We are often reminded that Univision has taken it upon itself to act like an immigration lobby rather than a news division. So it is today, wherein the death of Senator Dianne Feinstein is not reported as a news story, but mourned as the death of a political ally.
Watch as anchor Carolina Sarassa opens the midday Edición Digital newscast with a mournful eulogy:
CAROLINA SARASSA: And we begin with news - unfortunately it is breaking news and mournful news, as the death of California Senator Dianne Feinstein at the age of 90 has been confirmed. She is the longest-serving woman senator in the history of this country, and who for over than 30 years fought tirelessly for minorities, especially for undocumented immigrants. Because of her, we have the well-known Amber Alert and programs such as TPS and the protection of immigrant minors have become a reality, and she has also prevented many families from being separated.
Sarassa focused on Univision’s lodestar: immigration. TPS. “Protection of immigrant minors”. Family separation. Such was Sarassa’s focus on Feinstein’s immigration allyship that she somehow failed to mention Feinstein’s anti-Second amendment record, which includes the 1994 “assault weapons ban”. Such mournful coverage of someone who advocated for policies that the network likes is tantamount to a political advertisement- a clear signal to viewers that they should support candidates with similar ideologies.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg received similar treatment- mournful coverage befitting the death of a political ally rather than straightforward reporting. Univision’s coverage of the passing of Dianne Feinstein reminds us that the network has quite a long way to go before regaining its lost credibility.
The market still cries out for alternatives.
Click “Expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned report as aired on Univision’s Edición Digital on Friday, September 29th, 2023:
CAROLINA SARASSA: And we begin with news - unfortunately it is breaking news and mournful news, as the death of California Senator Dianne Feinstein at the age of 90 has been confirmed. She is the longest-serving woman senator in the history of this country, and who for over than 30 years fought tirelessly for minorities, especially for undocumented immigrants. Because of her, we have the well-known Amber Alert and programs such as TPS and the protection of immigrant minors have become a reality, and she has also prevented many families from being separated. Feinstein worked until her final day. Her family confirms that she died last night. Now it is the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who will be in charge of choosing her replacement. And we have already heard plenty of reactions from her colleagues- and we connect with Edwin Pitti in the nation's capital. Edwin, what else is being said at this hour? How are you?
EDWIN PITTI: It's a pleasure to greet you, Carolina. I tell you that Senator Dianne Feinstein worked until the very end, since when her family reported that she died yesterday Thursday night, it was precisely yesterday morning when she cast her last vote on the Senate floor as part of an initiative to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government. But the reactions continue to come in, there are events in honor of the memory of the senator, who served more over 30 years in the Upper Chamber of the United States Congress. As you can see behind me, the flags are already flying at half-staff by direct order of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who also joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to address Feinstein’s legacy. But those who were visibly affected, not only by the years they served alongside her, but also by their friendship, were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and also the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who recently led a moment of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives. Both talked about how brave Feinstein was, for the different initiatives in which she fought, for which she represented the state of California with great honor. President Joe Biden himself also sent a statement saying that Feinstein was a pioneer, and a leading spokesperson for American values. Caro.
SARASSA: …mayor in San Francisco, first woman to reach the Senate, a woman who undoubtedly leaves a legacy in this country. But I ask you, Edwin: yes, we are grieving, but unfortunately there is also talk of that balance of power in the Senate. I imagine that there is already chatter about that over there at the capital.
PITTI: Yes, Carolina. I can tell you, as someone who provides continuous coverage of Congress, (that) Feinstein's death is not really going to trigger a change in the short term. Why? Because in the case of the death of a senator in the state of California, it is now Governor Gavin Newsom who must choose a person, until elections are held next year to elect the new senator for that state. And these comments are made due to the situation with the Democratic senator for the state of New Jersey Bob Menéndez - but we must remember that he has made it clear that he is not going to resign, and it can take even several months for the legal process he faces to be concluded. But, of course, we will be taking the pulse of the situation and any updates, as always, will be here on Edición Digital. Back to you in the studio, Caro.
SARASSA: And may this pioneer rest in peace. This woman who fought for so many people who had no voice. Edwin, thank you very much.