Stelter, Tur Clash With Jorge Ramos on Being ‘Stand-Ins for Democrats’

The unique brand of journalistic jihad that Jorge Ramos espouses in covering the Trump administration is so extreme that the Univision anchorman now even raises the hackles of other top national media figures he interacts with, such as CNN’s Brian Stelter and NBC’s Katy Tur.

At a recent National Press Club panel on the current state of the U.S. news media, the fireworks really erupted when Ramos objected to a statement made by Tur, in which she basically exhorted journalists to uphold core journalistic standards.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Continue to report on the facts. Be as fair as you possibly can be. Be partial to the truth, and don't be alarmist when it’s unnecessary.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: May I, uh, disagree?

After interrupting Tur for apparently advocating a much too orthodox approach to the practice of the profession, Ramos proceeded to urge the attendees at the National Press Club event to favor instead his ‘holy war’ approach to covering Trump.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don't question the president, if we don't question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is gonna do it? It's an uncomfortable position...

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: You're almost saying we're a stand-in for the Democrats.

Ramos’ remarks led even CNN’s Stelter to interject and sound the alarm.

Ramos also received pushback from both Stelter and Tur earlier in the panel. When discussing coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, Ramos said I don’t think we were critical enough of President Trump.”

You’re saying criticize,” Stelter again interjected. “And sitting over here, I would say report…what most of the mainstream press has been doing has been reporting, not criticizing.”

The series of tense exchanges were indicative of the chasm Ramos has created as he has increasingly conducted himself more like an activist than a journalist. In addition to Univision, Ramos also works for Fusion, the network which bills itself as “the voice of the resistance.”

During the National Press Club panel, Ramos continuously reiterated his stance that in covering Trump “we cannot remain neutral.”

Below is the transcript of the above-referenced exchanges, which took place at the National Press Club on April 28, 2017.

State of the News Media

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: If we have a President who lies, if we have a President who made racist, sexist and xenophobic remarks, if we have a President who criticizes judges and the press, if we have a President who behaved like a bully during the campaign, then we cannot remain neutral…if we remain neutral with Trump, I think, we are normalizing his behavior. And he’s not an example, not even for schoolchildren. And I think it is our responsibility to be critical of him, that’s it. That’s why we are journalists. That’s the role of journalists, I think.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: On June 16, 2015 he said that Mexican immigrants were criminals and drug traffickers and racists. And the reaction was mute.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: No, not so, I mean, well,

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Yeah, I mean

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: I, I. That’s the reason why I’m on his campaign is because I did stories about that. I mean the reaction maybe from the general public was a little bit more mute, but I mean

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Yeah, I didn’t see journalists

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: I didn’t see it coming from CNN’s perspective, but we covered it quite a bit.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: But I didn’t see journalists criticizing him right at the beginning, as forcefully. We were giving him tons of time and I don’t think we were critical enough of President Trump at the beginning, especially when he was criticizing Mexican immigrants. When it, after that, when we saw that horrible video, uh, Access Hollywood, things started to change, but at the beginning I think we were not as critical as we should have been.

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: But you’re saying criticize. And sitting over here, I would say that report is what we’ve been doing. What most of the mainstream press has been doing has been reporting, not criticizing. Yes, there’s been a critical tone and many, many critical guests, but I think you see and by the way I think the, one of the benefits of 2016 and 2017 is the existence of hundreds of real news outlets with different perspectives and different ways of going about it, but I wouldn’t use the word ‘criticize’ the way you do.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: As much as Donald Trump wants to take us down, you can’t, we cannot go crazy about it all the time. We just need to be even-keeled, brush it off and move on and don’t take the bait. Continue to report on the facts. Be as fair as you possibly can be. Be partial to the truth, and don't be alarmist when it’s unnecessary.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: May I, uh, disagree?

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don't question the president, if we don't question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is gonna do it? It's an uncomfortable position...

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: You're almost saying we're a stand-in for the Democrats.

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MRC Latino Staff
MRC Latino Staff