In between congressional bids, El American’s Anna Paulina Luna has been cultivating an audience for her far-right ideas
Luna has spent several years building her brand as a pro-gun, anti-immigrant election denier in both Spanish and English-language right wing media
Conservative media personality Anna Paulina Luna, who recently became the Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District, has used her role at El American to feed right-wing misinformation and conservative propaganda to Latino audiences.
In 2021, Luna joined El American as chief correspondent, featuring prominently on the bilingual conservative network’s YouTube channel. One of the primary information markets for Latino audiences in the United States, YouTube has become a well of translated right-wing narratives and Spanish-language election misinformation targeting bilingual and Spanish-speaking viewers.
El American has also become a prominent source of translated far-right talking points, occasionally being featured by known Spanish-language misinformation aggregator TierraPura. Most recently, El American announced an exclusive advertising partnership with conservative network Newsmax, which El American CEO Jorge Granier Phelps claimed has “broader brand integrity” and is “uniquely positioned to accelerate El American’s growth.”
As a media personality, Luna has amassed a network of over 830,000 followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where she has spread election misinformation and transformed her brand from an “avid” Obama supporter to a close ally of Donald Trump. During her first run in 2020, Luna received high-profile Republican endorsements but lost her bid for Florida’s 13th District to now-Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. This year, Luna may benefit from a heavily gerrymandered district as she fends off Democratic candidate Eric Lynn.
Like other far-right Latinos, Luna strategically touts her Hispanic heritage to brand herself as both a community insider and a political outsider, a position that not only allows her to pander to both average Latino voters and far-right extremists, but also to inject the first with the rhetoric of the latter, disguising right-wing misinformation as truth coming from a trusted ally.
As chief correspondent for El American, Luna proudly interviewed election deniers, misinformative right-wing media figures, and conspiracy theory promoters. During an interview with right-wing influencer Craig Long, for example, she endorsed conspiracy theories about a Democratic “cabal ... working with corporations and big tech media" to affect the election and asked whether Democrats focus on race-related issues for “nefarious reasons.” During that same interview, Luna would go on to defend Kyle Rittenhouse and spread false right-wing claims that President Biden called Rittenhouse a white supremacist.
An election denier, Luna often allowed and even prompted her interview guests to spread false claims about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. During an interview with conservative Turning Point USA contributor Graham Allen, she provided no pushback against her guest’s baseless allegations of "mass voter fraud” that “has been proven without a shadow of a doubt.” She also praised Allen’s attacks against pro-impeachment Republicans who, according to Allen, “betrayed not only their constituents but the country.” In an interview with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) earlier that year, Luna dismissed racist right-wing reactions to New York City's noncitizen voting law, and allowed the Florida Congressman to spread false claims about Georgia’s restrictive voter ID law.
Much of Luna’s career as a conservative media figure is based on her staunch support of President Trump’s xenophobic immigration rhetoric. As a Youtube personality, Luna attacks mainstream media outlets, claiming they purposely deceive Latino audiences about immigration policies. In another interview for El American, she asked GOP Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake what she would do to “bridge the gap with the disinformation that Hispanic Americans are receiving in regards to border security,” claiming that “Hispanic Americans have been lied to by outlets like Telemundo and Univision in regards to immigration policies.” Her record promoting immigration misinformation includes baseless claims about children being “rented” and “brought here to be trafficked for strictly sexual and or labor purposes.”
Luna's record as a right-wing correspondent has earned her several interviews with other right-wing media figures now that she is once again a candidate. On August 22, Luna went on Steve Bannon’s War Room, where she defended Christian nationalism and claimed that Democrats are “going after” Hispanic churches. A day later, she went on John Fredericks' show to fearmonger about the FBI's “Soviet-style behavior” and claimed the IRS is “increasingly becoming an enemy of the people.”
As November approaches, Luna sits in the right-wing media spotlight, enjoying praise from right-wing publications and conspiracy theorists on fringe social media platforms. The Epoch Times and The Gateway Pundit, for example, celebrated her win and praised her as an “outspoken opponent of illegal immigration” and “a representative for all the … Hispanics from across the nation that flocked to the GOP during the Trump years.” On Telegram, Spanish-language QAnon-themed chat rooms praised Luna for delivering a “clean sweep” for Trump.