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  • Three ways Hispanic media has changed in the Trump era

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    President Donald Trump’s rise in politics has posed new challenges for journalists covering the White House, but for Spanish-language outlets, it has created unique obstacles. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, here’s a look back at some ways Hispanic media is changing in the Trump era:

    1. Racist attacks on Hispanic journalists have intensified. In an illuminating interview on CNN, Henry Gomez, the senior political writer at Cleveland.com, told host Brooke Baldwin that he has “noticed an uptick” in racist insults while covering Trump as compared to his previous decade-plus of experience. He explained that many of the emails and tweets that he receives are “parroting a lot of Donald Trump’s greatest hits,” referring to Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Gomez’s case is not unique. The conservative Media Research Center launched a literal campaign against Univision’s Jorge Ramos for his coverage of Trump, and Fox News has fed the fire and called for Ramos’ resignation. Other journalists have voiced concerns over the intensifying anti-Latino environment in op-eds and on Twitter. The challenge for Hispanic journalists covering Trump is unique because, according to Cal State Northridge journalism professor Jose Luis Benavides, interviewed by KQED, “if you’re from a Spanish-language news organization … some people may assume you have a built-in bias.”

    2. Republicans are giving less access to Spanish-language networks. One of Univision’s top news anchors, Enrique Acevedo, told Politico in March, “It’s harder to get access to Republicans than it is to get access to Democrats and I understand why that is,” noting that it has “happened more since the inauguration.”

    A Media Matters review of appearances by elected Republican officials on Univision and Telemundo in both 2014, before Trump launched his political campaign, and 2017 confirmed Acevedo’s observation. During Hispanic Heritage Month 2014, an equal amount of elected Republican officials and elected Democratic officials appeared as guests on Telemundo and Univision’s Sunday news shows. During that same time period in 2017, only two Republicans appeared on the Sunday shows compared to five Democrats.

    Republicans’ aversion to Spanish-language outlets seems to echo Trump’s attitude toward the networks. As a candidate, Trump denied press credentials to Univision, Telemundo and La Opinion, blacklisted prominent Hispanic journalists, including José Díaz-Balart and Jorge Ramos, and declined an invitation to address the joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

    3. Telemundo launched a campaign to empower Latinos to improve their lives. In February, Telemundo launched “El Poder En Ti,” -- which translates into “The Power Within You,” -- a campaign designed to empower Latinos and encourage them to take initiative to improve their lives and the lives of others. Influential news shows such as Enfoque and Al Rojo Vivo presented profiles of Latino immigrants and nonimmigrants who have made positive impacts on their communities.

    The shows’ depictions of Latinos as role models, community activists, politicians, innovators, media executives, and philanthropists contrasted with the way that Trump and his media allies typically depict Latinos. In one segment of “Nuestra Gente Extraordinaria” -- which translates into “Our extraordinary people” -- on Enfoque, which was part of the “El Poder en Ti” campaign, National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Alex Nogales recognized this discrepancy, explaining that immigrants are “judges, police officers, lawyers, dentists,” and more, but “media outlets that broadcasted in English treated our community … as if we were all criminals.” This trend is also borne out in right-wing media. As the president continues to disparage Latino immigrants, he counts on his media allies to vindicate his painting them as criminals.

    Methodology

    Media Matters skimmed Univision’s Al Punto and Telemundo’s Enfoque during Hispanic Heritage Month of 2014 (September 14, 2014 to October 12, 2014) and Hispanic Heritage Month of 2017 (September 10, 2017 to October 8, 2017) and coded for each guest. The party affiliations of guests who were elected officials still in office during the time that the show aired were also coded. Any person who gave unique commentary to the given networks was coded as a guest.

