CBS Evening News Omits United Flight Passenger Was Screaming About Jihad

All three of the major broadcast networks covered during their Tuesday night newscasts the story of unruly passenger abroad a United Airlines flight from the day before, but it was the CBS Evening News that left out the key detail that the man was screaming about jihad and there being a bomb abroad the plane.

Without mentioning Jihad, jihadis in the cargo hold,” or how the unidentified male passenger said there was a bomb onboard, Pelley reported the following in an 18-second news brief:

The United Airlines flight from Washington to Denver had to return last night. [INAUDIBLE PASSENGER SCREAMING] A passenger became violent and ran toward the cockpit. Other passengers tackled him. The man was taken to a hospital for evaluation. No charges so far.

Over on ABC, anchor David Muir said in a tease for the upcoming segment on United Flight 1074 that the passenger was “running for the cockpit, screaming jihadis in the cargo hold.” Later, Muir brought it up again before correspondent Clayton Sandell’s report, where there were two additional references to “terrorists onboard” and “jihadists in the cargo hold.”

NBC Nightly News interim anchor Lester Holt teased national correspondent Peter Alexander’s report in the show’s opening previews this way: “Charging the cockpit. An air scare caught on camera. Passengers rushed to tackle a man they say was screaming about jihad and a bomb onboard.”

Along with an interview from one passenger giving his account of both what happened and what the restless passenger said, Holt began the segment by explaining in a one long sentence what Pelley was unable to do in CBS’s five sentence brief:

Tonight, some passengers who were onboard a United Airlines flight from Washington to Denver describing what some of them are calling the scariest moment of their lives, a man rushing toward the cockpit they say screaming about jihad, yelling about a bomb, all of it caught on camera. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on March 17 can be found below.

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
March 17, 2015
6:30 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mid-Air Emergency]

DAVID MUIR: The midair emergency. The man running for the cockpit, screaming jihadis in the cargo hold. You will see them tackle him.

(....)

6:36 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Charging the Cockpit]

MUIR: Now, to those terrifying moments on board a United flight out of Washington, bound for Denver. 

(....) 

MUIR: You heard that man saying “I'm sorry,” apologizing after being tackled by fellow passengers after allegedly rushing the cockpit, shouting that there were jihadis in the cargo hold.

(....)

DAVID COHEN: I saw the guy running and one of the stewardesses started yelling, “Stop him” and he was yelling, “I got to get to the cockpit.” 

SANDELL: Cohen and fellow passengers tackled him first. 

UNRULY PASSENGER: I'm so sorry! 

SANDELL: Restraining him as he yells that there are terrorists on board. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PASSENGER: He said he, that there were jihadists in the cargo hold.

A partial transcript from the segment on March 17's NBC Nightly News is provided below.

NBC Nightly News
March 17, 2015
7:00 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Charging the Cockpit]

LESTER HOLT: Charging the cockpit. An air scare caught on camera. Passengers rushed to tackle a man they say was screaming about jihad and a bomb onboard. 

(....)

7:07 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Air Scare]

HOLT: Tonight, some passengers who were onboard a United Airlines flight from Washington to Denver describing what some of them are calling the scariest moment of their lives, a man rushing toward the cockpit they say screaming about jihad, yelling about a bomb, all of it caught on camera. NBC's Peter Alexander has the tape. 

PETER ALEXANDER: Frightening moments just minutes after takeoff. An unruly passenger started yelling, claiming there was a bomb onboard and headed toward the cockpit. 

DON DIGBY: He was jihad, he was saying there's a – the plane's going down.

NB Daily Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Labeling Islam ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Clayton Sandell Scott Pelley Lester Holt Peter Alexander David Muir
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