War on Rubio 2.0: Univision Strikes Again

Univision’s long-standing campaign to otherize and disqualify Hispanic conservatives and those who dissent with the network’s immigration agenda has only increased in vitriol and intensity since the presidential campaign announcements of Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio. 

The network, whose executive chairman is Lincoln Bedroom-occupying Clintonista Haim Saban and whose news division is run by Isaac “Our Opponents Are Like Nazis” Lee, is lately focusing its rage on Rubio.

This week’s attempt to depict Rubio as if he were a villain in a soap opera came during the Despierta América morning show.Radical Posture” flashed next to a picture of Rubio as host Satcha Pretto described the Senator’s far from radical, standard conservative position on the constitutional question before the United States Supreme Court on the subject of same-sex marriage (a posture so “radical” that it was also held, until just a few weeks ago, by none other than Hillary Clinton).

“Presidential candidate Marco Rubio hardens his position on gay marriage. During an interview, he explained that no such right exists,” Pretto intoned. “I now quote the Republican Senator: ‘You would have to have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the United States Constitution in order to believe that people have the right to marry someone of the same sex."

Needless to say, there was no mention of Rubio’s stated preference that the matter be resolved at the state level through the political process rather than via the judiciary, nor that his position is widely shared, both among Hispanics and the U.S. population as a whole.

The network has apparently recalibrated from its failed 2011 “plata o plomo” campaign (literally "silver or lead" - the Spanish phrase that means you either cooperate by giving a bribe, or you get a bullet) which at the time sought to disqualify Rubio via (the appearance of) personal scandal.

Back then, Rubio and team fired back at the accusations, and froze out the network for close to a year. When Rubio did subsequently reappear on Univision, it was on his own terms, to promote his own book, and to read anchor Jorge Ramos the riot act on air. Rubio won that round decisively and overwhelmingly, but conservatives were slow to incorporate those lessons, which ultimately got lost in the 2012 shuffle.

Fast forward to 2016. Univision has renewed its efforts to disqualify Hispanic conservatives - this time by “Latinizing” progressive policies beyond immigration. This is the game that News President and Fusion CEO Isaac Lee gave away during his UT-Austin talk earlier this month.

Don’t like Common Core, climate legislation, or judicial redefinitions of marriage? Are you opposed to executive overreach on immigration, Cuba, or Iran? Do you cling to both your guns and your religion in a manner that could be described by some as “bitterly”? Guess what, you’re now an enemy of the Hispanic community and must be destroyed. And if you are a Hispanic that believes such things, then you are obviously a race traitor who must be destroyed.

This much is evident in Univision’s recent coverage of Marco Rubio, and in Ramos’ most recent media rounds - which consist of statements like “Latinos won’t vote for Latinos” who deviate from the Left’s (and Univision’s) orthodoxies, among other equally craven disqualifiers.

The network’s anti-Rubio rhetoric has ratcheted up, including on sister network Fusion. This past Sunday’s particularly nasty Al Punto segment on Rubio featured a Clinton surrogate who repeatedly proffered the words “extremist” and “anti-Hispanic”, specifically attacking Rubio’s family within the context of immigration. Ramos allowed the attacks to go unchecked.  

Set aside, for just one moment, whatever take you may have on Rubio, whether Next Big Thing or immigration heretic. What it looks like we have here is a media enterprise engaging in politically-skewed coverage for the purpose of electing those candidates which it understands will best keep its business model alive. The racial borking of Marco Rubio is ancillary to both the advancement of that business model, and to continued Democratic dominance of the Hispanic vote. Make no mistake; Univision’s Second War on Marco Rubio is very real. 

Jorge Bonilla
Jorge Bonilla
Jorge Bonilla is a conservative political analyst and former Florida Republican candidate for Congress.