Blind Spot: ABC/NBC Skip FBI Raids of Auto Union Leaders in Corruption Probe

Listen to the Article!

Credit where it’s due: During Wednesday’s evening newscasts, CBS Evening News was the only network news program to report on the FBI’s expansive raids of current and former leaders of the United Auto Workers union. The corruption probe had been going on for four years and netted numerous convictions. Despite all of that, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News completely ignored the story.

“Today, federal agents descended on the homes of some top officials with one of the nation's largest unions. Dean Reynolds reports, this is part of a long-term corruption investigation,” announced fill-in anchor John Dickerson at the top of the segment.

Correspondent Dean Reynolds noted that the “FBI raids today on the homes of Gary Jones, the current president of the United Auto Workers; and Dennis Williams, his immediate predecessor…” He added that the raids “signaled a drastic escalation of a four-year probe into illegal payments to union officials.”

According to the report: “The corruption investigation has so far led to the convictions eight people linked to the UAW and to Fiat-Chrysler, involving bribes and kickbacks designed to influence the nation's sixth-largest union’s bargaining position at contract talks with automakers.”

You know, the classic underhanded tactics of unions.

 

 

The FBI’s raids were expansive and included “six locations in four states: Michigan, California, Missouri, and Wisconsin.” Reynolds did fret that the FBI’s “operations....could undermine the confidence of nearly 160,000 UAW members in their negotiating team at the beginning of a new round of contract talks.”

CBS spoke with former federal prosecutor Peter Henning to get an understanding of how serious the FBI’s investigation was. “Prosecutors are going to look to see if there were payoffs to the top leadership of the United Auto Workers, and if there were, that can be a disaster, not only for the UAW, but also for the automakers,” Henning said.

Joseph Johnson, a UAW member, called for accountability in his organization while speaking with CBS News. “Obviously, something's going on, and it needs to be cleaned up. It needs to be cleaned up, period,” he declared.

As for statements from the UAW and Fiat-Chrysler, Reynolds reported: “The UAW said today it has always fully cooperated with investigators and that there was no need for the FBI to use search warrants. Meanwhile, Fiat-Chrysler had no comment.”

Instead of reporting on this story, ABC and NBC were irate about President Trump blasting Puerto Rico’s government as corrupt as Hurricane Dorian largely moved around the island. Corruption which both networks had previously reported on when protesters gathered outside the governor’s mansion for days, until Ricardo Rossello resigned his post.

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

CBS Evening News
August 28, 2019
6:38:42 p.m. Eastern

JOHN DICKERSON: Today, federal agents descended on the homes of some top officials with one of the nation's largest unions. Dean Reynolds reports, this is part of a long-term corruption investigation.

[Cuts to video]

DEAN REYNOLDS: FBI raids today on the homes of Gary Jones, the current president of the United Auto Workers; and Dennis Williams, his immediate predecessor, signaled a drastic escalation of a four-year probe into illegal payments to union officials.

The corruption investigation has so far led to the convictions eight people linked to the UAW and to Fiat-Chrysler, involving bribes and kickbacks designed to influence the nation's sixth-largest union’s bargaining position at contract talks with automakers.

Peter Henning is a former federal prosecutor and law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.

PETER HENNING: Prosecutors are going to look to see if there were payoffs to the top leadership of the United Auto Workers, and if there were, that can be a disaster, not only for the UAW, but also for the automakers.

REYNOLDS: In all, the FBI raided six locations in four states: Michigan, California, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Operations that could undermine the confidence of nearly 160,000 UAW members in their negotiating team at the beginning of a new round of contract talks.

JOSEPH JOHNSON (UAW member): Obviously, something's going on, and it needs to be cleaned up. It needs to be cleaned up, period.

[Cuts back to live]

REYNOLDS: The UAW said today it has always fully cooperated with investigators and that there was no need for the FBI to use search warrants. Meanwhile, Fiat-Chrysler had no comment. John.

DICKERSON: Dean Reynolds in Chicago.

NB Daily Economy Government Agencies FBI Bias by Omission Political Groups Unions Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video United Auto Workers Dean Reynolds John Dickerson

Sponsored Links