Univision’s TV news division gives us a mixed bag with its coverage of the arrest of Democratic donor Ed Buck on charges. One the one hand, there was a full disclosure that you don’t often see in media, but on the other hand, there was some pretty creative tiptoeing around critical elements of the story.
Watch the full report below, as aired on Univision’s Despierta América on Wednesday,.September 19th, 2019:
ALAN TACHER, HOST, DESPIERTA AMERICA: Well, and today Democrat donor Ed Buck appears in court, having been arrested in California under charges of operating a drug home. Imagine that. (Buck, who) is also a businessman and political activist gave the aforementioned substance to a man who survived a methamphetamine overdose. It is not the first time that Buck is involved in that type of scandal. In recent years, at least two persons died in his apartment due to the consumption of narcotics.
Credit to Univision for not playing “guess party ID” with this story, to the producers that put “Democrat donor” on the ‘prompter, and to Tacher for not stuttering when it was time to read those words. It is a rare moment not usually seen, and such is the sad state of affairs of our news media that what should be a normal occurrence has to be pointed out.
On the other hand, Univision did obscure some of the details of Buck’s arrest. As we know, Buck is in trouble for far more than “operating a drug home”, and the report didn’t go into detail as to the scope of Buck’s activism or as to the predatory nature of the crimes alleged.
Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate, widely regarded as the network’s crown jewel, did not skimp on details. As reported by KMEX 34, in a story succinctly titled, "Influential Democrat arrested and charged with causing overdoses to three men and using them for sexual practices."
Buck is known as an animal rights and LGBTQ activist, (an) active donor to campaigns of Democratic politicians and he even ran as a candidate to run the West Hollywood City Council, however, past incidents (which are) surprisingly similar to the overdose reported last Wednesday has placed him at the center of the investigations.
The most recent incident marks the third time that a man suffers a methamphetamine overdose at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. The two prior victims did not survive.
Univision’s viewers in Los Angeles got a lot more information than did Despierta América’s viewers, who were probably left wondering why a drug arrest might even make national news in the first place. To be honest, the sanitized version of the story makes no sense and just goes to show what can happen when critical elements of the story are left out so as not to cause offense. Did the network not think that its viewers could handle this information? If so, why bother airing half a story?
On the other hand, Univision did immediately disclose Buck’s partisan affiliation, and that is something you don’t often see from a media that is invested in casting liberals in the most favorable light.