Univision’s news division is particularly adept at covering stories that could be of interest to its national audience, while at the same time burying any element of that story that could be damaging to the network’s narrative arc or business interests. The most recent example of that bias by omission comes via Univision’s recent coverage of MS-13’s murder spree in Long Island, New York.
Here is as thorough a description of the defendants as you can expect from the story- complete with what appears to be some stock footage of California MS-13 inmates, despite the fact that these events happened in New York:
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: There are 13 accused of the murder of seven 15-18 year-olds, in separate incidents, within several months. Among them, 16 year-old Kayla Cuevas.
When Univision reports a story in a dry, just-the facts manner without driving an angle or narrative, you know that something is up. Those are just the facts given the reputation that the network has chosen to craft for itself. In this case, a major story regarding a murder spree committed by an ultraviolent transnational gang -with untold national security implications- gets the “local crime story” treatment. Also, there is ZERO mention of immigration or immigration policy.
Anyone wondering whether any of the defendants were in the country legally had to find those answers in other media outlets. Univision, no doubt mindful of what reports of a bunch of illegal alien gangbangers on a murder spree might do to its immigration advocacy agenda, chose instead to remain mum on the subject- leaving those viewers not already in on the joke to believe that these gangbangers just immaculately transfigured themselves into Brentwood.
Other media were not as keen on withholding that information from their viewers. Per the New York Post, 10 of the 13 defendants were in the country illegally, including an MS-13 leader that was deported in 2010 but made his unfettered return to the United States a scant four years later.
This isn’t the first time that Univision spikes any mention of immigration where such a mention would be hurtful to the narrative. Recall exactly one year ago, when two illegal aliens brutally raped a 12-year-old girl in the D.C. suburbs. Then, like now, the network spiked any mention of the immigration status of the accused individuals.
With the immigration angle being too hot to touch at Univision, the focus of the story shifts to “drama” among family members of the deceased and the accused. But there really isn’t any drama here. The story is: One, that thirteen thugs, ten of which were in the country illegally, went on a murderous rampage and now potentially face the death family. Two, that Univision, the nation’s leading Spanish-language network, deliberately concealed information regarding the defendants’ immigration status from its viewers.
In the interest of public safety, here’s hoping that Univision can be more candid about its reporting, presenting all facets of a story and letting viewers decide on what information is relevant, even if the immigration angle is inconvenient.
And here we go. Four more bodies found, this time in neighboring Central Islip, displaying some of the same methods used against the Brentwood victims. Tick Tock, Univision.
Below is a full transcript of the above mentioned story as it aired on Noticiero Univision on Monday, April 10th, 2017.
MARIA ELENA SALINAS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Today was the arraignment for 10 of the 13 accused of murdering 7 youths on different occasions in Long Island, New York. The defendants, alleged members of a gang- of a dreaded gang- face several charges, but pled not guilty. Blanca Rosa Vílchez tells us what a trial depends on, and of the drama that this represents for the families of the victims and of the accused.
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: In this Long Island court, the human drama behind the families became evident upon their exit after hearing the charges. On one side are the families of the defendants, who could receive life in prison. And on the other, the parents of the seven victims that perished, according to the prosecution, in a very cruel and bloody manner at the hands of alleged members of the MS-13 gangs. Their 18-year-old son had disappeared for four months, until his remains were found, which revealed that he had been cruelly murdered by members of a gang.
SANDRA HERNÁNDEZ, MOTHER OF JOSÉ PEÑA: That they never get out of jail. That’s what I ask for. That they get the maximum where they can be locked up so that they can’t do any more harm to anyone- to keep killing kids that they want to get caught up in things, and because they don’t accept, then kill them.
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: There are thirteen (individuals) charged with the murder of seven young people between the ages of 15 and 18, in separate incidents over a span of several months. Among them, Kayla Cuevas, aged 16.
FREDDY CUEVAS, FATHER OF KAYLA CUEVAS: What I thank God for is that it wasn’t like the other victims. There are victims that have or had 8 months without knowing where…the whereabouts of their sons and/or their daughter. As that may be. At least we found Kayla within 24 hours.
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: They face 41 counts for murder, assault, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, among others. Their relatives went to court to defend them.
JESSICA PIMENTEL, DEFENDANT FAMILY MEMBER: You’re wrong- you can’t just judge people just because, just like that. Not everyone comes here to do bad things.
BARBARA MEDINA, COMMUNITY LEADER: We are fighting for the death penalty for them. Because this has to stop. It has to stop.
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The defendants pled not guilty in court today. The judge has to determine whether there is sufficient evidence against them in order to start the trial.
BLANCA ROSA VILCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The Maras Salvatrucha (MS-13) are based in Honduras and El Salvador, but they have thousands of supporters here in the United States. The accused gangbangers will have to return to this court next July the 17th. IN Long Island, New York, Blanca Rosa Vilchez, Univision.
This post originally appeared on NewsBusters