Our domestic Spanish-language network television model is pretty straightforward: there is news and there is entertainment - and from a revenue standpoint, entertainment is king.
The prime-time telenovela still sits at the very top of the entertainment pecking order, and will often use current news in order to frame its storytelling. However, the life issue is one where news and politics won't push storytelling.
Case in point: Telemundo's Eva La Trailera (Eva The Trucker). I won't bore you with a full plot summary except to say that, with a few dark exceptions, it is very much a traditional telenovela. In the moments leading up to this clip, Eva (portrayed by Editn González) has discovered that her teenage daughter Adriana (Minnie West) is pregnant as a result of having been repeatedly drugged and raped by thuggish Andrés (Antonio Gaona), and is planning to have an abortion- in part over concerns of possible birth defects due to narcotics exposure.
Here's what Telemundo presented to its national audience subsequent to those harrowing revelations:
EVA: What no one has ever understood is that Fabiolita is not a burden to me. You know what Fabiolita is to me? She's a gift. A gift from God. And I know that she will continue to fill my life with happiness.
ADRIANA: Yes- she will, Mom, she will. But I've never been a good daughter with you. On the contrary, if my baby is born (with birth defects), then I will never be a good mother.
EVA: I'm certain that when you see it, when you see that little face, all of this will turn into so much love, my love... it will...it will become so much tenderness...
It's worth noting that the "Fabiolita" mentioned in this dialogue as a rebuttal to concerns over potential birth defects is Eva's youngest daughter, who is on the autism spectrum.
This raw plea, this all-out defense of the value and preciousness and dignity of ALL life, even that which is conceived under the worst of circumstances, is the purest antithesis of Scandal's disgusting "Silent Night" scene.
It is unlikely we'll see such a plea for life on Telemundo's English-language counterparts. In fact, a set of circumstances such as Adriana's would serve as the likely basis for such a show to be converted into a Planned Parenthood infomercial.
Politics still pushes storylines but last week Telemundo proved that entertainment is king, and entertainment chose life. In this instance, kudos to Telemundo for respecting its audience, rather than trying to impose liberal values upon it.
NOTE: Many thanks to my colleague Daniel Garza for his assist with the video and with my blind spots in the transcript.