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Cristina López G.

Author ››› Cristina López G.
  • Will Moderators Finally Discuss Voting Rights At Tonight's GOP Debate?

    Republican Candidates Have A Record Of Supporting Measures That Disenfranchise Communities Of Color

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Debate moderators at the nine Republican (and six Democratic) presidential primary debates so far have not asked a single question regarding voting rights or restrictive voter ID policies despite the Republican presidential candidates' long histories of supporting policies that undermine voting rights.

    The February 25 Republican debate, hosted by CNN and Telemundo, presents a particularly important opportunity to question candidates on their stances regarding voting rights, as it will be "the only RNC-sanctioned Republican debate broadcast by a Spanish-language network," catering to an audience that is likely familiar with voting rights discrimination.

    The absence of questions regarding Republican candidates' positions on voting rights and voter ID laws during the first nine Republican debates -- hosted by Fox News, CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, ABC News, and CBS -- was especially jarring during the first one, which was hosted by Fox News on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

    While Democratic debate moderators have not asked questions about voting rights either, it is the Republican candidates who have a long history of undermining voting rights:

    • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) supported a 2012 purge of voter rolls despite concerns that it disproportionately targeted minority and likely Democratic voters, and he "blew off" concerns about the impact of restrictive voter ID laws;
    • Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed off on legislation that rolled back voting rights by limiting early voting and eliminating same-day voter registration;
    • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) not only praised the Supreme Court for a resolution that weakened the Voting Rights Act, but also attempted to amend voter registration laws to require proof of citizenship before registration;
    • Dr. Ben Carson has given voter ID laws an "enthusiastic endorsement" in his book One Vote; and
    • Front-runner Donald Trump has baselessly speculated that the "voting system is out of control" saying that, in his opinion, people "are voting many, many times."

    Evidence strongly discredits the candidates' alarmist rhetoric about voter fraud and the need for voter ID laws, which disproportionately disenfranchise racial and ethnic minorities and economically disadvantaged voters. And experts agree that such laws tackle a "virtually non-existent" problem: Voter impersonation is "more rare than getting struck by lightning," data shows that the systems already put in place to verify voters actually work, and election experts have explained both that rare instances of double voting seldom turn out to be fraud and that they would not be prevented by strict voter ID laws.

    There is no shortage of questions moderators could ask Republican presidential candidates about voting rights, given their public support for measures that would make voting more difficult for minorities. Since Spanish-speaking media play a crucial role in informing the increasingly significant Latino vote, tonight's Telemundo debate presents an important opportunity to hold politicians accountable.

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched the Time magazine transcripts of the August 6, 2015, September 16, 2015, November 11, 2015, and January 15, 2016, Republican debates, the Washington Post transcripts of the October 28, 2015, December 15, 2015, January 28, 2016, and February 13, 2016, Republican debates, and the CBS News transcript of the February 6, 2016, Republican debate, as well as the New York Times transcript of the October 14, 2015, Democratic debate, the Time magazine transcripts of the November 14, 2015, February 4, 2016, and February 11, 2016, Democratic debates, and the Washington Post transcripts of the December 19, 2015, and January 17, 2016, Democratic debates for the terms "voting rights," "voter ID," "disenfranchise," and "voter fraud."

  • Right-Wing Media's False Unemployment Statistics Seep Into Trump's NH Victory Speech

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump falsely claimed that the unemployment rate could be as high as 42 percent during his victory speech in New Hampshire. This talking point that the official unemployment rate is "phony" is a common refrain among right-wing media figures who have allowed Trump to push the faulty claim, despite the fact that fact-checkers have called it "ridiculous."

  • El Huffington Post Desmantela El Falso Alegato De Rubio De Que La Población Indocumentada Ha Crecido

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. English language version

    El Huffington Post desmanteló el alegato sin fundamentos del candidato presidencial Republicano Marco Rubio de que hay más inmigrantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos ahora que hace cinco años.

