Real Obstruction: CBS, NBC Ignore Judge Charged for Helping Illegal Evade ICE

Massachusetts Judge Shelly Joseph was federally charged with obstruction of justice on Thursday for allegedly helping an illegal immigrant evade capture by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer. It’s not the person liberals hoped would get charged with obstruction, so that might partially explain why CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News avoided covering the topic that evening.

To ABC’s credit, World News Tonight was the only broadcast news program in the big three to cover the judge’s indictment. As for the major Spanish-language networks, Telemundo was the only one to give it any airtime with a whopping 29 seconds. Univision failed to report it.

“Next tonight, to a federal grand jury. How it issued a blockbuster indictment of a Massachusetts judge, and a former court officer. They’re accused of allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant evade arrest by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent,” announced fill-in anchor Tom Llamas. “The high profile case, a showdown between both federal law and a sanctuary city.”

If you thought ABC would take the side of the judge, you’d be wrong. Shocking, isn’t it. The report by correspondent Gio Benitez was straight down the middle.

 

 

A bulk of Benitez’s report was courtroom audio of Judge Joseph speaking with the illegal immigrant’s attorney:

JUDGE SHELLY JOSEPH: If you need more time to figure this out, or until tomorrow.

BENITEZ: Talking with attorneys about whether that suspect was the right man ICE was looking for.

JOSEPH: ICE is going to get him. What if we continue?

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Are we filming?

JOSEPH: Larry, can we go off the record for a moment?

After that point, the recording device was switched off.

“Prosecutors say the Judge then conspired to release the suspect out the back door while that ICE officer was told to wait in the courthouse lobby,” Benitez reported. He added: “The Judge has been suspended and now that undocumented immigrant is in deportation hearings.”

Instead of covering this, CBS dedicated a full report to World Penguin Day and melting ice. They also spent over three minutes cheering on former Vice President Joe Biden. NBC spent only most three minutes doing the same and closed out the program reporting on a Broadway musical about the Temptations.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
April 25, 2019
6:42:33 p.m. Eastern

TOM LLAMAS: Next tonight, to a federal grand jury. How it issued a blockbuster indictment of a Massachusetts judge, and a former court officer. They’re accused of allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant evade arrest by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. The high profile case, a showdown between both federal law and a sanctuary city. Here's ABC's Gio Benitez.

[Cuts to video]

GIO BENITEZ: Today, Judge Shelly Joseph finding herself on the other side of the bench after prosecutors say she helped an undocumented immigrant slip out the back door of her Newton, Massachusetts courthouse, to avoid an ICE officer. Judge Joseph can be heard in a courtroom recording obtained by The Boston Globe.

JUDGE SHELLY JOSEPH: If you need more time to figure this out, or until tomorrow.

BENITEZ: Talking with attorneys about whether that suspect was the right man ICE was looking for.

JOSEPH: ICE is going to get him. What if we continue?

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Are we filming?

JOSEPH: Larry, can we go off the record for a moment?

U.S. ATTORNEY ANDREW LELLING: Judge Joseph ordered the court clerk to turn off the recording device.

BENITEZ: Prosecutors say the Judge then conspired to release the suspect out the back door while that ICE officer was told to wait in the courthouse lobby.

[Cuts back to live]

And Tom, tonight, the Judge and the court officer face obstruction of justice charges. The Judge has been suspended and now that undocumented immigrant is in deportation hearings. Tom?

LLAMAS: Gio Benitez for us. Gio, thank you.

NBDaily Government Agencies Immigration Bias by Omission Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Gio Benitez Tom Llamas

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