National Media Avoid Identifying Levy Murder Suspect as an Illegal

CBS, CNN, FNC and the AP on Tuesday all failed to identify Ingmar Guandique, for whom an arrest warrant was issued for the 2001 murder of Chandra Levy, as an illegal alien. In a full story on the CBS Evening News, reporter Bob Orr described him simply as a “Salvadoran immigrant.” During CNN's Situation Room, Zain Verjee benignly called him “a laborer from El Salvador” and later, on Anderson Cooper 360, news reader Erica Hill referred to him as “a U.S. prison inmate from El Salvador.” (In between, the contrarian Lou Dobbs did identify Guandique as “a criminal illegal alien.”)

FNC's Bret Baier, on his 6 PM EST show, cited the new charge against “a Salvadoran immigrant” while multiple dispatches from the AP's Brian Westerly described Guandique as “an imprisoned Salvadoran immigrant.”

Wednesday's front page Washington Post article cited the murder suspect's immigration status, but not until the third paragraph: “Guandique, who entered the United States illegally in 2000 and had trouble scraping together a new life in Washington...” In contrast, the free Washington Examiner put the relevant fact in the lead of its story for the Wednesday paper:

Nearly eight years after the disappearance of congressional intern Chandra Levy dominated national headlines, D.C. authorities charged with murder an illegal immigrant who had been questioned in the early stages of the investigation.
Neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News mentioned the arrest warrant. Bob Orr began his piece for the March 3 CBS Evening News:
Police identified the killer of Chandra Levy as Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant who's already in a California prison for assaulting two other women in the same Washington park where Levy was murdered.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center