Fox and Friends Discusses Media Outlet's Failure to Identify Illegal Immigrants

December 5th, 2006 5:58 PM

Failing to report on the legal status has become a common practice of the mainstream media as was demonstrated by a recent report done by WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida. On Tuesday’s Fox and Friends First, hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Tiki Barber covered the story. The transcript is below.

Brian Kilmeade: "Let's talk about what's happening with, with illegals and soliciting funds for illegals. For example, what's happening in West Palm Beach in Florida."

Gretchen Carlson: "Well, you know, this is a really unusual story, because the TV station there, one of the affiliates in West Palm Beach, apparently did a story about how these immigrants needed help and that they had been giving back to the community, so now it was time for the rest of the community to step up an help them out. The only problem is is that usually television reports are supposed to be objective and they forgot to mention one major part of the story, which was the fact that these immigrants were illegal."

Tiki Barber: "There was 13 illegal immigrants. Jamie Holmes from WPTV in down West Palm Beach, she was soliciting, basically, funds for these illegal immigrants to help survive the American dream for the Bravo and Morales families down there in Florida. And I, and I guess the question comes up is should their immigration status be relevant? I think, in a lot of people's minds, it definitely should be."

Kilmeade: "Yeah the fact that they're illegal, that fact that their home burned down everyone feels bad. The fact that, according to this report, these are hard working people. People feel bad. But then people say, 'wait a second, what are you doing here? Why are you here? What jobs are you taking that maybe other people can take?' And it turns out, this reporter in the original report doesn't even mention the fact that they're illegals, but in the written report in the web site they bring up they are illegal immigrants. So there, there is an advocating, advocate journalism aspect to this in West Palm Beach, and it brings up the whole issue of illegal immigration. And many people are having trouble fighting back the tears about this because fundamentally they shouldn't be here to begin with."

Carlson: "Yeah, well, and the other part, I mean, I think it's one thing that they did not mention that they were illegal immigrants. But on top of that soliciting funds that's a little touchy when you're talking about objective reporting. The videotaped, report apparently this reporter admonished viewers to, quote, 'put away your political believes of where they should or should not be,' and, quote, 'before making an appeal for donations.' So in a way I guess, in the first report she was saying, 'hey they might be illegal but put away your political beliefs because this family needs help.' I think that the best way to have covered this story would have been to say, 'hey, they're illegal, their house burned down, they need help.' And then leave it up to the viewers whether or not they would like to give money."

Barber: "Yeah, certainly seems like there was an agenda in that one."