NBC Ignores Latest on Illegal Immigration Crisis, Mocks GOP Lawmaker Instead

The only coverage of the ongoing border crisis featured on Thursday's NBC Today was report focused on ridiculing a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona for mistaking a bus filled with YMCA campers for one carrying illegal immigrant children. Co-host Matt Lauer teased: "...why one lawmaker is saying he's sorry this morning." Fill-in news reader Tamron Hall hyped the gaffe: "Yeah, this is a big one." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas declared: "Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children....At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress....It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp..."

Llamas seized on a tweet from Kwasman: "When a school bus filled with children approached, Kwasman tweeted, 'Bus coming in, this is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.'"

After playing a clip of Kwasman apologizing for the error, Llams piled on by running a soundbite of left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews delighting in the mistake: "Sorry, if you're going to invite the media out to protest a bus carrying migrant children, better make sure it's actually carrying migrant children."

Llamas concluded: "Now for the time being Kwasman has left his tweeting to announcing political events. But he learned a good lesson for both children and adults, think before you tweet."

In stark contrast to NBC highlighting one Republican's misstep, ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday provided a full story on "serious health concerns" over possible diseases being carried by the illegal immigrants.

CBS This Morning offered a full segment on Republicans and Democrats in Congress opposing President Obama's proposal to deal with the crisis and a later report detailing the violence in Central America spurring the immigration surge.

This Morning also included coverage of Kwasman, but only as a 34-second news brief in the 8:30 a.m. ET half hour, after the more substantive coverage.


Here is a full transcript of the July 17 report on Today:

7:10 AM ET

MATT LAUER: And Tamron's here to tell us why one lawmaker is saying he's sorry this morning.

TAMRON HALL: Yeah, this is a big one. Good morning guys. Good morning everyone. An Arizona lawmaker is apologizing after he mistook a bus filled with YMCA campers for a bus filled with migrant children. NBC's Tom Llamas is here with that story. Tom, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Lawmaker's Bus Mix-Up; Rep. Adam Kwasman Confused Campers for Migrants]

TOM LLAMAS: Tamron, good morning. You know, the issue of housing migrant children is happening all over the country. One politician opposed to it took it one step further, ready to confront one of the groups head on, a group of children. And he was live tweeting the whole way through. But those kids were going to summer camp.

Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [PROTESTER]: Why are you allowing these children to be used this way?

LLAMAS: At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress. When a school bus filled with children approached, Kwasman tweeted, "Bus coming in, this is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law."

ADAM KWASMAN: I was able to actually see some of the children in the buses and the fear on their faces.

LLAMAS: It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp, which Kwasman learned from reporter Brahm Resnik with NBC affiliate KPNX.

BRAHM RESNIK: Did you know that was a bus with YMCA kids?

KWASMAN: They were sad, too. Okay, I apologize, I didn't know. I was leaving when I saw them. So if that was a school bus. People are not happy down the line. That's an error by me.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sorry, if you're going to invite the media out to protest a bus carrying migrant children, better make sure it's actually carrying migrant children.

LLAMAS: The tense border battle is a lightning rod for both sides. Kwasman erased a tweet and wrote, "I apologize for the confusion. That was my error."As for the camp kids on the bus, the Y says they're unfazed.

Now for the time being Kwasman has left his tweeting to announcing political events. But he learned a good lesson for both children and adults, think before you tweet. Tamron.

HALL: Alright, Tom, thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC