"Fear Factor," Diane Sawyer teased at the top of Thursday's World
News in picking up a cause-celebre of the left, demanding: "Who
leaked a list of people labeled illegal immigrants, naming children and
pregnant women? Are these vigilantes at work?" She soon intoned that
"an investigation is under way into what's being called 'The List' -
thirteen hundred names leaked in an apparent campaign of
Reporter David Wright relayed how "we called at least fifty people on the list. Most of them declined to be interviewed," but "one woman," an apparent serial offender, "told us she's pregnant with her second child. She's scared she'll be deported and separated from her two-year old, a U.S. citizen." He proceeded to another supposed victim: "Alma is on the list, and afraid."
Wright reported "one common denominator - they all sought help from Utah's Department of Workforce Services," meaning they are illegals who sought pay-outs to which they are not entitled . "Plenty of Utah residents feel it's high time authorities cracked down," Wright acknowledged, but after a soundbite from an outraged leftist advocate the ABC correspondent ran stock footage of a man with a gun as he ominously concluded:
The fear in Utah: the vigilantes may take action themselves, just as they did by circulating the list in the first place.
ABC's concern for liberal upset in Utah came two nights after the
same newscast pushed the anti-conservative effort of another left-wing
Hypes NAACP Indictment of Tea Party as Racist, a Smear the Network
MRC study from early May: "Elitist Networks Pile On Against Arizona Immigration Law : By 12 to 1, ABC, CBS, and NBC Stories Ripped State's Move to Restrain Illegal Aliens."
From the Thursday, July 15 ABC World News:
DIANE SAWYER: And the nation's intense immigration debate took a new turn in two states today. The Arizona law, officially being debated in a federal courtroom. While in Utah, an investigation is under way into what's being called "The List" - thirteen hundred names leaked in an apparent campaign of intimidation. Here's David Wright.
DAVID WRIGHT: In Utah's Latino community, the list is causing a panic. The 29-page printout includes more than a thousand names and personal details. "Some of the women on the list are pregnant," the cover letter warns, urging that "steps should be taken for immediate deportation."
WOMAN: My mother in law was almost in tears when she heard about it.
WRIGHT: Guadalupe is here legally, but she has family members on the list. They're terrified.
WRIGHT, ON PHONE: Hello? Can I speak to Alphonso, please?
WRIGHT: We called at least fifty people on the list. Most of them declined to be interviewed. One woman, named Nina, told us she's pregnant with her second child. She's scared she'll be deported and separated from her two-year old, a U.S. citizen. Alma is on the list, and afraid.
WOMAN: I'm afraid, even sometimes, even to go out.
WRIGHT: One common denominator - they all sought help from Utah's Department of Workforce Services. A disgruntled state employee there was recently caught on tape.
AUDIO OF FEMALE VOICE: It's not fair that this family gets food stamps, they get financials.
WRIGHT: Venting her outrage about illegal immigrants. Indeed, plenty of Utah residents feel it's high time authorities cracked down.
ELI CAWLEY, UTAH MINUTEMEN: If I had my druthers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement would in fact going through line by line and picking these people up and sending them back where they came from.
WRIGHT: But it is unlikely police will start rounding people up. But the concerned citizens of the United States are already vowing to come up with new lists on a continual basis.
TONY YAPIAS, FOUNDER, UTAH LATINOS: The immigration debate has just reached a new level, and that new level is: We're going to hunt you, we're going to go after you, we know where you live.
WRIGHT, OVER VIDEO OF MAN WITH GUN IN HOLSTER: The fear in Utah: the vigilantes may take action themselves, just as they did by circulating the list in the first place. David Wright, ABC News, Los Angeles.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow him on Twitter.