Recent budget cuts appear to have begun to take their toll on Univision. As a result, Sunday public affairs show Al Punto has been reduced to recycling a seven-week old interview featuring actor Benicio Del Toro in furtherance of a Trump-bashing narrative.
Del Toro’s interview, recorded during his promotional tour of the latest installment in his Sicario series, first aired on June 24th. Jorge Ramos released the full 16-minute interview on his Contrapoder podcast on July 3rd. Seven weeks later, Ramos dug up the “second part” of the Del Toro interview, featuring the actor’s take on Puerto Rico and a rehash of his take on the child separation crisis at the border.
Here's the reheated segment on Puerto Rico, which has its own problems:
JORGE RAMOS: President Trump met with the Governor and said, “We’ve helped you too much.” What do you think? Did they….did Trump help too much?
BENICIO DEL TORO: No, no, not too much, no.
RAMOS: Did he do enough?
DEL TORO: No - they helped, they helped and there was help, but…
RAMOS: When he sen...when he threw those paper towels, how did you feel as a Puerto Rican?
DEL TORO: Humiliated. Humiliated, humiliated...uh…
RAMOS: He didn’t do that with the victims in Florida.
DEL TORO: In Florida or in Texas, no,because they...those who were receiving those paper towels can’t vote for the President. Trump is a businessman. These people don’t have real money, they have Monopoly money - the people that were catching those...they don’t have real money. Those that are in Texas, that are in Florida do have real money. That’s why they vote for him. He...he...he sees them as...and so he doesn’t do that in Florida - he doesn’t do that in Texas.
RAMOS: But he did it with Puerto Rico.
DEL TORO: He did it with Puerto Rico, and…
RAMOS: Speaking of…
DEL TORO: ...it’s a shame. It’s a shame, ah? That we have a President...that sees things that way.
This particular exchange was built upon a false assertion from Jorge Ramos, namely, his citation of President Donald Trump as saying, “we’ve helped you too much” to the governor of Puerto Rico. But Trump said no such thing. From The Hill:
President Trump on Thursday told the Governor of Puerto Rico that his administration has done "a lot" to help the territory recover after two devastating hurricanes that hit last year.
Trump made the comments to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló during a working lunch with U.S. governors, according to reporters in the room.
One assumes that Ramos knows the difference between “a lot” and “too much.” His smirk as he delivered that question to Del Toro suggests that he thought he got away with something. Del Toro didn’t take the bait here, which is when Ramos went to the paper towel question. This grievance-bating, with “Remember The Bounty” as its apparent battle cry, is also belied by facts. Recall this eyewitness account published right here on MRC Latino:
The reality is that the President’s towel throwing took place because he saw how there were a lot of people behind those in the first few rows, who couldn’t reach him to receive anything. The President wanted to include them, since the activity was to distribute supplies. He wasn’t going to toss over to them bottles of water or canned food, which could hurt somebody, but rolls of paper towels, which wouldn’t hurt anybody.
Though it was portrayed as an act of disdain or contempt for the people, it was actually an act of frustration, due to the disorganization of the event. He wanted to reach as many as possible with the supplies, but wasn’t properly positioned to do so. From my vantage point at the event, I took photos of him in which he is clearly frustrated with the set-up of the activity.
At the end of the day, it was a politically imprudent move for him to toss those towels. Knowing that most of the media seizes every opportunity they get to cast him in the worst possible light, the President should have known that they would select it as the image to be used to define and shape the viewing public’s opinion of his visit in the worst way possible. And that’s exactly what happened: the pack instinct that exists in the media took over, as they chose to focus almost entirely on the 30 seconds of paper towel throwing. The rest of Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico practically faded into oblivion.
Again, the purpose of this portion of the interview clearly seemed to be designed to bait Del Toro into bashing Trump - even at the expense of things such inconvenient things as facts. In hindsight, the reheating of a seven-week-old interview makes perfect sense. Why go through the time and expense of booking a fresh interview, when a rehash will do just as well?
As for Ramos, he’s well served to remember this disgrace of an interview the next time he wants to sanctimoniously whine about being kicked out of a press conference or being tuned out by significant portions of the Hispanic population. While Ramos is not an “enemy of the people,” in this instance he certainly showed himself to be an enemy of the truth.