  • National cable news left Spanish-speakers in the dark on emergency hurricane safety information

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    National cable news networks failed to carry the Spanish-language portions of emergency press conferences about storms held in Texas and Florida -- two states with some of the largest Hispanic populations in the country -- on at least two occasions in recent weeks. While English-language outlets cut away from the Spanish-language parts of press conferences on Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, national Spanish-language outlets neglected to air the press events at all, leaving Spanish-speaking viewers in the dark regarding vital emergency preparedness information.

    During a September 7 press conference in which Florida Gov. Rick Scott was addressing the nation in preparation for Hurricane Irma, the two largest national Spanish-language news outlets, Univision and Telemundo, continued their regular programming rather than airing the news. Between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., when the conference was taking place, neither Univision’s Despierta América nor Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día carried the press conference live. Contrary to the national networks, local Univision and Telemundo affiliates serving Miami and Fort Lauderdale (Univision 23 and Telemundo 51) both aired the press conference in-full and even provided Spanish translation when necessary.

    At about 9:54 a.m., a reporter asked a question in Spanish about whether authorities would be checking immigration documents of individuals forced to evacuate or take refuge from the hurricane, to which one of the press conference speakers responded in Spanish, “They do not have to be thinking about that” because “none of the places that they will be going will be checking [immigration] documents.” After briefly airing part of the Spanish response provided by Florida authorities, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC all cut away, continuing to show the conference in the background but with network anchors speaking over it.

    Similarly, Univision’s and Telemundo’s national outlets declined to cut away from regular programming on August 28 to air a news conference about Hurricane Harvey, and in this case, none of the local affiliates available in media recording service iQ media appeared to air the press conference live either. Fox News and MSNBC again spoke over a Spanish-language portion of the press conference soon after a reporter asked a question about whether authorities would be able to accommodate non-English speakers needing rescue. CNN stayed on the Spanish-language portion of the press conference for about a minute and a half before also cutting away.

    In these instances, while Spanish-language affiliates in Florida compensated for holes in coverage from national news outlets, Spanish-speaking viewers in Texas watching either national cable news or local Spanish-language news missed updates as they happened.

  • After immigrants die in Texas, right-wing media push for policies that would exacerbate the problem

    Experts agree that hardline immigration policies correlate with an increase in immigrant deaths

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Ten immigrants were killed and many others hospitalized after human traffickers promising to smuggle them into the United States failed to provide them with adequate ventilation or water for the journey. Conservative media figures have responded to the tragedy with calls for stricter immigration laws -- in particular, stricter border enforcement policies and anti-sanctuary city laws -- that experts have said would serve only to exacerbate the problem by diverting immigrants to more dangerous routes and empowering human traffickers without addressing the root causes of immigration.

  • Minority voices largely excluded from Paris climate agreement discussion

    Research shows that black and Hispanic communities are most impacted by the effects of climate change

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    A Media Matters study found that cable news outlets mostly marginalized people of color from discussions about climate change and the Paris accord following President Donald Trump's June 1 announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. This trend is particularly problematic in discussions of climate change because studies show that climate change disproportionately affects black and Hispanic communities.

    A review of guests discussing climate change on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN between June 1 and June 2 found that out of 286 guests* who cable channels invited on to discuss the issue, only about 17 percent were people of color -- 9 percent were black, 3 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were of Asian descent, and less than 1 percent were of Middle Eastern descent.

    The lack of representation is striking because studies show that climate change disproportionately affects minorities. In a June 2 article for Essence magazine, activist and political commentator Symone Sanders explained that leaving the Paris agreement will exacerbate some of the problems African-American communities face, including natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and environmentally related health problems including respiratory diseases and heart conditions. A 2015 report by the NAACP noted that the tendency of African-Americans to live in cities, in coastal areas, and near polluting facilities like coal-fired power plants poses specific health risks and makes them more vulnerable than others to the effects of climate change. A 2016 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed out that Hispanic communities are disproportionately harmed by climate change in part because a majority of Latinos live in states prone to extreme heat, air pollution, and flooding. Additionally, climate-related health concerns are particularly dire for Latinos given that they are “heavily represented in crop and livestock production and construction,” which contributes to them being “three times more likely to die ... from excessive heat than non-Latinos.” They are also less likely to have health insurance coverage than non-Latinos.

