Rick Sanchez

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  • Fox News vs. Fox News Latino: NBC Dumps Trump Edition

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Donald Trump

    Fox News Latino's coverage of NBC's decision to sever ties with Donald Trump differed dramatically from Fox News' rush to defend the presidential candidate's incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants. While Fox hosts praised Trump's stance and reticence to apologize, Fox News Latino characterized NBC's move as a victory for Latino media advocacy leaders.

    NBCUniversal announced Monday that it would sever ties with Trump after he characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists," explaining in a statement: "At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."

    Fox News Latino highlighted how Hispanic advocates pressured NBC to end its relationship with Trump, writing that "Latino media advocacy leaders say NBC's decision Monday ... marked a watershed moment for Latinos." In particular, Fox News Latino profiled the efforts of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, whose chairman and co-founder published an op-ed encouraging the network to "dump Trump."

    By contrast, Fox News hosts rallied to defend Trump, praising his reluctance to apologize for his offensive remarks and suggesting the backlash unfairly minimized his well-taken points about a so-called border-problem.

    On June 25, Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language network, announced that it would no longer air Trump's Miss Universe pageant. The Mexican channel Televisa and the online outlet Ora TV also abandoned Trump. Before this week, NBC aired Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, as well as the reality show hosted by Trump, The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump faced widespread criticism following his incendiary campaign speech remarks targeting Mexican immigrants:

    TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you, they are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people.

    Fox News also covered Trump's speech differently than Fox News Latino. During a June 18 interview with Fox News Latino's Rick Sanchez, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade defended Trump by hyping crime statistics to push the myth that immigrants commit crimes at a disproportionate rate, but Sanchez fought back by pointing out immigrants' far-reaching positive economic impact.

    Fox News Latino, which was launched to target the growing U.S. Hispanic population, has frequently differed in its reporting from Fox News.

  • Fox News V. Fox News Latino On Donald Trump's Demand That Mexico Build A Border Wall

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Kilmeade Defends Trump

    Fox News and Fox News Latino hosts treated Donald Trump's demand that Mexico build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in drastically different ways. Fox News host Brian Kilmeade defended Trump's idea by hyping crime statistics, while Fox Latino host Rick Sanchez pointed out that Trump's "atrocious" comments go "against what's really happening right now in this country."

    During his presidential campaign announcement June 16, Donald Trump railed against immigration from Mexico, characterizing immigrants as criminals and "rapists":

    TRUMP: The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.


    When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you, they are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people.

    Trump advocated for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying, "I would build a great wall. And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall."

    Fox News' hosts of Fox & Friends praised Trump for his suggestion that Mexico build a wall on its border with the U.S., and Kilmeade defended Trump's idea on June 18 by promoting the fabricated link between immigrants and crime. Kilmeade hyped crime statistics to push the myth that immigrants commit more crimes than native-born citizens, adding that these crimes "all link to illegals here. People see that, and they see especially what happened last year with families flooding across, and they think, how do we stop this?"

    Kilmeade's rhetoric stands in stark contrast to comments from Fox News Latino's Rick Sanchez, who called Trump's comments "atrocious" and pointed out that Trump's characterization of immigration as a drain on the U.S. is inconsistent with the facts. Sanchez noted, "that kind of language just goes against what's really happening right now in this country," while listing the positive impacts immigration has had:

    SANCHEZ: The Hispanic labor participation rate in the United States is 65 percent, that's higher than any other demographic sector. If you look at some of the other numbers like self-employment, it's higher than any other sector. Last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, just two weeks ago, Latinos in the United States, Latino businesses created more jobs than any other demographic group in the United Sates. I mean, you can go down the list and see these wonderful things that are happening in this country, which are good for the United States, good for our economy.

    In contrast to Kilmeade's defense, studies consistently show that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the native-born population. According to the Center for American Progress, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than native-born Americans:

    A 2007 study by the Immigration Policy Center found that the incarceration rate for immigrant men ages 18 to 39 in 2000 was 0.7 percent, while the incarceration rate for native-born men of the same age group was 3.5 percent. While the foreign-born share of the U.S. population grew from 8 percent to 13 percent between 1990 and 2010, FBI data indicate that violent crime rates across the country fell by about 45 percent, while property crime rates fell by 42 percent.

    And as Sanchez points out, immigration is linked to economic growth and rising wages, and has been shown to have a positive long-term effect on U.S. wages and economic productivity.

    Furthermore, experts agree that a border fence would not be an effective solution to any perceived immigration problem.

  • Fox News, Michael Sam, And "Appropriate" Homophobia

    Blog ››› ››› LUKE BRINKER

    When St. Louis Rams draft Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend in celebration of his historic selection as the first openly gay active NFL player, there were predictable protests of homophobic disgust on social media. 

    The kiss also raised the ire of Fox News, where commentators condemned the kiss as "in your face" and "over affectionate." It's a reaction that highlights the way that modern homophobia can manifest in dishonest calls for "appropriate" behavior.

