There’s a torrent rushing by, and I’ve only got a thimble. But here are a few drops:

Howie Carr yesterday took a call on his WRKO (AM 680) talk show from a woman in Maine who was very, very upset about Deval Patrick’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants who’ve gone to high school in Massachusetts to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. (Howie also seems to think there’s a loophole that would allow anyone who manages to swim ashore to be eligible for in-state tuition the next day, but that’s another matter.)

The woman then complained that her daughter has to pay $40,000 a year to attend Northeastern University. Northeastern, of course, is a private school, and there is absolutely nothing that Patrick or any government official could do to lower tuition at NU for illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, nonimmigrants or anyone else.

Carr not only didn’t correct her, but he egged her on, bringing up the $40,000 figure several times before bringing the conversation to a close.

But what does Howie care? He’s already been promoting the false notion that Patrick supports “free” tuition for illegal immigrants. His Sept. 20 Boston Herald column contains just one of several examples I’ve found: “Deval doesn’t just want to give them in-state (i.e., free) tuition, he wants to give them drivers’ licenses, too.”

What’s with the parenthetical “i.e., free”? In fact, the in-state tuition rate is not zero, as any parent of a kid who goes to UMass knows. (Indeed, as Howie himself knows.) For the real figures, read this.

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  1. mike_b1

    I’d say the real issue is that people are $40,000 a year for Northeastern. That’s criminal.

  2. Anonymous

    It’s really amazing at how adept Repugs are at controlling the debate. If I had a list of things I’m concerned about that affect my daily life that I want an elected official to take care of, illegal immigration is about #953 on the list. But all of a sudden, illegal immigration is this huge, top issue. Dems are afraid to call b.s. on the whole thing, so they always come up with these wierd stands. “Just like everyone else, I believe immigration is a problem. I just have a different approach than my opponent blah blah blah.” Just call B.S., man. I’m not wealthy, I’ve lived in a lower-middle class urban area my entire life, and I can honestly say I can’t recall my life in any way, shape, or form being affected in anything remotely approaching a negative way by an illegal immigrant. But hey, if plays to some base racism in some scared suburban soccer mom, they more power to ya.

  3. Anonymous

    My favorite part of this is the WRKO people whining about being “under attack” by Deval supporters.Howie Carr and Scott Allen Miller devote show after show after show to bashing “liberals” homosexuals, and Deval supporters (which they suggest are all the same thing). Why are they surprised and hurt when people hit back?People are just giving back in kind. It’s not like someones written a book called “Scott Allen Miller is a big fat idiot with stupid facial hair.” The word “bully” springs to mind.

  4. neil

    Maybe the issue of illegal immigration is big only because Republicans (“repugs”) have puffed it up to scare people. Or maybe it really is big. Nationally it’s not a left vs right issue as within both parties there was support for Bush’s “comprehensive” approach which went nowhere, vs “security first” which is more popular and on a left-right scale, if you wish to think in those terms, is further “right” than the President’s position.I don’t doubt Howie is misstating the issue, if he conflates children of illegals with illegals (the kids may or may not be legal–Dan has noted the distinction). And it’s not a matter of free tuition of course. But just because he couldn’t be bothered to get it right doesn’t mean there’s not a legitimate grievance. The source of people’s ire I think is the prospect that illegals, even after being identified as such by any govt organization (the RMV, a high-school, the state college system) will be allowed not only to remain here, but to do so with no sanction whatsoever–with no risk of legal action. Which, old-fashioned as I am, might presume the status “illegal” would entail. What is to prevent additional illegals from coming here? Indeed what does the word “illegal” even mean–nothing at all?People wait years to be allowed legal entry. Why should they bother–why not simply sneak in and stay? Will flaunting the official federal immigration process become Massachusetts policy? I don’t like that. And I’m not a Republican.

  5. Anonymous

    Carr’s comments are not half as inaccurate as your Red Sox posts.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Hey, Anon — Point out one single inaccuracy in *any* of my Red Sox posts. I don’t even think Mike would do that. He just thinks I’m wrong. Entirely different.

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