    These factors may help explain why people of color are more likely than white voters to support the Paris agreement and to support regulation designed to combat climate change, and why lawmakers who belong to minority groups have “near-perfect” environmental voting records.

    Yet, despite the intersectionality, TV news outlets often fail to make the connection between climate change and racial justice -- perhaps, in part, because they don't include many minority voices in their coverage.

    Minority groups have condemned the dearth of minority voices in the media. Hispanic groups have called on the media to improve the visibility of Hispanics on air, noting that Hispanic voices are mostly restricted to discussing immigration, which creates the perception that they are a single-issue constituency. Other communities of color and low-income communities are also excluded from media coverage of climate change, as NAACP’s Jacqueline Patterson pointed out in an interview with The Nation in 2014: “The voice of frontline communities, the ones that are most impacted, usually don’t make it to the airwaves.”

    When minority voices do find a foothold in the climate change discussion, the intersectionality of the issues becomes more apparent. African-American journalist April Ryan, one of the few non-white guests invited to discuss the Paris decision on CNN, emphasized the real-life human consequences of climate change, including disasters like Katrina, floods, droughts, and mosquito-borne diseases.

    Additionally, in Spanish-language media’s coverage on Univision and Telemundo, reports on the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris accord explained the impact of climate change on Hispanics and provided a platform for Latinos to voice their opposition to the move. 

    Irissa Cisternino contributed research to this piece.

    Methodology

    Media Matters searched SnapStream and Nexis using the search terms "climate or Paris" on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News from June 1 through June 2 and reviewed the transcripts for segments about Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement that aired between between 5 a.m. EST and 11 p.m. EST. Segments where Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris accord was the stated topic of discussion or segments where there was significant discussion of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris accord were counted. "Significant discussion" was defined as at least two speakers in the segment engaging on the topic with one another (e.g., the host asking a guest a question on Trump's decision). Segments where a guest mentioned the decision in passing -- where no other guest engaged with the comment -- were excluded. All guests were coded for race/ethnicity. In one case, the race/ethnicity of the guest was unclear, so that person was not counted.

    *For one guest who is both black and Hispanic, both backgrounds were counted. As a result, there are 288 race/ethnicities listed for the 286 guests. Because the study was focused on representation of minorities, guests who are both white and belonging to a minority group were coded only for the latter. 

  • This Is How Right-Wing Myths About Sanctuary Cities Spread

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    On Telemundo’s Sunday news show, José Díaz-Balart demonstrated how the host of a news program can allow misinformation to take root and fester by failing to correct misinformation about immigration detentions.

    On the April 2 edition of Enfoque, Díaz-Balart hosted Jorge Silva of the Latino Victory Project and Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles to discuss the Trump administration’s recent threat to block federal grants to sanctuary cities. Aguilar -- who supported Trump during the campaign, then briefly withdrew his support following Trump’s hardline immigration speech in September, and then in December declared that he supported Trump “100 percent” -- falsely claimed the Trump administration is focused on detaining only those undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records. He said it “is simply not true” that all undocumented immigrants sentenced for crimes are reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Silva corrected the misinformation, but Díaz-Balart failed to explain the facts, potentially leaving viewers unclear which of the guests was correct. From the April 2 edition of Telemundo’s Enfoque:

    Translated transcript:

    JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART (HOST): Alfonso, is this a wise policy on the part of President [Donald] Trump’s administration?

    ALFONSO AGUILAR: Look, I think so. What has happened is that this debate has become highly politicized. There is no standard definition for what is a sanctuary city. It is not a technical term. There are different cities that treat undocumented immigrants in a different way. There are cities that give some local benefits to undocumented immigrants. This is not what the Trump administration is focused on. What the Trump administration wants -- and it’s something basic, I don’t understand why someone could be opposed to this -- is that the local authorities, if they arrest an undocumented immigrant who has a criminal record or is involved in serious criminal activity, they refer them to federal authorities to be removed.

