As Fox News continues to ponder its stance on immigration and other issues relevant to the Latino community, Fox News chief Roger Ailes suggested to The New Republic that the recently-launched Fox News Latino is designed in part to turn Latino audiences into political conservatives.
Ailes told The New Republic on Monday that he “sees the Latino audience as a 'tremendous business opportunity,'” which helps explain the 2010 launch of Fox News Latino, a mostly English-language website aimed at younger Hispanic generations. From The New Republic (emphasis added):
“The contributions being made by Latinos are extraordinary, and we need to talk about them,” Ailes says. The Fox News Latino stylebook uses “undocumented immigrant,” and the site downplays immigration stories compared with some of its rivals. “Fox News Latino has a mission to point out the positives of the Latino population, operating within the framework of making America great,” Ailes says.
That's not as blandly neutral as it sounds. “Hispanics who get on government programs are doing only a little better than they were in the old country,” Ailes elaborates. “Fox News Latino will show people how opportunities exist, that whenever we are overregulated, or there is too much government, we lose freedom. We lose power. That is, historically, one hundred percent true.”
Fox News Latino often reports the same stories as other Fox outlets, but with a far more pro-immigrant tone. Its coverage is frequently at odds with other Fox entities, specifically the notoriously anti-immigrant Fox Nation.
Ailes denied allegations of Fox's pandering coverage in his interview with The New Republic, stating,"'There's an assumption that Fox News Latino is softer on Latinos than Fox News in general ...That's ridiculous.'"
Ailes' admission of political motive comes as no surprise following Fox's recent change of tune on immigration after the GOP's poor showing among Latinos in November's election. Though News Corp head Rupert Murdoch has long advocated for immigration reform, Fox News hosts only arrived at the same conclusion after Latinos came out in record numbers to vote for President Obama.