Univision senior news anchor Jorge Ramos and retiring Chicagoland Congressman Luis Gutiérrez once again teamed up for a master class in racial demagoguery and agenda-driven journalism. This time, in order to make hay out of President Trump’s “animals” remark regarding MS-13 gang members.
The exchange, which aired on Univision’s Sunday political talker Al Punto, moved the needle far beyond arguments over the sanctity of life and inherent human dignity of those who commit barbaric acts, and into whether Univision and Jorge Ramos even care about such things as facts and accuracy when reporting on a story.
Watch as Ramos and Gutiérrez manipulate known facts about the context in which President Trump delivered his “animals” remarks, as aired on Univision’s Al Punto on Sunday, May 20, 2018:
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: This week, the President of the United States Donald Trump called immigrants “animals.” The President insists that he was referring to members of a gang. This is what the President said, let’s listen:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.
RAMOS: The President says that these are not people - they’re animals. Congressman, do you believe the President when he says that he was referring to gang members and not to all immigrants?
U.S. REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D-IL): Well, first, Jorge: we have to understand that when he speaks and says “animals”, he is referring to all of us. I know that there will be those that will try to want to separate, segregate his words and say, “no, he was just referring to gang members”. First, he’s talking about our entire community, and it follows the model, uh, of saying that we are, what? Um, we are people that come here to kill, to rape, to sell drugs, we’re bad people. In other words, look, Jorge...they say that when a mother comes to the border with her children, (that) they can and will separate those children from their mother. The mother will go to jail, and the children, to bases, they say, of the United States Army. Fine. Can you do that? Who can you put in a cage? An animal. And they’re already treating us like animals. So for the president to say it in such a brutal manner, huh? He is already doing so with his actions. Last week we heard from the (Chief of Staff) of the United States, in other words John Kelly, who is the President’s Chief of Staff. What did he say? Oh, those people come here but they can’t integrate. On the one hand he says: those who have TPS from Honduras and El Salvador and have been here 20 years should be able to stay. Those that are arriving now, those...those can’t stay because they can’t integrate. Who can’t integrate? A hostile animal, an animal that you have to put in a cage.
GUTIERREZ: So that is a part of the process of dehumanizing our entire community.
Jorge Ramos opens the segment by categorically affirming that Donald Trump called immigrants “animals”, and then saying that Trump subsequently claimed that he was talking about “a gang” that apparently goes nameless on Univision. Never mind that there are a plethora of transcripts available that confirm that Trump was responding to a specific comment about the gang that Ramos, for some reason, refuses to name: MS-13.
After playing the quoted segment of Trump’s statement without the preceeding comment by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, Ramos tosses over to Gutiérrez with a question about whether Trump can be believed for saying that his remarks were in response to a statement by Sheriff Mims that appears in every transcript, but not in Univision’s video.
Gutiérrez, of course, proceeds to launch into a tirade conflating “animals” with Trump’s campaign announcement speech and everything that has happened since, and insisting that Trump was referring to the entire Hispanic community as "animals", as opposed to the delinquents who commit barbaric crimes and terrorize communities from coast to coast.
I understand Jorge Ramos’ blind spot when it comes to Trump and I also understand Gutiérrez’ need to showboat, but there is still the matter of accuracy in reporting. The segment wastes Univision viewers’ time largely because it is built on a lie.