The nation’s domestic Spanish-language networks made more than enough time to report Gen. Michael Flynn’s entry into a plea deal with federal prosecutors on December 1st, 2017, as it fueled the narrative of a Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. But the networks didn’t show as much enthusiasm when the Justice Department dropped the charges against Flynn.
This sample montage shows how Univision framed its report for the plea deal, but devoted only 26 seconds to the Department of Justice’s filing before Judge Sullivan, indicating that it would no longer pursue charges against Flynn:
MARIA ELENA SALINAS (12/1/17): Good evening. Things get complicated and then some for Donald Trump’s White House, and his attempts to keep denying his suspicious link to Russia before and after winning the presidency. Today his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Moscow. And the worst part for Trump is that Flynn, who was one of his closest advisers, agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation of the alleged Russian influence in the elections in order to help the mogul make it to the White House.
JORGE RAMOS (5/7/20): The Department of Justice decided not to move forward with its prosecution against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor. In a surprising decision, the Department said that the FBI’s investigation of Flynn lacked justification, despite the fact that Flynn himself admitted to lying to the FBI about his ties to Russia, and President Trump fired him for lying to Vice President Mike Pence regarding the same matter.
At least Univision took 26 seconds to fume over the DOJ’s decision to drop the charges against Flynn. Telemundo did not even acknowledge Flynn’s exoneration, despite devoting a staggering six minutes and 50 seconds to the plea deal on December 1st, 2017. When added to Univision’s two minutes and 49 seconds on the same day, this amounts to nine minutes and 39 seconds against Univision’s 26 seconds on Flynn’s exoneration by the DOJ.
Put simply, the Spanish-language networks gave 26 times as much coverage to Flynn’s plea deal with the FBI as they did to the DOJ’s dismissal of charges against Flynn.
With scant coverage accorded to the underlying investigation into the FBI, it was easy for Jorge Ramos to label the DOJ’s as “surprising”. Not surprising at all, really.
The nation’s Spanish-language networks, having invested themselves in the Russia Hoax and given the Flynn plea deal big, red “Walls Closing In” coverage, are left one again to pick up the pieces of their credibility. Their viewers deserve better, and the market continues to cry out for an alternative.