Juan Williams Proclaims Illegal Immigrant Jose Vargas ‘A Hero To The American Media’

Juan Williams, former National Public Radio reporter and current Fox News contributor, threw some cold water over the liberal media’s obsession with illegal immigration Jose Vargas. 

Appearing as a panelist on Fox News’ Media Buzz on Sunday, July 20, Williams noted how the media treat Vargas as a celebrity and insisted that “he is no doubt a hero to the American media and especially to the American left.” [See video below.] 

Williams’ comments came after fellow Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn scolded Vargas for being “selfish to go down to that border and pull off a stunt like that when the border patrol people have enough to worry about.”

As the segment progressed, Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz wondered “if the border patrol had not only detained Jose Vargas but had decided to deport him, because he obviously has broken the law, do you think that would have been an outrage? Would the media have denounced the administration for that?”

The liberal Juan Williams then went on to play up how the media is enthralled with Vargas, which enables him to escape deportation:

The administration made a decision that it was just too politically explosive at this moment. We’ve got the children at the border. We’ve got the larger argument about comprehensive immigration reform. Vargas now, I think, is the stand-in for all the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. He’s the best known illegal immigrant in America and so he has that status. 

As NewsBusters has documented, ever since Vargas first announced that he was an illegal immigrant, the media has been enamored with him and has gone to great lengths to promote his activism. 

See relevant transcript below. 


Fox News

Media Buzz

July 20, 2014

HOWARD KURTZ: Let me switch now to the immigration crisis, which we all agree needs attention. This week, Jose Vargas, former “Washington Post” reporter, illegal immigrant, a guy who founded an organization to be an advocate for the illegal immigrants, went to the Texas border, got detained and later ended up being released. Let me play a little sound from Vargas on CNN a few weeks ago. 

JOSE VARGAS: America is not a country that turns its back on children. That's not who we are as a country. You know, and I don't want to bring race into this, but if these were white kids, would we be doing this to the kids? Right? 

LAUREN ASHBURN: This guy has an ulterior motive for doing this. He’s on television, he most likely will write a book about this and include this in this. And he’s selfish, he’s selfish to go down to that border and pull off a stunt like that when the border patrol people have enough to worry about. He's also thumbing his nose at American law. This guy broke the law. 

KURTZ: Well, he was brought here at the age of 12 from the Philippines. He has sort of come out of the closet, he did that in the New York Times magazine in 2011, and he certainly is very good at getting attention. Do you think the mainstream media treat Jose Vargas as something as a hero? 

JIM PINKERTON: Of course they treat him as a hero. Lauren’s absolutely right. And he's milking it for a book contract and a movie deal and God knows what else he'll have. But meanwhile, stories like John Winter at Fox has a headline this morning, cartels shooting heavy caliber machine guns across the border into America aiming at American officials. That story will get one scintilla of the coverage of the Vargas story. 

KURTZ: If the border patrol had not only detained Jose Vargas but had decided to deport him, because he obviously has broken the law, do you think that would have been an outrage? Would the media have denounced the administration for that?

JUAN WILLIAMS: They would have seen it as, and I think this is the reason why he wasn’t deported is the administration made a decision that it was just too politically explosive at this moment. We’ve got the children at the border. We’ve got the larger argument about comprehensive immigration reform. Vargas now, I think, is the stand-in for all the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country.

He’s the best known illegal immigrant in America and so he has that status. I must say that I interviewed him on stage when he made his documentary and that documentary is going to be aired on HBO. It is a big media sensation. He is no doubt a hero to the American media and especially to the American left.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.