Judging from some of the coverage of the papal visit to the United States, it would appear that our media have been miraculously blessed with the gift of interpreting the thoughts behind Francis' words. The national Spanish-language media have also been prone to this phenomenon.
Telemundo's María Celeste Arrarás, possessed by this strange gift, interpreted the Pope's remarks on immigration to be an alleged attack against the “hypocrisy” of descendants of immigrants who might be opposed to amnesty (and whose names perhaps rhyme with Cruz or Rubio).
In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.
Arrarás miraculously spun that into:
MARIA CELESTE ARRARAS, TELEMUNDO ANCHOR: ...to those that are opposed to the immigrants- over there in Congress- he basically called them hypocrites between the lines. He said that those who criticize or condemn immigrants are hypocrites because they were once also (immigrants) at a given time...even if they were so indirectly...as immigrants...even if (they were) second generation.
The Pope’s political priorities are transparent enough that there is no need to further bolster his words, or spin them beyond their plain-spoken meaning. Arrarás shamelessly and irresponsibly used the Pope’s words as both a sword and a shield with which to levy a political attack against conservatives of all stripes who do not toe the agenda line on immigration, which is in keeping with the mainstream media’s goal of using the Pope’s public policy positions as a wedge between conservatives and Catholics.
Those who work in Spanish-language media have a special duty to convey exactly what was said when newsmaking remarks are rendered in a language other than Spanish, without embellishing, editorializing, or ascribing meanings beyond the original statements so that the audience can form their own conclusions. By putting words in the Pope’s mouth, Arrarás clearly violated that fundamental duty.
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