Univision anchor Jorge Ramos shields U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) from her remarks comparing immigrant detention centers to Nazi concentration camps, in what is his most recent and most blatant instance of AOC fandom.
If you thought that last week’s effusive praise of AOC’s appearance on ABC’s This Week was the apex of media cheerleading then you, dear reader, thought wrong. In the clip below, Ramos praises AOC for not backing down from her outrageous comparison of migrant detention centers to concentration camps, and bemoans the “harsh reaction” these remarks earned over the course of “a very intense week” for the freshman firebrand.
JORGE RAMOS, HOST, AL PUNTO: This has been a very intense week for 29-year-old Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She received a great deal of criticism after saying that detention centers for the undocumented are like concentration camps. But she didn’t back down. She also continues to push for an impeachment process against President Trump, with whom she sometimes exchanges Twitter attacks. Prior to her arrival in Congress, I had the opportunity to speak to her extensively in her district, in Queens and in the Bronx, in New York, and there we discussed her five big ideas. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
U.S. REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): The United States is running concentration camps on our Southern border, and that is exactly what they are. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist.
RAMOS: These remarks triggered harsh reactions from several groups that condemned her words. For example, Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney wrote: Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory.
It is important to note that a significant portion of Rep. Cheney’s tweet was omitted from Al Punto’s translation, namely: “...and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”
It isn’t like there wasn’t enough room in the graphic for the last sentence in Cheney’s tweet, so why leave it off, then, unless the intent is to shield further criticism of AOC from Univision’s viewers? Are they not allowed to see that someone thought that AOC disgraced herself? Or is Univision (or Ramos) afraid that a significant portion of viewers might stray from the narrative and agree with Cheney?
And yet, the worst part of this pathetic episode isn’t even that particular omission. What followed the clip shown above was not a panel discussion on AOC’s remarks, or reaction from a member of the Jewish community, or any other form of meaningful and substantial discussion of what is a controversial statement that is, at a bare minimum, worthy of further discussion.
Instead, Univision’s viewers got a partial rehash of Ramos’ fawning Facebook Watch interview of AOC, with equal parts emphasis on her youth, and on some of her proposals. That, and not any of the former, was what Ramos thought Univision's viewers should see and take away from the controversy over AOC's remarks.
What the clip above does, most eloquently, is sum up the entirety of the servile coverage that Ramos has accorded AOC so far, namely: She’s Young And Is Unafraid To Say Things. Furthermore, Ramos is building a permission structure for others in the media to do the same. Recall that Ramos’ heckling of then-candidate Donald Trump in Iowa was essentially the prototype for current coverage of the White House.
More succinctly: There is no Jim Acosta without Jorge Ramos (a point, by the way, that Ramos himself is all to happy to make). If Ramos can’t even bring himself to question AOC now, what do you think coverage will look like in 2020 and beyond?
For all Ramos’ talk of being opposed to power, his coverage of AOC has been the exact opposite. Not only is he in close proximity to what is arguably the apex of cultural and political power (at least as far as the Democratic Party is concerned), but he’s comfortably curled up in its lap.