    DÍAZ-BALART: Jorge?

    JORGE SILVA: Let’s remind the viewers that, in this moment, an undocumented immigrant who has been sentenced for a crime is immediately referred to the deportation agencies, to the federal immigration agencies.

    AGUILAR: That is simply not true. You are alarming the community unnecessarily. This is not what is happening. What they want to address are situations like that of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, a woman who was murdered by an undocumented immigrant who had a serious criminal record. Here there is not a mass deportation, here they are not seeking to deport people who are do not have criminal records. Please stop scaring our community.

    SILVA: In this moment, we have seen that ICE is arresting people without criminal records. And you can’t lie to me, Alfonso, please. You have seen it.

    AGUILAR: I am not lying.

    SILVA: They are arresting and deporting people without criminal records.

    AGUILAR: But it’s not the vast majority. It is a minority and this also happened under the Obama administration.

    SILVA: In the Obama administration, there was a prioritization for people who had violent criminal records.

    Aguilar’s assertion that ICE is not notified when an undocumented immigrant is arrested is false. According to The Washington Post, when a person is arrested, local authorities send his or her fingerprints “to the FBI, which sends the inmates’ information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” ICE may then issue a detainer request for local authorities to hold the person in custody for 48 hours. In many “sanctuary” jurisdictions, local authorities do not honor the 48-hour detainer request due to Fourth Amendment concerns. Sanctuary cities typically honor detainer requests for violent criminals but neglect to hold people past their sentences if they do not pose a threat to public safety.

    Aguilar’s false equivalency between Trump’s and Obama’s immigration policies also is not consistent with facts. Border patrol and ICE agents are “newly emboldened” to detain all undocumented immigrants under Trump, whereas they were required to “concentrate on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals” under Obama.

    Lies about sanctuary cities and immigration in general run rampant in the right-wing media echo chamber, but they can easily spread to mainstream media when hosts fail to push back on right-wing myths.

  • Cable News Reports On DACA Ignored Its Economic Benefits

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    After President-elect Donald Trump pledged during his presidential run to rescind an executive action on immigration that protects from deportation thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors, cable news outlets routinely discussed the program as a political tool without explaining how it benefits Americans and the American economy.

    The 2012 executive action known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, allows almost 800,000 people to study, work, and live their lives in the United States without fear of deportation. As a result of not being forced to live in the shadows, DACA recipients have generated more government revenue in the form of sales and property taxes, and created new jobs through increased consumer spending and boosted wages. The program has benefited the entire economy, but cable news coverage of DACA depicts the program as if it impacts only those who it protects from deportation.

    Media Matters reviewed how evening news programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC covered DACA from August 31 -- when Trump announced he would put an end to the program -- to December 15. Of the 20 qualifying segments on DACA during that time period, its economic impact was mentioned only once. Even then, the discussion failed to provide many facts on the scope of the program’s benefits.

    Meanwhile, new reports investigating the effect of rescinding DACA conclude that doing so would do more harm than good for all Americans, not just the thousands of undocumented immigrants protected by the program. On December 13, Univision reported on a study from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which found that ending DACA would reduce contributions to Social Security and Medicare by $19.9 billion and $4.6 billion, respectively, over 10 years. On December 15, Telemundo reported that if approximately 3.4 million undocumented immigrant homeowners, many of whom are protected under DACA, lost protections from deportation, the resulting mass deportation “could hit the housing market, causing losses of up to $9.3 billion.” Additionally, a November 18 report by the Center for American Progress estimated that “ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product” over the next 10 years.

    Cable news networks’ failure to connect the dots on how anti-immigration policies would negatively affect the economy is a disservice to voters whose decisions at the polls were guided by a desire for a strong economy.

