Univision anchor Jorge Ramos kicked off the most recent edition of his Sunday political affairs show Al Punto by turning his attention to what really matters and asking the most pressing question of the day: what do the Democrats want now?
Incredibly, that is exactly how Ramos framed the show's opening segment on the Mueller report:
Robert Mueller concludes the investigation into whether or not there was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. There will be no new indictments, but what are Democrats asking for? We discuss it with Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), let it be known, has emerged as former Chicagoland Congressman Luis Gutiérrez’s putative replacement on Ramos' show, as the safe-district liberal Democratic congressman that Ramos can reliably call on when the subject matter of the day calls for hyper-partisan Democratic talking points. Whether on judicial nominations, immigration, or the Mueller report, it doesn’t matter: Espaillat’s the guy. Small price to pay for ridding ourselves of Gutiérrez and Charlie Rangel, who Espaillat succeeded in Congress.
As far as the interview itself goes, there is no additional illustrative clip needed because Ramos’ introduction is brilliantly reductive, as well as representative, of the entirety of coverage accorded to the topic, in keeping with the salty tone set on Friday evening as news of the Mueller investigation's closure broke.
There was no balance in covering the investigation's final developments, no Republican brought on to spar with Ramos, perhaps, over whether the report was exculpatory given the finding that no new indictments would emerge from the investigation.
Espaillat, on the other hand, was given free rein by Ramos to suggest a criminal conspiracy within the White House, to speculate that President Trump’s Twitter silence over the weekend was somehow a proof of guilt, and most importantly, shift the goalposts as the report makes its way to Congress. The exchange below is key:
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR ANCHOR, UNIVISION: But is this what you expected? Many Democrats expected a formal indictment against the President, charging him of colluding with Russia to alter the results of the last presidential election, or of obstruction of justice. To date, it appears that this is not going to happen. And so…
CONGRESSMAN ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): Well…
RAMOS: Is Trump getting away with it?
ESPAILLAT: We didn’t expect a direct indictment from the Mueller report. We expected (to see) the evidence of the investigation (in order) to show whether the President is implicated in some corrupt action, or is exonerated. Congress has the right to see the details of that report, and Congress has all jurisdiction to ensure that this moves forward. We are willing to summon Mr. Mueller so he can say, with his own voice, what the results of the investigation were if Mr. Barr, the sitting Attorney General, chooses not to give us the report.
The segment ultimately answered Ramos’ rhetorical question and made quite clear “what the Democrats want”, at least from Espaillat’s perspective: continuous hearings and subpoenas through 2020, with impeachment remaining on the table. Missing, however, was balance, perspective and above all, introspection.
Just as no Republican was booked to discuss the aftermath of the Mueller report, there was no thought given to whether the media inflated the expectations placed on the investigation, and no discussion of the underlying circumstances that led to the launch of the investigation in the first place.
Once again, Univision’s viewers got half of the story and, just as on Election Night 2016, they are left seeing shock and disappointment on their screens with no roadmap to understanding why that is.