Throughout the weekend and on Monday morning, CBS and NBC expressed exasperation and shock at the mass, rampant looting of cargo and packages from Union Pacific trains in Los Angeles, calling it “nuts,” “shocking,” “unbelievable,” and proof America’s “falling apart at the seams” to the point of “hav[ing] just totally lost control.”
Of course, the liberal journalists did nothing to suggest how criminals have felt emboldened due to soft-on-crime policies implemented by the very people whom the journalism profession supports. In this case, that would be Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
The outrage was most pronounced on Monday’s CBS Mornings. Co-host Tony Dokoupil teased the segment with bewilderment: “Coming up, a thieves paradise in California. We'll show you where robbers are looting trains, stealing your packages, and leaving behind a huge mess. I'll say that again — looting trains.”
As part of the show’s “What to Watch” segment, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers seemed similarly flummoxed, reporting “an investigation is underway into the cause” of why “17 cars went off tracks” “over the weekend...in the same area of downtown LA where thieves have been raiding cargo containers on Union Pacific train tracks.”
“Look at these images. This is in downtown Los Angeles...a seemingly never-ending sea of shredded cardboard boxes and merchandise — unbelievable — littering the tracks,” Duthiers added.
Duthiers stated “Union Pacific says it has increased security measures and its agents have made hundreds of arrests, but it needs more help from the Los Angeles District,” absolving Gascón of blame for his no-bail policy. He also omitted the company calling out Gascón specifically
Our friends at the Daily Caller had more (click “expand”);
Union Pacific Railroad called out Democratic Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón and asserted that his policies are to blame for rampant train robberies in a letter to the DA shared Friday on Twitter.
The letter, dated Dec. 20 of last year, indicated that “on average, over 90 containers are compromised per day.” The letter also noted a 160% increase in criminal rail theft in Dec. 2020 and a 356% increase from Oct. 2020 to Oct. 2021.
The letter also cited the district attorney’s no-cash bail policy as a reason for repeat offenses.
“Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to [Union Pacific] by these same criminals,” the letter reads in part. “Without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year [Union Pacific] has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above.”
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King said it’s “pretty disgusting” and it reminded her of a recent David Brooks column “about America's falling apart at the seams last week. I look at stuff like that, and I think that’s another example of how we have just totally lost control of many aspects of our lives. It’s nuts.”
After the hosts and fill-in Dana Jacobson pointed out the packages could have included important items like medications, masks, or COVID-19 tests, Dokoupil wrapped things up with a message that was rich given his liberal politics: “LA has got to get on this, it’s not Union Pacific’s problem.”
Would say, Tony, that there needs to be...law and order?
Sunday’s NBC Nightly News was also on the case with anchor Kate Snow giving a tease with a chyron “The Great Train Robberies” before a 21-second brief expressing concern about “[a] new twist in what was already a shocking regular occurrence.”
Pointing out it’s been happening “for months,” she fretted “[a]uthorities don’t know yet what caused the [derailment].”
And on Saturday’s CBS Weekend News, correspondents Ben Tracy and Lilia Luciano framed it during a nearly two-minute-long segment as “an ugly turn” in the “long list of problems that are affecting shipping and causing shortages that consumers have been dealing with for a long time.”
The exasperation at a far-left city seeing rampant crime was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Flonase (on CBS Mornings), Geico (on NBC Nightly News), and Nature’s Bounty (on CBS Weekend News). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant CBS and NBC transcripts from January 15-17, click “expand.”
CBS Weekend News
January 15, 2022
6:31 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trains Targeted]
BEN TRACY: In Los Angeles, thieves target trains. The latest threat to the supply chain.
LILIA LUCIANO: I'm Lilia Luciano in Los Angeles where shortages and shipping snarls mean higher prices and some empty shelves.
6:38 p.m. Eastern
TRACY: Well, there is no end in sight to the nation’s pandemic’s fueled supply chain issues and now, it is taking an ugly turn along railroad tracks in downtown Los Angeles. CBS’s Lilia Luciano is there and joins us with more. Lilia, good evening.