    Methodology

    Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts from Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC using the search terms "allcap(DACA) or dreamer or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" for programs airing between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. from August 31 through December 15. We reviewed the transcripts for segments discussing the economic impact of DACA. This included reports from correspondents and guest panels and excluded brief mentions of DACA that did not generate meaningful discussion between hosts or guests.

  • What Spanish-Language Media Can Teach CNN About Immigration Coverage

    Cut Out The Punditry, Bring In The Experts

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    CNN’s immigration coverage could really use an upgrade if it is serious about informing audiences, especially those whose futures depend on the immigration policies President-elect Donald Trump’s administration ends up implementing. CNN could learn from Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo, whose segments on Trump’s immigration policies have featured experts on the issue and immigrants who are intimately knowledgeable about the topic, as opposed to panels featuring political pundits.

    One of the issues that came out of Trump’s softball interview with CBS’s 60 minutes, was media speculation of a “softer” tone on immigration, since on CBS Trump seemed to diverge from his campaign promise of deporting all undocumented immigrants. To report on this apparent “softening” and its implications, the November 14 editions of Telemundo’s and Univision’s news shows featured immigration experts, like Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) executive director Angélica Salas and immigration attorney Ezequiel Hernández, as well as Lucia A Quiej, an undocumented immigrant who explained her fears regarding Trump’s uncertain plans. Univision also responsibly underlined that all discussions at the moment are only preliminary and that more will certainly be known after Trump’s inauguration takes place in January.

    With the exception of an immigration attorney who wasn’t identified but appeared briefly on Early Start to talk to Brynn Gingras about anti-Trump protests, CNN’s coverage of the same topic on November 14 featured pundits and the network’s own political commentators, such as CNN’s Eugene Scott, Dana Bash, Errol Louis, Michael Smerconish, Maria Cardona, and Jeffrey Toobin. Other guests talking about the topic included The Daily Beast’s Patricia Murphy, Boston Globe’s Matt Viser, Trump supporter André Bauer, and The New York Times’ Alex Burns, none of whom provided a specialized opinion.

    Trump ran a campaign based on extreme anti-immigrant promises. For a significant segment of this country’s population, information about this issue goes beyond political entertainment; it is a tool they need to plan out their futures. They’re waiting for information and listening to every news report on the issue that might determine their destinies. They’re better served by news networks giving their platform to experts who can add some value and produce informed discussions as opposed to well-meaning opinions.

    Images by Sarah Wasko.

  • What You Hear About Trump's Immigration Plan Depends On The Language You Speak

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Latinos whose lives will be affected by what President-elect Donald Trump’s administration decides to do on the issue of immigration are getting two different messages depending on the language they speak and the news they watch. Conservatives addressing the issue are giving conflicting messages to different audiences, adding to the crippling uncertainty many immigrants are already experiencing. In the span of 12 hours, Telemundo’s Spanish-speaking viewers received a different narrative regarding Trump’s immigration plans than Fox News’ audience did.

    On November 15, Trump’s transition team member Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is one of the major architects of Donald Trump’s extreme immigration proposals and has been described as an anti-immigrant zealot, appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends and declared regarding the future of undocumented immigrants that, “No person living here illegally gets a free pass.” This means any undocumented immigrant is vulnerable to deportation and contradicts reporting that Trump’s tone on immigration might be getting softer.

    Just hours earlier, RNC Hispanic Media Communications Director Helen Aguirre Ferré reassured Telemundo’s Spanish-speaking audience that, “if you are undocumented, and you haven’t committed a penal crime, you have nothing to worry about” with regards to being deported. From the November 14 edition of Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo:

    It is likely that Fox’s audience received the more accurate depiction of Trump’s immigration plan given Kobach’s prominent role in crafting Trump’s hardline immigration proposals and Aguirre Ferré’s record of attempting to sanitize the Trump campaign to Hispanic audiences. This media manipulation allows Trump to curry favor among the right-wing audience on Fox News while spreading a different message to the immigrant population who relies on Spanish-language media and whose uncertain future depends on Trump’s immigration policy.