    Durante su participación del 31 de enero en el programa de NBC Meet The Press, Rubio le dijo al presentador Chuck Todd que "estamos peor ahora de lo que estábamos hace cinco años. Tenemos más inmigrantes ilegales acá". Como la reportera del Huffington Post Elise Foley señaló en un artículo del 1 de febrero, Chuck Todd no presionó al candidato sobre la validez de sus estadísticas. A pesar de la evidencia de que la población indocumentada ha venido decreciendo desde 2008, los candidatos Republicanos han tomado posturas anti-inmigración y han usado retórica alarmista en contra de los inmigrantes que hace eco de las voces más extremas de los medios conservadores.

    Foley citó estadísticas del Pew Research Center para indicar que la "población indocumentada se ha mantenido esencialmente estable por cinco años", en contradicción directa de los argumentos de Rubio. También señaló un reporte del Center for Migration Studies que demuestra que en 2014 la población indocumentada alcanzó su punto más bajo desde 2003, y que ha continuado disminuyendo desde entonces. Citando estadísticas similares, Politifact también calificó la declaración de Rubio como falsa. Como reportó Foley, Rubio ha estado usando los mismos estimados para referirse a la población indocumentada -- 11 o 12 millones -- durante los últimos tres años. Traducido del Huffington Post (énfasis agregado):

    El candidato presidencial Republicano y senador de la Florida Marco Rubio se presenta como el candidato más informado y realista en lo que a reforma migratoria se refiere. Pasó meses ayudando a redactar una ley de reforma migratoria en 2013 y ha dedicado aún más tiempo a defenderla.

    Así que pareciera que debería estar especialmente consciente de la cantidad de inmigrantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos -- y del hecho de que el número se ha mantenido estable o incluso ha decrecido en años recientes.

    Rubio dijo lo opuesto el domingo en el programa de NBC "Meet the Press."

    "Estamos peor ahora de lo que estábamos hace cinco años", le dijo al presentador Chuck Todd. "Tenemos más inmigrantes ilegales acá".

    A Rubio no lo presionaron para que explicara de dónde sacó esa información. El HuffPost contactó a dos portavoces de Rubio el domingo y nuevamente el lunes para ver si el senador tenía alguna fuente para su declaración de que el número de inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos ha aumentado en años recientes, pero ninguno respondió.

    Lo que dijo no cuadra con los estudios más confiables. El Pew Research Center, un tanque de pensamiento apartidista, estimó el año pasado que había 11.3 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados viviendo en los Estados Unidos en 2014, y que la "población se ha mantenido esencialmente estable por cinco años". El número alcanzó su pico en 2007 con 12.2 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados, de acuerdo a lo estimado por Pew.

    El Center for Migration Studies, otro tanque de pensamiento, publicó este mes un reporte basado en datos del Censo estimando que había 10.9 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados para 2014 -- el nivel más bajo que esta población ha alcanzado desde 2003. El número ha continuado disminuyendo desde 2008, de acuerdo al Center for Migration Studies.

    [...]

    Rubio ha estado diciendo por años que hay entre 11 y 12 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos -- usó esa figura en 2013, el año en que el Senado pasó su reforma migratoria comprensiva, y lo ha seguido citando durante su campaña actual.

    Otros Republicanos también han dicho que la población indocumentada es más grande de lo que en realidad es, de manera un poco más específica. El líder de las encuestas Donald Trump dijo el año pasado que había más de 30 millones de personas viviendo en los Estados Unidos sin autorización -- un alegato para el que Politifact no encontró fundamentos, fuera de las declaraciones de la columnista conservadora Ann Coulter.

  • Huffington Post Debunks Rubio's False Claim That Undocumented Immigrant Population Has Grown

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. Versión en español

    The Huffington Post debunked Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio's unsubstantiated claim that there are more undocumented immigrants in the U.S. now than there were five years ago.

