Over the course of the past year, we at MRC Latino have worked diligently to cull examples of biased coverage in the Spanish-language news media. Here are five of the worst examples of over-the-top-no-rips-left-to-give biased coverage in 2015, in regressive order:
5: Telemundo anchor puts words in the Pope’s mouth: A funny thing happened during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States- journalists gleefully appropriated the Pope’s positions on immigration, capitalism, and climate change in order to hector conservatives (which, I predicted, went the way of doctrine on life and marriage for progressives). That didn’t stop Telemundo’s María Celeste Arrarás from injecting her own biases into a plain-spoken portion of the Pope’s speech before Congress.
4: Univision News’ blackout of the Planned Parenthood scandal: On the day that the fourth Planned Parenthood undercover video dropped, Univision’s national newscast led with the firing of the head coach of the Mexican men’s national soccer team and with news of an FDA ban on cilantro imports from Mexico due to their potential contamination with human feces. It is unconscionable that the network would censor a story of such interest to its viewers, but then again, dead babies can’t tune in to the network’s newscasts or vote for amnesty-friendly politicos, right?
3: Jorge Ramos calls for repeal of the Second Amendment: In fairness, Ramos does this quite often. This year’s tone-deaf plea came in the wake of the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California- and echoed a call for a firearm ban for persons on the no-fly list. Which begs the question: Which of his other Constitutional rights is Ramos willing to subject to placement on a random list without due process of law? :
2: Jorge Ramos’ stage-crafted agitprop at Donald Trump press conference: Jorge Ramos admits to having created the conditions which would lead to his notorious exchange, down to the precise detail of where to stand as he hectored Donald Trump. Ramos, of course, got tossed out after a couple of non-questions. Although his performance was widely panned, the savvy Ramos has leveraged his stunt into worldwide free media (including his account to the Spanish press- "I had to tell Trump that Latinos hated him"), and into a new book. One wonders whether the proceeds will go to the families of actual journalists harmed while actually, you know, asking questions.
1: Isaac Lee equates opponents of network’s agenda with Nazis: Isaac Lee, you’ll recall, is the very powerful president of Univision News and Fusion CEO- who has recently taken the reins of the network’s digital and music portfolio. He doesn’t speak all that often, but when he does- he usually makes a splash. He doesn’t operate as a journalist, but he sets the tone and tenor both for coverage at Univision and for follow-through coverage on the mainstream media. His remarks at UT Austin are at the top of the list because they are a clear and present warning to conservatives- that capitulations on immigration alone are not sufficient in the eyes of the network, and that there is an entire trailing agenda that requires submission.
As I said back then:
Lee virtually dispels the myth that Univision will somehow be welcoming to conservatives once immigration is off the table. He goes on to frame “Hispanic issues” with code words such as “well-educated” and "access to healthcare.” This means, given the network’s history, that opponents of Common Core, Obamacare, gun control, constraints on religious freedom, abortion, climate change legislation, etc. can expect to be framed as anti-Hispanic Nazis that must be destroyed in the name of “fairness” and “inclusion.”
This is precisely the rationale that enables Jorge Ramos' Trump stunt. Conservatives everywhere are forewarned.
As 2016 draws closer and agendas clash, you can expect more unhinged coverage from partisan hacks masquerading as journalists. We’ll be right there when it happens.