Over the past few days, both Univision and Telemundo have played up unsubstantiated allegations published in National Enquirer that Senator Ted Cruz was unfaithful to his wife. Rival Azteca America, in contrast, has only given passing coverage to the latest new low in the presidential campaign.
Dubbing it the “Dirty War,” segment leader Univision, in their late night Edicion Nocturna on March 25, directly pointed their finger at Donald Trump and long-time Trump confidante Roger Stone as the source for the story.
Devoting more than two and a half minutes to the story, Univision opted to twist Trump’s outright denial of involvement into innuendo, as well as twist Roger Stone’s quote to hide that the story had been circling for months (see the Twitter hashtag #TheThing), allegedly initially being peddled by Rubio supporters.
GALO ARELLANO, REPORTER, UNIVISION: He [Cruz] alleges that the story from the supposed infidelity was pushed by an ex-advisor of the real estate magnate Donald Trump named Roger Stone. The same that when consulted by the newspaper [National Enquirer], said “I think this is going to affect him with his evangelical Christian supporters.”
Univision chopped up Stone’s full statement on the matter, however, and instead featured only what they wanted viewers to see. For added context, below is the full quote from Stone.
"These stories have been swirling about Cruz for some time. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I have to believe this will hurt him with his evangelical Christian supporters.”
However, the ongoing “Dirty War” on the Democrat side remained missing in their coverage, despite recent barbs being traded between Sanders and Clinton threatening future debates. It wasn’t until Sunday night’s broadcast that Univision actually mentioned Trump’s denial of his involvement in the story.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: According to the latest poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal 47% of Republican women would not support Trump, and 70% of women in general have a negative opinion of him.
On Telemundo, the story was covered on the Friday night broadcast for 2 minutes and 21 seconds. The story led with Cruz’ reply, with a caveat from anchor Jose Diaz-Balart about its nastiness, with Cruz referring to Trump as “a rat”.
Telemundo ended Friday night’s broadcast with an expert deploring the current state of discourse in the GOP primary battle, followed by commentary on Trump’s falling approval ratings among women voters.
As of March 28th, on their leading national news programs Univision had given the discredited allegations 3 minutes and 51 seconds of coverage, Telemundo 3 minutes and 1 second, and Azteca America 6 seconds.
Transcripts can be found below for the relevant cited portions from the March 25 editions of Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo:
Noticiero Univisión: Edición Nocturna
11:42:12 PM – 11:44:14 PM EST | 2 min 32 secs
MARIANA ATENCIO, ANCHOR, NOTICIERO UNIVISION: EDICION NOCTURNA: Now we turn to politics, as if there were enough attacks between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz where family members had an adverse effect, to increase the tension in the Republican Party, a tabloid newspaper now accuses the Cuban-American candidate of adultery. But as Galo Arellano tells us, Ted Cruz says that everything is a dirty political maneuver of the campaign of the real estate mogul.
GALO ARELLANO, REPORTER, NOTICIERO UNIVISION: EDICION NOCTURNA: Just days after Ted Cruz called his wife Heidi the love of his life, amid attacks from his rival Donald Trump, the tabloid National Enquirer accused him of adultery, with not one, but five women among them a prostitute, a teacher and work colleagues. It even showed photographs of the alleged lovers of the Republican senator with their eyes covered, according to the publication, to protect their identity. The newspaper, whose editorial credibility experts say, does not have the best reputation, says that private detectives are investigating the alleged extramarital relationships. It also reveals that with one of them, the aspirant to the White House had "a romp in a closet" during a Republican convention. Another in the living room of a private club. And also that he would have paid, according to the article, a thousand dollars for a night with a prostitute.
GALO ARELLANO, REPORTER, NOTICIERO UNIVISION: EDICION NOCTURNA: [Translating Ted Cruz 'remarks] “Donald Trump may be a rat, but I do not want to match with him”, was Ted Cruz's response to the publication. He classified it as garbage, arguing that the story of the alleged infidelity was pushed by a former aide of real estate mogul Donald Trump called Roger Stone. The same as when asked by the newspaper who said, "I think this will affect their Christian and evangelical supporters." Trump fought back, and says that he has nothing to do with the matter, but warned that while the National Enquirer was right about OJ Simpson, John Edwards and many others, "of course you hope they do not have it right about Ted Cruz," he said in a statement. Indeed the tabloid has had several exclusives that have been successful such as the love scandal with Democrat ex-candidate to the White House John Edwards and Tiger Woods, among others. The truth is that according to the latest polls these confrontations where the wives of both Republican candidates have come offended, all they have done is to strengthen the Democratic Party. 55% of female voters favor Hillary Clinton. While 35% to Donald Trump. From Miami, Florida, Galo Arellano, Univision.
6:48:23 – 6:50:44 PM EST | 2 min 21 sec
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: Senator Ted Cruz said that Donald Trump could be a rat, and accused the campaign of the mogul of being responsible of the accusations of infidelity against him, we will hear verbatim what Ted Cruz said… it’s strong!
TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE, TX SENATOR: “Let me be clear, Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: This comes amid a war of mutual aggression on their women is far from over and that may have consequences for the presidential aspirations of both, Janet Rodriguez has the latest for us.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: While Ted Cruz today again defended his wife from what he calls Donald Trump’s nasty attacks, a tabloid today accused him of multiple infidelities in a campaign where attacks continue to escalate. Cruz, visibly upset, said the article was full of lies and trash, and accused Donald Trump of planting the story. Two of the women have also denied having an inappropriate relationship with the senator. Trump said in a statement that he had nothing to do with the story.
DRA. VICTORIA DE FRANCESCO, POLITICAL ANALYST: Already the door is opened, right? We started with the wives and sadly I think we'll continue to see accusations against their children and relatives, and friends of the candidates.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: The attacks intensified after Trump, through Twitter, accused Ted Cruz again of being behind the publication of this provocative photo of Melania Trump.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: [Reading tweet translation of Donald Trump] “I didn't start the fight with Lyin'Ted Cruz over the GQ cover pic of Melania, he did. He knew the PAC was putting it out - hence, Lyin' Ted!”
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: And earlier this week, Donald Trump had also threatened to air the dirty laundry of the wife of Ted Cruz.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: "Nastiness is his first and last resort and all it does is ignore the truth," Cruz said today, referring to Trump.
DRA. VICTORIA DE FRANCESCO, POLITICAL ANALYST: Voters who are upset with the ugly rhetoric, perhaps support or perhaps Cruz and Kasich, and abandon Trump.
JANET RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER, NOTICIERO TELEMUNDO: According to the latest poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, 47% of Republican women would not support Trump, and 70% of women in general have a negative opinion of him. In Chicago, Janet Rodriguez, Telemundo News.