Univision Anchor Smears Trump's Top Hispanic Media Aide

When it comes to peddling galling amounts of liberal bias and misinformation, Univision's lead Washington anchor is on a roll.

The latest blunder by anchor Enrique Acevedo came in his twisted portrayal of White House Director of Media Affairs Helen Aguirre-Ferré's comments regarding the racial and ethnic make-up of Trump's Cabinet.

ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Helen Aguirre, one of the few, the very few, Latinas in the Trump administration, justified today the lack of diversity in the Cabinet. In a radio interview, she suggested there were no sufficiently qualified Latinos to form part of the Cabinet. These are her words.

HELEN AGUIRRE FERRE, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF MEDIA AFFAIRS: I think we have an outstanding Cabinet, and there isn't any one member of this Cabinet that I would say 'We should take this person out, and put in a Latino because a Latino is better.' Why? Because they're Hispanic? No.

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In her interview with Arizona radio station KJZZ, at no time did Aguirre-Ferré suggest there were no sufficiently qualified Latino candidates for the Cabinet. On the subject of the racial and ethnic composition of the Cabinet and the rest of the administration, what Aguirre-Ferré did do was emphasize the pre-eminent merit-based selection criteria, while at the same time pointing out that even at this early stage, the administration already has several high-level Latino appointees. Below is a more complete transcript of what she actually said in the interview.

PHIL LATZMAN, HOST, KJZZ-FM: There are no Latinos or Latinas in the Cabinet. Does that concern you, that sort of lack of diversity in the Trump White House?

HELEN AGUIRRE-FERRÉ, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF MEDIA AFFAIRS: Well there is a senior advisor, Carlos Díaz Rosillo, who's a senior advisor to the President and he’s you know very prominent in this administration and he works with interagency affairs....there are a number… there’s going to be 4,000 employees that are going to be a part of this administration, and certainly, you’re going to be seeing very many. We have a Deputy Assistant to Public Liaison who's Jennifer Sevilla Korn and she’s Hispanic. So there are many others who are here. It’s not about… and I think the President, Phil, was you know so spot on when he said it in his inaugural speech: it’s not about being, whether you’re black or you’re brown or you’re white, we all bleed the same patriotic blood. And you know, we’re all in this together. And so what really, I think is of greater concern to Hispanic families and to many others is what are the policies. Are they policies that are going to really going to benefit us? Is it something that benefits a Hispanic family, it’s going to benefit a black family, it’s going to benefit the white non-Hispanic family, it’s good for everybody. So I think you know we have to start thinking of ourselves as Americans first, and that's what makes a big difference.

...

I would say that it’d be nice, and there’s no question that it would be nice to see Hispanics in the Cabinet. But I don’t see that… I think we have an outstanding cabinet and there isn’t any one member of this cabinet that I would say, “We should take this person out and put in a Latino because a Latino is better.” Why? Because they are Hispanic? No. That’s not… I thought that we were past these days, where we were looking at a person’s merits and accomplishments that really enabled them to be selected to be a part of this group, and when we look at this cabinet and we look at… we do have diversity. We have the first Hindu Indian-American woman who is now UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley. And you look at Elaine Chao, who’s Asian-American. You look at these outstanding men and women who are representing our government and who are really going to shake up the status quo and make sure that government works for all Americans and not for just a sacred few. I think that is what is so much more meaningful than a person’s color, than a person’s ethnic or cultural background. It’s nice but you know what we really need are policies that are enacted, and meaningful change to move the country forward.

That Acevedo would portray Aguirre-Ferré's remarks as tantamount to making a dismissal of Latino talent not only reveals malicious bias, but also calls into question his ability to simply comprehend and convey a senior administration official's remarks, within their full context.  

No other purpose can be served by this blatant smear of Aguirre-Ferré, a former Univision colleague except to further fan the flames of racial grievance, with such apparenty antiquated concepts as facts and accuracy becoming secondary in furtherance of that goal.

All of this is par for the course for Acevedo who, when not mining Latina Magazine for story ideas, accuses another conservative former Univision colleague, Alfonso Aguilar, of "spreading lies" when he simply points out the security upside of a border wall with Mexico, for all concerned.

Acevedo's vicious smear, incidentally, stands in stark contrast to the positive judgement Aguirre-Ferré's hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald, recently made of her White House appointment. 

But here’s the best news about Aguirre Ferré: Her appointment brings a voice for Hispanics into the halls of power and that’s an encouraging action from the new government — and good news for Miami-Dade countians and Floridians, who get an unofficial spokeswoman in the sphere of presidential power.

Acevedo's stint at Univision's Washington anchor desk is increasingly playing out as some sort of bizarre experiment wherein sister network Fusion, the self-proclaimed  "voice of the resistance" takes over Univision's news division. Brace yourselves: Acevedo's assignment in Washington still has more than two months to go. 

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