Jose Antonio Vargas: Being an Illegal Alien Made Me… a Better Reporter?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Jose Antonio Vargas is the perfect example of media bias. He presents himself as both an activist for illegal immigrants and a “journalist.” He’s uniquely suited to this claim in today’s PC world, too, because he is himself an “undocumented American,” as he styles it. And in a new interview he also claims that being an illegal alien made him a better journalist.

Vargas has been blurring the line between journalist and activist since it became public knowledge that he has been in the United States illegally since he was a child. After his coming out, Vargas launched himself into being an advocate for illegals. Only in the Old Media establishment can someone be an advocate for a political viewpoint yet still be consider a just-the-facts journalist. Vargas isn’t the only one, of course. Remember such “journalists” as Sanjay Gupta, Chris Matthews, Jay Carney, or Linda Douglas. Well, if you are a left-wing activist it works, anyway.

In the new interview with The Ithican’s TinaMarie Craven, Vargas posits that his status as, in his words, an “undocumented American” (nice conceit, that) made him a more careful reporter. He had to exhibit the utmost veracity, he said, because if not people might start looking closer at him and his background.

My job was to do the best job I possibly could. I was too paranoid to make a mistake, God forbid being charged with plagiarism or having a lot of corrections or people saying I needed to check a quote. I am a very diligent reporter. I’ve had maybe one dozen corrections in like almost a 12-year reporting career. That’s pretty good. And there are days where I think, yeah, I had to lie about my immigration status to get the jobs, but I don’t think my journalism — the work I produce — I don’t think people would question the quality of the work or the veracity of the work.

Well, that is some kind of justification, isn’t it? I mean, at that rate perhaps a crack dealer would make a good reporter, eh? Not that being illegal is like being a crack dealer, of course, but being illegal has no bearing on the “veracity” of a reporter’s work, either!

But what might impinge on that veracity is that since coming out as an illegal immigrant, Vargas has become a vocal and ardent activist in favor of illegal immigrant’s issues. So, how can one be an advocate for something yet still claim to be an impartial journalist? Well, one can’t, really, but since he’s in the proper, politically correct area with his activism the rest of the Old Media gives him a pass.

Aside from his current colleagues, Vargas has a lot of people to thank for his being able to fool employers and readers for several decades. Even as a High Schooler, Vargas was facilitated in his la breaking by highly placed members of California’s education establishment — two in particular.

In High School Vargas relied on Rich Fischer and Pat Hyland, two high-ranking California public school officials, to help him with his criminal activity.

As a teen Vargas was helped to get an illegal Oregon Driver’s license by these California teachers and this fake ID is what he used for years to get away with his lawbreaking.

Pat Hyland was the principal in the high school Vargas attended (Vargas wrote of her back in 2005). Like a good, militant leftist, Hyland has proclaimed her intentions to help even more lawbreakers if she can.

For his part Rich Fischer has had a storied career in California’s public schools sector. He has been a celebrated schools administrator, a recipient of the Superintendent of the Year award, and was a nine-year Superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. He has also won the Los Altoan of the Year award. Additionally Fischer managed two statewide professional development programs, one of them being the Executive Leadership Center (ELC). And all the while he’s been helping illegal immigrants get one over on the law.

To recap Vargas’ trajectory, for years he’s been lying to millions of readers not to mention countless employers, broken laws, elicited the help of others to help him break those laws, then after “coming out” he’s become an activist and endeavored to shove his law breaking in all our faces as if it is all our fault… yet he still wants us to take him for a true journalist? Well, as the left measures things, I guess he is just that: the perfect leftist journalist.


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  • So many points to ponder...

    What you seem to be implying is that because of his one illegal act - an illegal act committed by his parent's no less - nothing else he could ever do with his life could be of any real value? Being an "undocumented American" precludes him from being a credible reporter? Did being a patron of prostitutes preclude David Vitter from being a Congressman and Senator? Are all of his life's accomplishments erased because of his law breaking?

    As for the two public officials that enabled him, what of the thousands of American employers that do this very same thing for each undocumented worker they hire to wash dishes, mow lawns, roll asphalt, or whatever minimum-wage task undocumented workers are paid to perform?

    Jose Antonio Vargas is by all accounts a good reporter. You can't take that away from him because his parents chose to bring him into this country in an unlawful manner.

    As for a reporter and activist being mutually exclusive, you've obviously never watched Fox News! That line was blurred long ago. There are no Murrows or Cronkites reporting anymore. Every form of media has a bias and hires reporters that report to their slant.

    If you're so incensed about illegal immigrants, go after the fine Americans that encourage them to come to America and work minimum wage jobs. I'm sure you can trace the Vargas problem all the way back to the first company that hired his father...

  • So many mistakes to correct...

    "Jose Antonio Vargas is by all accounts a good reporter. You can't take that away from him because his parents chose to bring him into this country in an unlawful manner."

    Who said anything of the sort? Of course not. But he can't do it here because he's here illegally.

    "As for a reporter and activist being mutually exclusive, you've obviously never watched Fox News! That line was blurred long ago. There are no Murrows or Cronkites reporting anymore."

    You seriously think that began with Fox News? Guess again. Even Murrow and Cronkite weren't the unbiased paragons you seem to think they are, and there never were any people like that. You pretend they were unbiased because you share their bias.

    Their lack of bias is a fairy tale. Dan Rather was just the first liar exposed, thanks to the Internet.

    Oh, and who told us how great the media is? The media!

    Here are two of my favorite quotes about the media.

    " was the first time that I had seen a person whose profession was telling lies - unless one counts journalists." --Orwell, "Homage to Catalonia" (1938)

    Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy: Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.

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