In Hispanic Media Reporting of Tweets: Problem is Trump, Not Radical Islamic Violence

Imagine what it felt like to be on the ground during a World War II era bombing raid. Well, that is an apt metaphor for what several of the country’s Spanish-language television networks submit their viewers to in their coverage of practically everything related to President Trump: one story after another fully loaded with bias, exploding with content that lacks accuracy, fairness and often, even common sense. Do they truly believe their viewers are that gullible or all share the same liberal hate agenda?

President Trump’s recent string of retweets calling attention to the problem of radical Islamic violence and his commitment to protecting U.S. citizens (see his November 29 tweet to British Prime Minister @Theresa_May: “don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”) were, predictably, twisted to the max. 

Don’t believe us? Just take a look at Estrella TV’s national November 29 newscast opening: 

VOICE-OVER ANNOUNCER, NOTICIERO ESTRELLA: And now, live for all of the United States. Donald Trump continues to show he is a racist President. His hatred towards Muslims has no comparison.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That is who we are.

What has no comparison is Estrella’s bias, dishonesty and slander. It really does take the cake.

Less glaring - but also displaying a wide array of bias - Univision’s take on the subject began with anchor Jorge Ramos even putting into doubt whether the perpetrators of the violence in the re-tweeted videos were Muslims or not.

Right on cue, Univision also predictably called up Islam’s leading apologist on U.S. Spanish-language television, Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, who as usual was quick to turn his words of denunciation against the President, instead of against co-religionists who commit such violence. 


WILFREDO AMR RUIZ, MUSLIM CLERIC: And this President has not stopped, that's the reality, in pushing this policy of dividing our nation, by portraying ethnic or racial minorities as if they are not a part of the whole of this society.

Correspondent Janet Rodríguez also called into question the authenticity of the videos, when their content has in fact been confirmed as portraying actual (not fictitious) events involving Muslims. 

In addition to Ruiz, Rodríguez also cited two other Muslim organizations (CAIR and Muslim Advocates) that condemned the President. To make matters worse, one of the Trump supporters Rodríguez cited was someone who the President has disavowed (David Duke) in addition to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Britain First leader Jayda Fransen. The correspondent went on to characterize Britain First as a “supremacist” or “Neo-Nazi” organization.

Univision often avoids precision and paints with a broad brush when advancing the liberal agenda, such as when its anchors and reporters routinely ignore the difference between authorized and unauthorized immigrants and instead lump the two together as just “immigrants.” So it doesn’t surprise that Rodríguez also painted Trump’s position regarding the U.S. Muslim population with a similar broad brush, when she pointed out that part of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric “was focused on attacking Muslims” without specifying that Trump’s negative campaign discourse and subsequent actions regarding the Muslim population have been very specifically focused on members of that religion who advocate, practice or justify violence. 

It’s worth recalling, as the Washington Examiner noted in a June 15, 2016 article, that President Obama also “barred huge groups of potentially dangerous immigrants from entering the United States at least six times, undercutting his claim that barring Muslims from terrorist countries as Donald Trump has proposed is un-American.”

The same article also noted that “In his first ban, according to a search of White House records, Obama instituted a ban on "immigrants or nonimmigrants" covered by a larger United Nations travel ban. Most countries were Muslim.”

The full transcript for the above-referenced report on the November 29, 2017 edition of Noticiero Univison appears below.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: We now go on to a new controversy created by President Donald Trump through his favorite social media: Twitter.

The President retweeted videos that suggest violent acts supposedly committed by Muslims published by a controversial British activist of the extreme right. Trump has earned strong criticism for this, especially by defenders of civil rights who accuse him of encouraging anti-Muslim sentiments as he did during his presidential campaign.

Janet Rodríguez explains.

JANET RODRÍGUEZ, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The President did not want to explain why he shared on social media a series of videos that have generated strong criticism. Early in the morning the President retweeted to his millions of followers three videos with anti-Muslim nuances whose authenticity has not been confirmed. The recordings show alleged Muslims committing acts of violence.

JAYDA FRANSEN, BRITAIN FIRST: It’s a Christian country.

JANET RODRÍGUEZ, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The broadcaster of the videos shared by Trump is Jayda Fransen, leader of an extreme right anti-immigrant group from England, who faces charges of aggravated religious harassment in that country. The British Prime Minister spoke out saying that her nation overwhelmingly rejects the prejudiced rhetoric of the extreme right, and that what the President did was a mistake. This Muslim activist agrees with the head of state.

WILFREDO RUIZ AMR, MUSLIM RIGHTS ADVOCATE: And this President, well, has not stopped, that's the reality, in pushing this policy to divide our nation - whether it's portraying ethnic or racial minorities as if they are not a part of the whole of this society.

JANET RODRÍGUEZ: Other groups that defend Muslims called for political and religious leaders to censor Trump´s actions and warned that by attacking this community, others could also follow the footsteps of Trump and sometimes, they say, with fatal consequences. But the White House Press Secretary defended her boss.

SARAH SANDERS HUCKABEE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The threat is real.

JANET RODRÍGUEZ: saying that doubts about the authenticity of the video notwithstanding, there is a real threat and that is the President´s main concern. Also defending Trump were the supremacist David Duke and Jayda Fransen herself, who thanked the President for retweeting the videos that were posted on social media.

Part of Trump´s rhetoric during his presidential campaign was focused on attacking Muslims, and since assuming office he has tried to impose a travel ban on citizens of Muslim-majority countries. Some Republicans in Congress catalogued the President´s action as highly inappropriate. This is not the first time that the President has shared controversial material from supremacists and neo-Nazis. In Washington, Janet Rodríguez, Univision.


Please support MRC Latino today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily MRC Latino Islam Univision Journalistic Issues Jorge Ramos
Kathleen Krumhansl's picture