  • The White House Press Briefing Room Might Become A Hostile Place For Hispanic Journalists

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    President-elect Donald Trump is considering Laura Ingraham, a Fox News contributor and conservative radio talk show host, as a possible choice for White House press secretary. If he picks her, it would be Ingraham’s job to brief the White House press corps on behalf of the Trump administration, and the attacks she’s launched against Hispanic journalists and Spanish-language media would make the White House briefing room a very hostile place for Hispanic journalists.

    On November 13, The Hill reported that Ingraham was “under serious consideration” to be the press secretary of Trump’s White House, an indication that the contempt Trump showed for the press during his campaign will percolate into his administration, since Ingraham has her own history of railing against journalists whose reporting she doesn’t agree with.

    During her crusade against “biased,” “post-American” journalism, Ingraham has singled out Hispanic media specifically, taking offense that Telemundo and Univision are “Hispanic-centric” networks which “revile the American experience” and have a “toxic” impact. The networks are extremely valuable for many Spanish-speakers who rely on them to better “navigate America,” but Ingraham has accused them of “teaching illegals how to avoid deportation” and of preventing people from learning English.

    Ingraham has also taken issue with Hispanic journalists merely for speaking Spanish, once criticizing Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish-speaking guest and mocking his accent by saying it was “so herky-jerky.” Ingraham has been critical of multilingualism in the United States, extending her mockery on Twitter to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for his command of Spanish and criticizing retail workers who speak English with an accent, saying, “You can’t understand them. Sometimes you think you’re in a foreign country.” Any member of the press corp who sounds similar could be subjected to the same level of mockery and disdain from a press secretary Ingraham.

    Covering the Trump campaign was especially challenging for Hispanic media, since the president-elect showed particular animosity toward the main Spanish-language networks and consistently ignored requests from Spanish-language print outlets seeking access -- an approach in line with his “English-only” strategy of seeking electoral victory by courting primarily white voters. Picking Ingraham as press secretary would demonstrate that Trump has little interest in diverging from this campaign strategy while governing.

  • Spanish-Language News Shows Ignore Latina Equal Pay Day

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    News shows on the biggest Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, failed to mention that November 1 marked Latina Equal Pay Day -- which is the day that Latinas reach an average annual income that matches the average annual income white men earned in 2015 -- meaning it took Latinas nearly two years to earn as much as white men earned on average in 2015.

    Media Matters analyzed coverage of the November 1 editions of Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo and Univision’s Noticiero Univisión and Edición Nocturna and found no mentions of Latina Equal Pay Day. In contrast, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and more than a hundred women’s rights groups and Latino empowerment organizations observed the day by raising awareness and highlighting  research that shows the impact of this wage gap. One study, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, found that “if trends over the last 30 years continue, Hispanic women will not see equal pay with White men until 2248, 232 years from now.” The study also found that for Latinas, median annual earnings have in fact declined in most states.

    To many Spanish-speaking Latinos, the top-rated networks Univision and Telemundo are the tools that help them “navigate America.” Research from Pew has found that close to 1.85 million viewers tune in to watch Univision’s daily news cast Noticiero Univisión, while Noticiero Telemundo’s viewership continues to increase. By failing to shine a light on how wage inequality affects Latinas, Spanish-language networks missed an opportunity to empower the community they serve.

  • Trump's Fearmongering Has Forced Hispanic Media To Warn Against Voter Intimidation

    Spanish-Language Outlets Spending Final Weeks Of Election Preparing Viewers In Case Of Voter Suppression

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Responding to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments urging his supporters to be on the lookout for widespread voter fraud on Election Day, Hispanic media have repeatedly debunked the myth that such voter fraud exists and shared resources that their audiences could use if they are harassed -- or see others harassed -- at the polls.