    During a January 31 appearance on NBC's Meet The Press, Rubio told host Chuck Todd that "we are worse off today than we were five years ago. We have more illegal immigrants here." As Huffington Post reporter Elise Foley pointed out on a February 1 article, Chuck Todd didn't press the candidate on the validity of his stats. Despite evidence that the undocumented immigrant population has been declining since 2008, Republican candidates have increasingly taken anti-immigrant stances and spouted alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that echoes the most extreme voices on right-wing media.

    Foley cited data from Pew Research Center to indicate that the undocumented "population has remained essentially stable for five years," directly contradicting Rubio's claim. She also pointed to a report from the Center for Migration Studies that demonstrates that in 2014, the undocumented population reached its lowest point since 2003 and that it has continued to decline since. Citing some of the same data, Politifact also rated Rubio's claim as false. As reported by Foley, Rubio has been using the same undocumented population estimates -- 11 million to 12 million -- for the past three years (emphasis added):

    Republican presidential hopeful and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio paints himself as the most informed and realistic candidate when it comes to immigration reform. He spent months helping draft a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013, and has spent even longer defending it.

    So it seems like he should be especially aware of how many undocumented immigrants are in the U.S. -- and the fact that the number has leveled off or even decreased in recent years.

    Rubio said the opposite Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    "We are worse off today than we were five years ago," he told host Chuck Todd. "We have more illegal immigrants here."

    Rubio wasn't pressed on where he got that information. HuffPost contacted two spokesmen for Rubio on Sunday and again Monday to see if the senator had a source for his claim that the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has risen in recent years, but neither of them replied.

    What he said doesn't square with most reputable studies. Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank, estimated last year that there were 11.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. in 2014, and that the "population has remained essentially stable for five years." The number peaked in 2007 with 12.2 million undocumented immigrants, according to Pew estimates.

    Center for Migration Studies, another think tank, released a report based on Census figures this month estimating there were 10.9 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of 2014 -- the smallest the population has been since 2003. The number has been on the decline since 2008, according to the Center for Migration Studies.

    [...]

    Rubio has been saying for years that there are 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. -- he used that figure in 2013, the year the Senate passed its comprehensive reform bill, and has cited it during the current campaign.

    Other Republicans have also said the undocumented population is larger than it is, although with more specifics. Front-runner Donald Trump said last year that there were more than 30 million people living in the U.S. without authorization -- a claim for which Politifact found no basis, other than statements from conservative columnist Ann Coulter.

  • WaPo's Wemple Explains How The "Great Conservative Tradition" Of Bemoaning Media Bias Has Now Backfired On Fox

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Washington Post's Erik Wemple pointed out the irony in how "accusations of media bias," a ploy often used by Fox to boost "its own ratings" and undermine criticisms against conservatives, are what Donald Trump claims is motivating his boycott of Thursday's GOP primary debate.

    During a January 26 press conference GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump announced that he will not participate in Thursday night's Fox News-hosted GOP presidential primary debate, because of alleged bias against him by Fox News host and debate moderator, Megyn Kelly.

    Fox has given Trump over 24 hours of free airtime since May, significantly more than his fellow GOP candidates and has furnished several of the talking points Trump uses on the campaign trail. However, the network has stood by Kelly and several Fox News figures have attacked Trump over his decision to pull out of the debate.

    Despite the massive amount of coverage given to Trump's campaign, Trump still maintains there is a bias against him, using a tactic Fox News helped create. As The Washington Post's Erik Wemple wrote in a January 26 blog post, Trump's accusations of media bias against him mirror the "great conservative tradition" of accusing the media of an anti-Republican bias. According to Wemple, Trump has taken advantage of the media bias trope to deflect "just about anything that has been critical of him", and now, he is using this narrative against the network that helped create it, making "the ironies here circular." (emphasis original):

    Tempting though it is to game out the PR and political calculations between Fox News and Trump, there's something bigger going down here. Momentous, even: The right-wing penchant for nonstop media criticism is swerving across the median, zigzagging around the road, about to wrap itself around that oak tree around the curve. Like other planks of the conservative canon -- e.g., foreign-policy hawkishness -- it has been invoked and ultimately abused by Trump. Such that it can no longer stand on its own.

