When Was Neutrality Ever Really 'An Option' For Jorge Ramos?

August 25th, 2016 12:06 PM

If the "Stuff Jorge Ramos Says" posts seem repetitive, it is because it is unprecedented for a national news anchor to go on the record with his opinions of a presidential candidate (published on multinational platforms), because the establishment media has aided and abetted this break with longstanding tradition, and because it is important to create and preserve -consistent with the mission of the MRC- a record of these statements of bias. 

Earlier this week, we detailed how Univision/Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos intensified his very public opposition to Donald Trump in the wake of reports of a potential softening on immigration by the Republican presidential nominee. Shortly thereafter, Ramos verbalized that intensified opposition via a Time column and Fusion video.

What is outlined in "Jorge Ramos: Judgement Day Is Coming For Those Who Stay Silent on Donald Trump" is nothing new for readers of this byline. Here are his central points:

It doesn’t matter who you are—a journalist, a politician or a voter—we’ll all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump. Like it or not, this election is a plebiscite on the most divisive, polarizing and disrupting figure in American politics in decades. And neutrality is not an option.


Regardless of whether Donald Trump wins or loses, we will be asked on November 9th: What did you do? Did you support him? Were you brave enough, ethical enough, to challenge him when he insulted immigrants, Muslims, women, war heroes and people with disabilities? Are you on the record correcting his lies? Did you discuss with your friends and family that in a democracy like ours there is no room for racism and discrimination? Or did you just seat idly, silently, allowing others to decide the future of the United States?

It is not enough that candidates not in line with Ramos' worldview must come before him and beg for Latino votes- but now judgment awaits. It might be fashionable to believe the narrative that Trump forced Ramos to take these clearly partisan positions. Fashionable, but not accurate.

In Ramos' hand, legitimate concern over the possible perils of a Trump presidency (shared by this author, in fact) becomes a shield with which to wage partisan battle. Outrage over both Trump's harsh statements on immigration and Ramos' stage-crafted expulsion from Trump's Iowa press conference created a permission structure for Ramos to more overtly take to the soapbox- with little or no consequence.

The truth is that Ramos was always going to be adversarial towards the Republican nominee regardless of who that may have been, and Donald Trump is simply a target of convenience. Ramos' depictions of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as race-traitors are a matter of record, and are reflective of the coverage they would have received had they won the nomination. Everyone else would have received varying degrees of his Generic Republican coverage.

About that, and with regard to the fantasy that Jorge Ramos' partisan advocacies are limited to immigration policy- here's what he said to C-SPAN just over six years ago: 

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION/FUSION: If the Republican Party doesn't make peace with Latinos on immigration first and then on other issues, they're going to lose them and they're going to lose - they're going to lose the power for many, many generations from now.

This statement is from July of 2010, to be exact, and confirms what we've said all along about Ramos' (and by extension, Univision's) particular brand of advocacy journalism- which demands Republican capitulations far beyond immigration.

In the end, Trump could have promised a 1986 amnesty, a full DREAM Act, and to codify DACA/DAPA (what some refer to as "the whole enchilada"), and it wouldn't matter because of those "other issues". To be clear, those other issues are the rest of the liberal policy buffet platter- opponents of which rate "Nazi" coverage on Univision's newscasts and digital platforms.

When contrasting Jorge Ramos' very public statements with his unwillingness to engage the Democratic candidate's own glaring failings, it is clear that there is a desire to tilt the scales in favor of one candidate over the other. A true Fallaci-esque scourge of the powerful and afflicter of the comfortable could have equally prosecuted both Trump's authoritarian leanings and Hillary Clinton's obvious corruption and lack of accountability- and allowed his audience to arrive at its own conclusions.

Instead, Ramos continues to infantilize his audience and poison the national discourse- and the record reflects that he's been doing that long before Trump hit the scene. Trump-triggered racial grievance, legitimate concerns aside, is little more in this context than a convenient vessel through which Ramos can shift the standard for what is acceptable bias (versus partisan advocacy) throughout the entirety of our news media.

The issue is not that "neutrality is not an option" for Jorge Ramos - but that it never was, to begin with.

Tell the Truth 2016