CBS, NBC Omit Illegal Immigrant Status of Greyhound Hostage Taker

January 15th, 2018 10:02 AM

Over the weekend, as the broadcast networks informed viewers of a hostage situation that took place on a Greyhound bus in Illinois, CBS and NBC both blatantly neglected to inform their viewers that the perpetrator was an illegal immigrant while ABC's World News Tonight on Saturday identified Marguerito Vargas Rosas as an "undocumented immigrant." 

Meanwhile, NBC's Spanish-language sister network, Telemundo, was completely MIA on the story during its Saturday evening national newscast, as was Telemundo's chief rival, Univision. Both networks also kept quiet about it on Sunday.

CNN's New Day Sunday described Vargas Rosas as an "undocumented immigrant," while FNC tagged him as an "illegal immigrant" and additionally informed viewers that he had been deported five times already.

On Saturday, January 13, the morning newscasts on CBS, NBC, and FNC all ran briefs on the story, with ABC running a full report of almost two minutes. Presumably because the story was relatively new, none of the shows initially mentioned the suspect's illegal immigrant status. On Saturday evening, the NBC Nightly News was preempted (for an NFL playoff game) while the CBS Evening News ran a full report without mentioning the suspect's illegal status.

By contrast, as ABC's World News Tonight on Saturday ran a full report, correspondent Marci Gonzalez informed viewers: "The police arresting 33-year-old Marguerito Vargas Rosas, They say the undocumented immigrant from Mexico is now charged with making terrorist threats and disorderly conduct."

On Sunday morning, CNN caught up with the story and ran two briefs on New Day Sunday. Co-host Victor Blackwell informed viewers: "The suspect is reportedly an undocumented immigrant who had been previously deported."

Meanwhile, Fox and Friends Sunday temporary co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy avoided the politically correct "undocumented immigrant" term as she recalled: "An illegal immigrant now facing terror charges for threatening to kill passengers on a Greyhound bus."

Sunday evening's Fox Report devoted two and a half minutes to the story, with correspondent Bryan Llenas going furthest in informing viewers of how much of history the suspect has of illegally entering the U.S. Llenas: "The sheriff said Vargas Rosas is in the country illegally from Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol tells Fox News the 33-year-old suspect had been deported five times before -- five. He previously has been arrested for a DUI."

Finally, Monday's Fox and Friends ran one more brief on the subject from newsreader Jillian Mele, which reiterated his illegal status and that he had already been deported five times.