    See any good -- or bad -- conservative politician on the stump, and listen for the broadsides against the liberal mainstream media. They don't give Republicans a chance; they distort things; they give weight to trivial stories that harm conservatives and ignore big stories that favor them -- it's a viewpoint that stretches back at least to a seminal anti-MSM speech by Spiro Agnew in 1969.

    [...]

    Into this tradition of media criticism stomped Trump's presidential campaign. Whereas previous practitioners of the critique looked for quite specific signs of bias in the media, Trump has found bias or misconduct in just about anything that has been critical of him. He has railed against Politico for pointing out various truths; he has railed against CNN and just about every other broadcaster for the bias of not showing the full extent of his crowds; he has ripped pundits -- and Post columnists -- such as Charles Krauthammer and George F. Will for reasons that haven't stuck with the Erik Wemple Blog; he has gone back and forth on whether Chuck Todd of NBC News is a nice guy; and so on.

    All of which tees up the Kelly thing. "Megyn Kelly's really biased against me," said Trump in an Instagram video. "She knows that, I know that, everybody knows that. Do you really think she can be fair at a debate?" (Bold text added to highlight another clumsy Trump effort to co-opt a great conservative tradition.)

    [...]

    The ironies here are circular. Over the years, Fox News has boosted its own ratings by frequently airing accusations of media bias. Now its ratings -- at least for Thursday night's debate -- stand to suffer over just such an accusation. Everyone tunes in to see just how Trump will bring out the worst in those who surround him. And the National Review got tossed from hosting a February debate because it dared to exercise its prerogative as an opinion journal to editorialize against Trump.

  • Why Didn't Telemundo Or Univision Air Obama's Final State Of The Union?

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. & TYLER CHERRY

    All of the major broadcast and cable networks in the U.S. suspended their programming on January 12 to air President Obama's last State of the Union address. All except Univisión and Telemundo, which instead aired their regularly scheduled telenovelas.

    Univisión and Telemundo, respectively the largest and second largest Spanish-language networks in the United States, are among the most trusted sources of information for the growing Hispanic community.

    Instead of giving the presidential address primetime coverage, Univisión aired the telenovela Pasión y poder, and Telemundo aired Bajo el mismo cielo, opting to live-stream the address online. NBC Universo -- an NBC Universal-owned Spanish-language Telemundo affiliate -- did broadcast the speech, but the channel is only accessible to cable-TV viewers.

    According to recent census data, Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States: Latinos constitute a little over 17 percent of the United States population. In 2016, over 26 million Latinos will be eligible to vote for the next president. Though the Latino voting bloc is becoming increasingly important, engaging them politically remains a challenge, as they repeatedly lag behind other demographics in voter turnout.

    Univisión and Telemundo did a disservice to the community they serve by not broadcasting the president's State of the Union speech, which largely focused on issues that Latinos prioritize. Contrary to common media misconceptions, Latinos are not single-issue voters. In fact, evidence consistently shows that Latino voters are most concerned about jobs and the economy, healthcare, education and immigration, all of which received significant mentions during President Obama's address.

    Telemundo and Univisión's lack of coverage did not go unnoticed. The Daily Show tweeted "If you're not into #SOTU, here are some other programming choices" with a graphic reading "Bored? Other things that are on TV right now." The graphic showed that, unlike ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News, Univisión wasn't broadcasting the State of the Union. Instead, Pasión y poder is listed.

    California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33), who has championed immigrant rights in the California legislature, also criticized the lack of coverage in a statement to Media Matters:

    It is very disappointing that neither Telemundo nor Univision aired the President's State of the Union address on live TV. Are Novelas, which perpetuate sexism, racism, homophobia and classism, more important than the civic engagement and education of our community? This is a blatant missed opportunity and disservice to Latinos during such a crucial presidential election year. This is simply unacceptable and I call on the executives at all major Spanish-language broadcast outlets to do the community a service and carry this important address in years to come!