The new Republican-led, bipartisan Puerto Rico statehood admission bill was basically ignored on all the top English and Spanish-language television networks, except for...wait for it...CNN en Español.
The lack of attention (unless you want to count Univision’s self-beclowning as serious coverage) of a bill that finally sets the U.S. Caribbean territory on the path to full-fledged political standing in the Union amounts to yet another slight against the second largest Hispanic-origin population in the United States, and the only one entirely comprised of U.S. citizens.
Watch as Puerto Rico's sole, non-voting member of the United States Congress, Jenniffer González (R-PR), tackles head-on the concern that the admission of the nation's last, state-sized territory also mean ceding more congressional seats to liberal Democrats.
JUAN CARLOS LÓPEZ, ANCHOR, DIRECTO USA: So, what happens now? What is the process? And there are 34 legislators that support it, but leadersh…
REP. JENNIFFER GONZÁLEZ: 38.
JUAN CARLOS LÓPEZ: Is it 38 already? Does leadership support it? Do you see any interest? Because many say that if Puerto Rico were to become a state, it would have more representation in the House than do many states. They’d have two senators, becoming a powerhouse that many say could, would be majority Democrat.
REP. JENNIFFER GONZÁLEZ: Well, that’s what many people think, what happens is that they don’t know that we Latinos, in Puerto Rico’s case, there are many very conservative values and Puerto Rico would be a place where both national parties would have to compete. Now - I’m a Republican, and I was the official who got the most votes in the past election. So we’re not necessarily going to be Democrats. We’ve seen that alternate as the years pass, and obviously, it basically depends on the candidate.
Kudos to CNN en Español, which in recent years has distinguished itself as the only national Spanish-language network that consistently covers Puerto Rico's biggest public policy challenges, as in this case in its interview of Congresswoman González on the day she introduced the historic bill, and pulled off majority Republican sponsorship of the measure, beating the conventional wisdom (which is usually neither conventional nor wise). The network's extensive segment on the admission bill stands in stark contrast with Univision and Telemundo, both of which gave infinitely more coverage to former President Obama's January 2017 pardon of a convicted domestic terrorist than to this bill.
As to the English-language television networks that also ignored the bill, they also seem to only have room for Puerto Rico news when the radical separatist mayor of San Juan gets on her soapbox, or when it otherwise fits into their preferred, anti-Trump narratives. Otherwise, hard pass. We see you.