On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas - the case in which a coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, sued the Obama administration over the executive DACA/DAPA programs. On the leading domestic Spanish-language television network newscasts, the case was given existential treatment. Unfortunately, the coverage was just as one-sided as we would have expected.
Despite Telemundo's stated commitment to "just-the-facts" journalism, there was very little variance from Univision's activist offering. Both Friday evening newscasts led with the story, and the anchors set up their respective video packages from Washington with the requisite statement on the paramount importance of the Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the DACA/DAPA executive actions.
Outside the Supreme Court, there was a pro-amnesty rally as well as a press conference by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, both of which were central to the coverage. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez' statements were featured on both newscasts, but it was Telemundo that managed to capture the absurdity of the moment as well as the broader expectation of the open-borders movements:
LORI MONTENEGRO, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: Congressman Luis Gutiérrez will be present at the hearing, and says that his eyes will be fixed on Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ: If there's someone that can make an argument and understand what our community lives, it's her.
This pretty much sums up your Spanish-language coverage of DACAgeddon... a Member of Congress openly calling for a sitting Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to argue the government's side in a case about executive overreach and being uncritically covered by media organizations that have a clear stake in the outcome of the ruling.
Each network was also careful to put a sympathetic face on DACA/DAPA, by showcasing immigrant families that will be directly impacted by the ruling, with Univision even going so far as to coin the Orwellian descriptor "of mixed legal status" when describing one such family.
Needless to say, the coverage was totally one-sided in support of the government's position. Even when the position of the states was explained, it was done very narrowly by a pro-amnesty activist.
The networks did not even consider- much less devote equal time to- the many reasoned arguments in opposition to these executive actions. Neither Univision nor Telemundo bothered to find anyone to come on and express concerns over executive overreach into what is clearly under the purview of Congress, national security, the president's violation of the "Take Care" clause, or the impact that these actions could have both on our workforce and on state budgets.
On immigration, it appears that Isaac Lee's "no two sides" maxim is really an ironclad rule, and that we shouldn't expect any sort of fair coverage of an issue that impacts ALL of us. Instead, one of the critical questions surrounding this election is framed solely as a matter of family reunification, and splashed with "The Final Battle" graphics like those above. And that is truly unfortunate.