On Tuesday morning, nine and a half minutes of incessant baiting led to this moment on Univision's Despierta América. The attorney for Emma Coronel (AKA Mrs. Chapo) tore into Univision's morning news anchor, calling her an idiot for sanctimoniously suggesting that he is somehow linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.
Watch this heated exchange, in which attorney Jeffrey Lichtman has it with anchor Satcha Pretto’s line of questioning and innuendo:
SATCHA PRETTO: Sir, the fact is that I get paid, but not to defend drug traffickers. (I get paid) to report (the news). And so that's why I believe that the question is valid…
JEFFREY LICHTMAN: No. No. They pay you to make up lies…
PRETTO: because I'm not going to assume- you are here to clarify.
LICHTMAN: ...they pay you to make up lies on television… It's not a valid question? Are you suggesting that by me representing a person who's charged with a crime in America, that I'm a part of the Sinaloa Cartel??
PRETTO: Of course, you previously represented Joaquín "el Chapo" Guzmán.
LICHTMAN: And therefore I'm waiving the right to get paid? Is that what you're saying?
PRETTO: who has been found guilty of drug trafficking in the United States.
LICHTMAN: You're an idiot. You're an idiota. It doesn't make a difference. I'm a l- it doesn't mean I'm a part of the Sinaloa Cartel. You're an idiot to suggest that I am. Es idiota. Is that Spanish? Is that Spanish? I'm allowed to, In America, those charged with a crime…
PRETTO: Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman- Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman-
LICHTMAN: are entitled to a defense. You understand how that works?
PRETTO: I'm not disrespecting you, I gave you an opportunity to come on and talk about your case. Do not disrespect me. Thank you for joining us this morning at Despierta América.
LICHTMAN: Solamente if you'd stop talking. And let me speak.
PRETTO: We appreciate it. Live from New York.
LICHTMAN: Listen. Yeah. Wonderful interview. My last one for Univision.
The exchange was in response to Pretto’s question, “are you getting paid or are you working pro-bono”, and Lichtman’s response “are you getting paid”?
This was after a litany of questions that no defense attorney in his right mind would answer, and which revealed a fundamental lack of knowledge of how the U.S. criminal system works. Perhaps even willful. Pretto’s smug “I don’t get paid to represent drug traffickers” was the absolute cherry on top.
Tonally, the interview is in line with how Spanish-language media have covered the arrest of Emma Coronel. They can’t make up their minds on whether to cover this story as a hard news item or as a celebrity story. The result is that we get inane coverage that absolutely overwhelms other stories that warrant broader coverage. Why show viewers that Andrew Cuomo may have killed 15,000 seniors when they can get a real-life narconovela instead? Univision’s viewers deserve far better.
Tuesday’s episode of The Chapo Who Loved Me was brought to you by Jeep. Click here and let them know what you think.