In what read like an early April Fool’s joke, on March 31, the Baltimore Examiner wasted nearly two pages of print glorifying Walter Abbott, a local dry-waller recently arrested for threatening Governor Martin O’Malley’s life because the guv supported some pro-immigrant measures in Annapolis, or in Abbott’s words, he supported “illegal aliens.” As the Examiner portrayed it, the Governor was guilty also of having supported funding for the pro-immigrant nonprofit organization CASA de Maryland, which has effectively lobbied Annapolis on several immigrant measures this session. There is nothing new or particularly noteworthy about Abbott’s xenophobia. It has been around since the country’s origins (consider Benjamin Franklin’s comments about german immigrants in Pa.), and Abbott’s personal demons probably aren’t the stuff to be made light of or exploited to sell newspapers. The issue here is the Examiner’s anti-immigrant opportunism, a four column interview with Abbott with a photo of him next to a draped American flag, followed on the next page by a four column rant against CASA. This brand of yellow journalism accomplishes little except help whip up anti-immigrant hysteria, presumably to help sell advertising space. Regrettably, this piece in particular has a chance of turning Mr. Abbott’s personal demons against several East Baltimore neighborhoods. But, perhaps the yellow journalism was unintended. Consider that CASA de Maryland has successfully stemmed the anti-immigrant tide in the Maryland State legislature this session. Perhaps CASA’s sophisticated grass roots lobbying stirred the ire of its less well organized nativist opponents at the Examiner. So, Examiner, if this is your passive aggressive acknowledgment to CASA for a job well done, perhaps next time you’ll just say it. Congrats CASA, and job well done, guv (& sorry about the abbott thing)!