CBS Changes Tune on Train Looting, Finally Mentions Soft-on-Crime LA Policies

While NewsBusters can’t exactly take credit for the change in tune, we’ll certain welcome the improved coverage. On Tuesday’s CBS Mornings, the liberal newscast changed its tune from Monday as, in a follow-up to a discussion of the rampant train looting in Los Angeles, the network acknowledged the arguments being cited that the filth was due to the district attorney’s soft-on-crime policies.

On Monday’s show, the co-hosts and “Talk of the Table” purveyor Vladimir Duthiers expressed shock at the images along Union Pacific tracks, calling it “disgusting,” “unbelievable,” and a situation in which “LA has got to get on” it. But they refused to assign blame for the people their own side helped elect and specifically Soros-backed prosecutors like George Gascón.

Fast-forward to Tuesday and they had a two-minute-and-17-second report from correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti on said looted tracks with co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King providing a lead-in.

“Remember this unbelievable video of train tracks in Los Angeles littered with open packages? Thieves are stealing and emptying containers filled with consumer goods, everything from electronics to medications, to even COVID test kits,” King explained, noting Union Pacific has tried to do its part “by increasing patrols, flying surveillance drones, and working closely with the local police,” but thus far to little avail.

King then opened the door towards the truth of the matter: “[T]he company claims that local prosecutors are not helping. Jonathan Vigliotti shows us how even the suspects who are caught are not always stopped.”

Vigliotti stated that “something” that feels like it’s “from the Wild West” has been “happening in bustling downtown Los Angeles” with “[t]hieves…breaking into the cargo of trains and stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise[.]”

Adding “the debris field stretches on for as far as you can see” with “tens of thousands of destroyed packages with addresses” from coast-to-coast and everything from Covid tests to electronics, he cited stats from a Union Pacific official that, “from October 2020 to 2021, there was an increase of more than 350 percent in thefts.”

Worse yet, it’s hurt their bottom line to the tune of $5 million prior to the holiday season, which they’ve “blamed” on “the no cash bail policy, in part for the frequency of the thefts.”

Wrapping the report, Vigliotti never mentioned Gascón by name, but said his office has maintained “they make their charging decisions based on evidence or lack of and they hope to address the issue with the railroad company in the following weeks.”

While CBS deserves being hit for their willful obliviousness to soft-on-crime policies leading to lawlessness, Tuesday marked their third segment on the story compared to one on NBC (which was a news brief on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News) and none for ABC’s flagship newscasts (Good Morning America and World News Tonight).

To see the relevant CBS transcript from January 18, click “expand.”

CBS Mornings
January 18, 2022
7:15 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: California Train Thefts; About 90 Train Containers Looted Daily, Despite Increased Patrols]

GAYLE KING: This morning, we have a follow up on the story that we showed you yesterday. Remember this unbelievable video of train tracks in Los Angeles littered with open packages? Thieves are stealing and emptying containers filled with consumer goods, everything from electronics to medications, to even COVID test kits. The Union Pacific Railroad says it’s trying to protect its cargo by increasing patrols, flying surveillance drones, and working closely with the local police, but the company claims that local prosecutors are not helping. Jonathan Vigliotti shows us how even the suspects who are caught are not always stopped.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: It looks like something from the Wild West, only it’s happening in bustling downtown Los Angeles. Thieves are breaking into the cargo of trains and stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at a time. The debris field stretches on for as far as you can see. We’re talking about easily tens of thousands of destroyed packages with addresses ranging from Washington State all the way to Pennsylvania. We’ve seen a number of COVID tests discarded, but the packages with electronics and home goods were left empty.

UNION PACIFIC SPOKESWOMAN LUPE VALDEZ: This is just unheard of.

VIGLIOTTI: On Friday, Union Pacific spokeswoman Lupe Valdez said from October 2020 to 2021, there was an increase of more than 350 percent in thefts. In a letter to the District Attorney’s office in December, the company blamed the no cash bail policy, in part for the frequency of the thefts. The railroad company reported a loss of at least $5 million at the beginning of December. That amount is expected to go up once Union Pacific factors in year-end holiday shipping.

VALDEZ: All of us shop online these days, and this is something that we are also paying the price for.

VIGLIOTTI: In a statement, the District Attorney’s office said they make their charging decisions based on evidence or lack of and they hope to address the issue with the railroad company in the following weeks. For CBS Mornings, Jonathan Vigliotti, Los Angeles.

KING: You know, guys, you look at that, it looks like a very bad accident as opposed to something — 

TONY DOKOUPIL: Yeah. I

KING: — that was deliberately done.

DOKOUPIL: I know. I saw washer dryers on the side of the train tracks.

KING: I saw that, too.

BURLESON: Yeah, no doubt about it.

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