LUCIANO: Good evening to you, Ben. Well, cargo theft is just the latest of a long list of problems that are affecting shipping and causing shortages that consumers have been dealing with for a long time, and it is also keeping supplies low and, of course, prices high. A sea of stolen packages litter train tracks near Union Station in Los Angeles. Thieves adding to the supply chain snarls by breaking into Union Pacific containers, grabbing expensive goods, and tossing the rest.
MAN: Everything ranging from washer and dryers, tires, perfume, cologne, TVs.
LUCIANO: Railroad officials say about 90 containers a day are hit, and while they work with law enforcement, they are considering diverting some trains away from LA County. Making matters worse for consumers already dealing with a seven percent inflation rate, the traffic jams at the nation’s busiest ports, keeping some store shelves empty. Product shortages are up 15 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I was able to get aspirin, and there’s only three bottles on the shelf.
LUCIANO: This, as demand for groceries jumped more than eight percent setting sales records in December with bad weather and omicron keeping Americans at home with no relief in sight.
UC BERKELEY PROFESSOR ROBERT LEACHMAN: The big variable in this is will consumer spending slowdown, which is, you know, like asking will the pandemic slow down? Yet, if people, you know, start spending more on entertainment and travel and less on goods.
LUCIANO: And, also, COVID-caused labor shortages are further pushing and squeezing the supply chain. Experts predict it could take weeks before stores are fully restocked, Ben.
TRACY: Lilia, thank you so much.
NBC Nightly News With Kate Snow
January 16, 2022
6:43 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Great Train Robberies]
KATE SNOW: Also, a big derailment in Los Angeles at the exact spot where thieves regularly ransack trains to steal packages.
6:50 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Train Robberies]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Brazen Train Robberies in Los Angeles]
SNOW: A new twist in what was already a shocking regular occurrence. A Union Pacific train derailed in Los Angeles on Saturday, and it happened in the same area where thieves for months have been ransacking cargo trains to steal UPS and Amazon packages. You can see them discarded all over the tracks there. Authorities don’t know yet what caused the accident.
January 17, 2022
7:20 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Package Pirates]
TONY DOKOUPIL: Coming up, a thieves paradise in California. We'll show you where robbers are looting trains, stealing your packages, and leaving behind a huge mess. I'll say that again — looting trains.
7:51 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Package Pirates]
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: All right, they are still clearing the tracks after a train derailment in Los Angeles over the weekend. No one was hurt when 17 cars went off the tracks. An investigation is underway into the cause. It happened in the same area of downtown LA where thieves have been raiding cargo containers on Union Pacific train tracks. Look at these images.
GAYLE KING: Yeah.
DUTHIERS: This is in downtown Los Angeles. Photojournalist John Schreiber of our LA stations, KCBS-TV and KCAL was first to report this story last week. He found a seemingly never ending sea of shredded cardboard boxes and merchandise — unbelievable — littering the tracks.
DUTHIERS: So cargo trains stop in the area and when they stop, that makes them vulnerable to these attacks. Union Pacific says it has increased security measures and its agents have made hundreds of arrests, but it needs more help from the Los Angeles District.
DOKOUPIL: I was going to say —
KING: It is pretty disgusting. You know, David Brooks did a thing in the paper, New York Times, about America's falling apart at the seams last week. I look at stuff like that, and I think that’s another example of how we have just totally lost control of many aspects of our lives. It’s nuts.
DANA JACOBSON: And the ideas that — that people also even were just getting on the trains while they were still moving, they were saying, no matter what, to know that they’d be there to do it. To your point, it’s gone.
DUTHIERS: And think about this, those packages, there is somebody’s medications.
KING: They were going somewhere.
DUTHIERS: There is somebody’s epi-pen.
DUTHIERS: Masks that people were waiting for.
JACOBSON: Tests that people are waiting for.
DUTHIERS: Tests that people are waiting for.
DOKOUPIL: One hundred percent. LA has got to get on this, it’s not Union Pacific’s problem.