The launch of a new national Spanish-language newscast should, under normal circumstances, be a cause for celebration for a market that hungers for more diverse and balanced product offerings. But when a brand-new newscast launches with more of the same identity politics, it is a cause for concern.
Case in point: Mega Noticiero, which is Mega TV’s new twice-nightly national newscast, and is anchored by María Elvira Salazar. Whatever hopes there may have been for any sort of differentiation from the rest of the market quickly came crashing down with this story on sanctuary cities, from its inaugural broadcast:
MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR, ANCHOR, MEGA NOTICIERO: Another tragedy. The brothers who don't have a legal immigrant status in this country. Sanctuary cities are the best shelters, because at least they can't be deported that easily. But now there's a bill that wants to remove that protection from sanctuary cities.
Salazar’s lead-in to the story on Florida’s HB 675 was breathtaking, to say the least, in the scope of its bias. We don’t recall an instance where an anchor ever left us pining for the gentle editorializing of Univision, but Salazar shot into the story with the subtleness of a sledgehammer.
Reporter Natalia Bravo followed suit by dutifully explaining that “sanctuary cities are places that turn out to be more favorable to the re-insertion of immigrants, and where they receive more community support.”
Stop, read that quote again, and think about it for a second. Re-insertion implies extraction, which in the context of immigration is synonymous with deportation. You’ll recall that such a “re-inserted immigrant” is currently charged with the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco.
After describing the bill and obtaining a quote from an opposing legislator, Bravo smears the bill’s author by partially citing his rationale for filing this legislation:
HON. LARRY METZ, FL. STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We have a problem that we have to build walls to keep people out of our country because we’re the greatest country in the world.
Not reported in the Mega story but widely quoted in media is the second and much less wild-eyed-nativist-sounding part of Representative Metz’ statement:
HON. LARRY METZ, FL. STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Without both border security and internal enforcement, the system breaks down, and to fix it, we have to do our part in the state of Florida.
The rest of the story goes on to describe the “Trump effect”, to cite an amnesty activist who seems shocked that people are now openly talking about immigration enforcement, and mercifully closes with Salazar hoping that “this” not happen.
Bravo could not be bothered to find a supporter of the bill, nor was she able to find - even in the sanctuary city of Miami - someone to speak out in support of any sort of border enforcement; nor could Salazar muster even a basic acknowledgement of so much as the existence of an opposing viewpoint.
What, exactly, compels Mega Noticiero to choose to go in this editorial direction? It’s going to be extremely difficult for the network to differentiate itself from Univision by echoing their same grievance template - especially so, given the massive disparity in market share.