    Since Trump began asserting in mid-October that the presidential election is “rigged” against him because of voter fraud and because “illegal immigrants are voting,” Spanish-language outlets and Latinos in the media have been debunking his false claims and noting that Trump’s accusations threaten American democracy. They also warned that these tactics could intimidate minorities, causing them not to vote. Univision correspondent Juan Carlos Aguiar explained that there is no shortage of “experts who confirm that this position assumed by Trump is very dangerous.” Aguiar’s report featured political analyst José Parra, who pointed out that Trump’s charges of voter fraud exacerbate racial tensions “because ‘electoral fraud’ becomes the equivalent of people of color are voting for many people.” Translated from the October 18 edition of Univision’s Noticiero Univisión: Edición Nocturna:

    JUAN CARLOS AGUIAR (CORRESPONDENT): It’s not just a few experts who confirm that this position assumed by Trump is very dangerous.

    JOSÉ PARRA (POLITICAL ANALYST): Racial tensions become exacerbated because ‘electoral fraud’ becomes the equivalent of people of color are voting for many people, and they think that by not being a white American then therefore you are not an American citizen.

    AGUIAR: In order to avoid possible episodes of racial discrimination, in New York, they created a mobile app to denounce them.

    JOANNA CUEVAS (SPOKESPERSON FOR LATINO JUSTICE): Race, color, national origin, ability to speak English. These are all forms of discrimination that we are monitoring.

    Faced with concerns over violence and the potential for intimidation of minority voters at the polls, Hispanic media have reported on various organizations’ mobilization efforts to protect voting rights on Election Day. La Opinión highlighted the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)’s request that the Department of Justice send federal election observers “in particular to areas with high percentages of immigrant and Puerto Rican voters,” as well as the organization’s guide for voters, which describes “what to do in case of harassment at the polls.” Univision published an explainer on voter intimidation and what to do when faced with such intimidation, directing readers to resources that could help them. Also, Univision’s late-night news program reported that the Organization of American States (OAS) will be assisting with monitoring polls, while Fusion highlighted the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against the Republican National Committee, which alleges that the RNC is assisting Trump in his efforts to suppress voter turnout.

    Despite the deluge of coverage debunking Trump’s false claims, his fear tactics seem to be working. Telemundo reported that because of Trump’s fearmongering about a rigged election and his suggestion that he might not accept the results, 51 percent of Americans are worried that “violence will emerge the day of the elections” and “only 40 percent believe that the transfer of power will be peaceful.”

  • What It's Like To Cover Donald Trump As A Spanish-Language Reporter

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has broken the precedent set by presidential candidates before him by avoiding speaking to major Spanish-language media networks and outlets since June 2015, posing an unexpected challenge for the Spanish-language reporters covering his campaign, and forcing them to rely on campaign press releases, televised news conferences, the candidate’s Twitter account and the work of other journalists. Media Matters interviewed La Opinión’s Washington correspondent Maria Peña to find out what it’s like to cover Trump for an audience of Spanish-speakers in such conditions.

    While Trump’s animosity toward the major Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo has been well documented, the fact that his Hispanic media blackout has also affected print outlets is less discussed. La Opinión -- the Los Angeles-based largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the U.S. -- has a strong digital and print presence among Latino readers. La Opinión’s Maria Peña told Media Matters that “the main difficulty” in covering Trump for a Spanish-language outlet has been “access” since the campaign “does not even respond to emails.”

    Trump has set himself apart from other candidates -- Democratic and Republican -- by repeatedly ignoring Spanish-language media figures’ requests for access. Peña said she had “no problems whatsoever with [covering] Mitt Romney’s campaign,” and was able to interview Romney’s wife and son during the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa, FL, and “almost always got written responses or helpful info[rmation]” from the other campaigns during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.

