Azteca Off The Rails: RNC 'Anti-Mexican Sentiment'

Azteca América went off the rails during their coverage of the Republican National Convention, characterizing the 2016 GOP platform and the mood at the convention as anti-Mexican.

Azteca América anchor Roberto Ruíz and correspondent Juan Pablo de Leo pushed a clearly inaccurate and one-sided report that pushed their preferred narrative.

The report started from the get-go describing Republicans as “maintaining an anti-Mexican sentiment” in their convention, and goes on to make the dubious claim that convention-goers even assaulted their correspondent because he was speaking Spanish. 

JUAN PABLO DE LEO, CORRESPONDANT, AZTECA AMERICA: [What] draws attention is this continuing anti-Mexican sentiment, especially with the platform they are presenting, even so that I can comment that while [I was] doing reports for different media, on a couple of occasions, people approached me and hit my knee, so that I’d keep silent when they heard I was speaking Spanish.

The report then turned to Hillary Clinton’s efforts to drive up Hispanic voter registration, reported in a positive light to contrast to the allegedly increasingly “anti-Mexican” RNC and Donald Trump campaign, which they wished to remind viewers “did not have any links to Hispanic media.”

What went completely unmentioned? That the same night this report was broadcast, the RNC had three Hispanic Republicans speak at the convention, specifically Kentucky State Sen. Ralph Alvarado (who had a special message in Spanish that was warmly applauded by the assembled delegates), Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. To Azteca América, they were “minor characters”.

The GOP convention that nominated Donald Trump for President also fielded a complete Hispanic media team that included daily Spanish-language press conferences and more than two dozen Spanish-speaking surrogates. The network also completely failed to mention that when the wife of Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI), Rachel Campos-Duffy mentioned from the speakers' platform her parents’ home country of Mexico, it triggered a warm round of applause from the assembled delegates in the Quicken Loans Arena.

It also bears mentioning that the language of the 2016 Republican platform only mentioned Mexico three times – twice outlining the GOP’s policy on Latin America and again when referring to the Mexico City Policy. Here’s a sample of the language referring to Mexico in the platform on page 50 and tell me if it’s anti-Mexican:

We thank our neighbors in Mexico and Canada who have been our partners in the fight against terrorism and the war on drugs. The Mexican people deserve our assistance as they bravely resist the drug cartels that traffic in death on both sides of our border. Their rich cultural and religious heritage, shared by many millions of our fellow citizens, should foster greater understanding and cooperation between our countries.

The language on trade agreements in the platform also favored free trade. But probably what triggered Azteca America was that the platform stood for American sovereignty when it said on page 2 that “agreements [that] do not adequately protect U.S. interests, U.S. sovereignty, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected.

As the convention was wrapping up, the top domestic Spanish-language networks consistently fell over each other trying to label Republicans as “anti-Hispanic”, “anti-immigrant”, “anti-Mexican”, and “racist” despite plenty of compelling evidence to the contrary.

Below you can find the transcript of this especially biased report broadcast by Azteca América’s Hechos Nacional Tarde on July 20:

AZTECA AMÉRICA

HECHOS NACIONAL TARDE

7/20/16

6:30:50 PM - 6:34:44 PM EST | 3 MIN 54 SEC

ROBERTO RUIZ, ANCHOR, AZTECA AMERICA: It gives me pleasure to greet you, my name is Roberto Ruiz, thanks for being with us this afternoon in Hechos Nacionales, we will look at [today’s] information. As always, if you like, we will go with the news and go with this information. Since Trump, as we announced yesterday night, Donald Trump is officially the Republican candidate and Republicans themselves have kept an anti-Mexican sentiment at the convention, even attacked the correspondent Juan Pablo de Leo. Here is the information.

JUAN PABLO DE LEO, CORRESPONDENT, AZTECA AMERICA: Hello, very good afternoon friends of Azteca Noticias, I am Juan Pablo de Leo, and I’m here in the Quicken Loans Arena where the third day of the Republican National Convention is being held. This, after Tuesday night Donald Trump was officially named as a candidate of the Republican Party. [What] draws attention is this continuing anti-Mexican sentiment, especially with the platform they are presenting, even so that I can comment that while [I was] doing reports for different media, on a couple of occasions, people approached me and hit my knee, so that I’d keep silent when they heard I was speaking Spanish, even though all other journalists were doing the same. It's the kind of attitude and atmosphere that has also generated from the constant comments from Donald Trump against the liberal press, as they call it. In that sense the attacks continue, not only in that part, but discursive level as we said, the rational made yesterday about commerce had to do with breaking of free trade agreements with Mexico, they said literally that Mexico was stealing US jobs and that if [Trump] becomes president, [he] will reverse that part. We will discuss what was also happening regarding the speech that Melania Trump gave, wife of Donald Trump, on Monday that generated so much controversy because it was released that it was a textual, literally, identical speech, plagiarized from the speech that Michelle Obama gave in 2008 when he introduced her husband Barack Obama to the Democratic nomination. Donald Trump's campaign has released a statement which says a character who works for Donald Trump Organization - not for the campaign of Donald Trump – but for the Donald Trump Organization was responsible for writing this speech. However, different media outlets report that this could be a federal crime, using resources of the Trump Organization to give to the Trump campaign, if confirming that this person actually worked as stated in the statement for the Organization and not to Donald Trump's campaign. Ted Cruz will also be present, one of the main political rivals of the Republican primary who had had confrontations, including insults with Donald Trump, and will be here behind us in a few hours as the keynote speaker. A consolation prize for Ted Cruz also will be appearing here along with other minor characters.

Tell the Truth 2016

JUAN PABLO DE LEO, CORRESPONDENT, AZTECA AMERICA: Finally we mention what the Hillary Clinton campaign is doing with the issue of [voter] registration of many Hispanics, many Hispanics who are being invited to register to vote in the election of November 4 understanding that [they] are a very important audience, especially also the weight of Mexicans in that sector and some activities the Democratic Party is doing adjacent to what we are seeing in the Republican Party, this has to do precisely with the registration and the call to vote for all these Hispanic sectors and other minority sectors that could eventually help the Democratic vote later in the general election on November 4. I will keep you all abreast of the situation, but in the meantime we will be watching what happens here. We’ll see each other again later tonight in the other informative news spaces at Azteca Noticias. Very good afternoon, and we’ll be back on later.

ROBERTO RUIZ, PRESENTER, AZTECA AMERICA: But look, Juan Pablo de Leo just said to us that he was the victim of an assault for speaking Spanish. Republican sentiment in the convention is not only against Mexicans but absolutely anti Hillary Clinton, a situation which according to analysts has joined conservatives although some continue to disagree with many of Trump’s policies. Now we remind you, the campaign of Donald Trump is the one who has no direct link with the media in Spanish and it seems that it will continue, recalling the days of Bob Dole when he was a candidate, he is the only one who has denied this right to the Spanish-speaking media.

MRC Latino Convention Watch Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential 2016 Republican Convention Mexico Immigration Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Covert Liberal Activists Conservatives & Republicans Foreign/Non-English Media Hispanic Media Azteca Azteca America Journalistic Issues Donald Trump

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