Networks Yawn at Gun from Fast and Furious Being Connected to El Chapo; Gives Seven Mins to Trump

With the liberal media continuing its full-court press obsession over the Donald Trump campaign and the endorsement of Sarah Palin, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC partnered with Spanish-language network Telemundo to ignore on Wednesday a new development in the Fast and Furious scandal as a weapon involved in the gun running was connected to the now-captured Mexican drug lord El Chapo. 

After spending over 10 minutes last night on the Trump endorsement, ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted another seven minutes and 18 seconds during their Wednesday evening newscasts to the latest happenings with Trump. 

The Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report provided a much different picture as the FNC newscast found time to give a full report to this breaking story from correspondent William La Jeunesse. 

Host Bret Baier quipped in a tease that El Chapo had gone “shopping at the Fast and Furious store” with La Jeunesse explaining that in the raid by Mexican police and military forces that captured the notorious criminal two weeks ago: 

[T]hey found a handgun and eight rifles, including a 50-caliber Barret sniper rifle. The $13,000 weapon is designed to stop vehicle, penetrate armor or bring down a helicopter in a single shot. According to federal sources, an ATF trace matched that weapon's serial number to a master list of some 2,000 guns sold through Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. government sting operation that inadvertently funneled thousands of weapons to the Sinaloa cartel[.]

Along with clips of House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) reacting to this story, La Jeunesse added that Chaffetz teamed with Republican Senate Judiciary Chariman Charles Grassley to draw up a letter sent out on Wednesday “demanding the ATF turn over the serial numbers of all the weapons found in El Chapo's possession.”

Thus far, La Juenesse mentioned that the Department of Justice has not cooperated with the requests of Congress to “provid[e] a complete list of fast and furious guns recovered in Mexico and today refused comment about those found with El Chapo.”

Even though Telemundo remained on the sidelines with this story (despite having time devoted to El Chapo’s arrest), Wednesday’s Noticiero Univision surprisingly gave two minutes and 28 seconds to the scandal’s new connection. 

Correspondent Vilma Tarazona reported that Univision's investigative team had confirmed this discovery with two ATF sources. Along with interviewing former ATF agent José Wall, Tarazona noted that El Chapo’s cartel had been one of the top beneficiaries in gaining weapons due to this gun-running scheme.

While it’s doubtful that the networks would have covered this story to begin with, Wednesday night’s newscasts served as yet another example of how the media has been budding to give as much coverage as possible to the Republican frontrunner’s latest musings. 

In turn, this devotion of airtime and resources to Trump has sucked the oxygen out of almost any other news story that comes across as even remotely less interesting to them.

[Special thanks to MRC Latino’s Ken Oliver-Mendez for the assistance on Wednesday night’s Spanish-language evening newscasts.]

The transcript of the tease and segment from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on January 20 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
January 20, 2016
6:24 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

BRET BAIER: El Chapo goes shopping at the Fast and Furious store. What the Mexican drug lord was packing when the federales found him. That’s next

(....)

6:32 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Tracing the Gun]

BAIER: And we're also learning tonight that one of the weapons of Fast and Furious was found during the capture of the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo. Correspondent William La Jeunesse has that part of the story tonight from Los Angeles

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: Mexican police raided Joaquin El Chappo Guzman's home two weeks ago. Inside, they found a handgun and eight rifles, including a 50-caliber Barret sniper rifle. The $13,000 weapon is designed to stop vehicle, penetrate armor or bring down a helicopter in a single shot. According to federal sources, an ATF trace matched that weapon's serial number to a master list of some 2,000 guns sold through Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. Government sting operation that inadvertently funneled thousands of weapons to the Sinaloa cartel, killing among others, a Mexican beauty queen, the brother of a Mexican State Attorney and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. A Fast and Furious 50-caliber also brought down this military helicopter. 

REPUBLICAN GONGRESSMAN JASON CHAFFETZ (Utah): The Obama administration knowingly and willingly gave the weapons to these drug lords, so what do they think was going to happen? 

LA JEUNESSE: House Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz and fellow Republican Senate Judiciary Chariman Charles Grassley are writing a letter Wednesday demanding the ATF turn over the serial numbers of all the weapons found in El Chapo's possession. The entire purpose of Fast and Furious was to see how far up the chain cartels smuggled U.S. weapons. Now, we know at least one made it all the way to the top. 

CHAFFETZ: We're worried that so many of these guns, are still in the possession of the drug lords. 

LA JEUNESSE: The Justice Department has not, as Congress requested, provided a complete list of fast and furious guns recovered in Mexico and today refused comment about those found with El Chapo. Bret?

BAIER: William, thank you.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center