    In this election cycle, Peña has interviewed “Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson, as well as some of their surrogates” about the issues that “Latinos care [about] the most this year” such as “jobs, health care, education, national security, and immigration.” While a growing portion of the Hispanic community gets their news in English, Spanish-language media is still the tool many Latinos rely on to help them “navigate America.” According to Peña, “for many Latino voters who are just now flexing their political muscle, or learning about the electoral process in this country, getting reliable and accurate information in their own language is very important.”

    Spanish-speaking audiences have yet to hear Trump’s unfiltered views on the things that matter to them the most, since even when his campaign caved to Hispanic media’s pressure and conceded a short interview to a local Miami, FL, Telemundo station, Trump was neither challenged on issues that Hispanics prioritize nor questioned on his dismal Latino outreach strategy.

    Trump’s shirking of Spanish-language media is just one prong of his media strategy wherein he seeks exclusively fawning press coverage by denying interviews if he cannot have the questions in advance, or changing his mind seconds before interviews with local Hispanic journalists his campaign has already agreed to. Trump also has an extensive record of attacks against media figures and outlets he perceives as critical, and has a tendency to retreat to the protection of the sycophantic right-wing media bubble, often to whine about the “very evil” press.

    To many Hispanic journalists, Trump’s “unprecedented and dangerous” antics with the news media echo those of “political figures” who “use whatever is at their disposal to punish and silence unfavorable news coverage.” But, as Peña pointed out, Trump’s ignoring Spanish-language media figures “at his own peril” because "this voting bloc has the power to swing elections.”

  • How Trump's "Rigged Election" Claims Impact The Latino Community

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Latinos in the media are condemning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s baseless claims about the presidential election being “rigged,” calling his unfounded claims “irresponsible” and “reckless” and noting that this tactic “grazes a dangerous line between legal and illegal.” 

  • Trump Breaks Spanish-Language Media Silence With Fluff Interview On Telemundo Station

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump broke his silence of over a year with Spanish-language media by talking in Florida to Telemundo51’s Marilys Llanos. However, Llanos failed to press Trump on issues that concern Spanish-language audiences, including allegations that he violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba and his record of disrespecting women, which includes allegations of sexual assault.

    On October 12 Trump sat down for an exclusive interview while campaigning in Florida with a local Telemundo station. The clip was published on Telemundo51.com on October 13:

    The friendly interview was conducted in English while Llanos dubbed his answers in a Spanish-language voiceover and included color commentary like, "The interview took place on board of the candidate’s plane, valued at $100 million.” Llanos asked Trump about his tweet promising to reverse President Obama’s executive order aimed at normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba, and he responded by stating that he knows many Cubans because “as you know, I own Doral,” a municipality in Miami-Dade County, FL, where Trump has real estate investments. In this line of questioning, Llanos failed to ask the candidate about a Newsweek report that a company controlled by Trump could have violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

    Despite asking Trump how he planned to win the female vote, Llanos gave him a pass by letting him posit that the reason he would do well with women is because “more than 50 percent” of the people turning out to his Florida rallies were women. Llanos did not press the candidate on a 2005 video that surfaced recently in which Trump brags about being able to “do whatever” he wants to women because he’s “a star.” The most recent allegations against Trump, the accusations of two women who came forward to accuse him of sexual assault published by The New York Times, had not been revealed at the time of the interview.

    Trump hadn’t done an interview with Spanish-language news shows since sitting down with Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart in June 2015. After being confronted for his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, Trump had been actively ignoring repeated requests to sit with any of the networks, specifically Telemundo and Univision. In response to repeat requests for an interview from Univision's Jorge Ramos, Trump published the anchor’s personal information and mailed him a request for a campaign donation.

    It's not just Spanish-language media Trump has ignored; amid a storm of bad press, the candidate has sought refuge with friendly media -- like the Fox News bubble -- and softball interviewers, avoiding networks where he might get hard-hitting questions. But his dismissal of Spanish-language media has been particularly extreme, and after being ignored for so long, their audiences deserve better than sycophantic interviews.