    Commenting on Sam's selection on the May 12 edition of Fox & Friends, Donald Trump essentially set the tone for the network's response, noting that many people thought Sam's kiss was "inappropriate" and stating that he personally thought it was "out there a little bit":

    The show's hosts didn't ask Trump to weigh in on this sports-related kiss.

    On the May 12 edition of The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros criticized Sam for being "overly affectionate on camera," but avowed that she doesn't like to see public displays of affection by anyone. Bill O'Reilly sounded the same theme on his show that night, saying that "there's no kissing in football" - nobody tell Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen - and affirming that he opposes public displays of affection between straight people, too.

    O'Reilly argued Sam's "gay thing" was "way overplayed," "annoying," and "in your face." "Do I really need to see that?" O'Reilly asked. Fox contributor Juan Williams agreed, stating that he, too, found Sam's kiss to be a little too "in your face."

    Perhaps the least self-aware reaction came from Fox News Latino contributor Rick Sanchez, who penned a May 13 column asserting that, while he supports gay rights, Sam's kiss "set back the cause of the LGBT movement." Dubbing the kiss a "cake suck," Sanchez falsely claimed that Sam "lick[ed]" cake off his boyfriend's face in a flagrant "affront to the NFL's culture":

  • Fox Borrows From WSJ To Dismiss Discrimination Against Hispanics And Women In USDA Programs

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Fox News lifted part of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece to attack a federal farm subsidy program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture while Fox News Latino contributor Rick Sanchez dismissed the USDA's history of discriminating against female and Hispanic farmers.

    The USDA is currently allowing female and Hispanic farmers to apply for claims of up to $50,000 if they were previously unfairly treated during the federal farm subsidy loan process because of discriminatory practices at the USDA. According to the checklist included in the claim application, applicants must submit official documentation of discrimination -- such as a notarized witness statement, and in some cases a copy of their original loan application --  before their claim can be deemed eligible for review.

    An op-ed published March 20 on the Journal's website by James Bovard ignored these facts to ridicule charges of USDA discrimination against female and Hispanic farmers:

    Are you a woman or a Hispanic who planted a backyard garden between 1981 and 2000? Did you ever dream of asking for a loan for help growing more? If so, you might be a victim of discrimination and entitled to a $50,000 payout from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    On March 22, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy repeated this portion of the Journal op-ed almost word for word to similarly mock individuals seeking compensation from past discrimination:

    DOOCY: Are you a woman or Hispanic who planted a garden between the years of 1981 and 2000? Did you dream of asking for a loan to grow your garden but you didn't get a loan to grow a garden? If so, you could be a victim of discrimination and entitled to $50,000. That sounds crazy, right? It's not. People will actually wind up with money.

    During the segment, on-air text referred to the money as an "entitlement" and "reparations":

    Fox Chyron: Entitlement Nation

    As NPR reported in November, the USDA "has a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native American and African American," leading to lawsuits which have cost the government billions. In 2010, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack acknowledged these civil rights violations at a Senate appropriations subcommittee and committed to "closing this rather sordid chapter of USDA history."

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has detailed "key steps" the USDA needs to take to ensure "fair and equitable services to all customers" following these numerous reports of discrimination. As of August 2012, the GAO determined that the USDA had fully addressed only half of the GAO's recommendations.

    Doocy was not the only Fox figure to dismiss the evidence of discrimination in the program. MundoFox and Fox News Latino contributor Rick Sanchez further claimed the program was part of a government plan to make Hispanics "dependent on a nanny state," and dismissed the allegations of discrimination, saying: "It doesn't matter if you're a transvestite from Honduras or whether you're a white guy from Iowa ... [t]oday it's women and Hispanics. Tomorrow it's going to be Asians and then it's going to be this and then it's going to be that and pretty soon, look, we don't have enough money as it is."

    Right-wing media previously attacked similar payments from the USDA to African American and Native American farmers as "reparations," despite a report from the Congressional Research Service which noted that a USDA review commissioned in 1994 found that in the early 1990s "minorities received less than their fair share of USDA money for crop payments, disaster payments, and loans."

  • Rick Sanchez Should Apologize

    Blog ››› ››› ARI RABIN-HAVT

    During an appearance on Stand Up! With Pete Dominick CNN's Rick Sanchez discussed life as a Cuban-American and the difficulties minorities face when working in broadcasting. The conversation soon shifted to Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, who occasionally makes jokes at Sanchez's expense.

    Sanchez expressed frustration and anger toward Stewart's brand of comedy, originally calling him "bigoted," later recanting and setting on "prejudicial" and "uninformed." Prodded for more information by Dominick, Sanchez said he believes Stewart has unfavorable views toward "Everybody else who's not like him."

    Dominick pointed out that Stewart is also a minority and that he often pokes fun of those who, like Stewart, are Jewish and from the Northeast. While later agreeing that Jews have a history of oppression, Sanchez scoffed at the comparison, sarcastically noting, "Yeah, [Jews are] a very powerless people. [laughter] Please! What are you, kidding?"

    Sanchez continued:

    I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.

    On CNN, Rick Sanchez has a long history of taking on those who rely on stereotypes and racial generalizations. He stood up to Lou Dobbs' hateful anti-Hispanic stereotypes over illegal immigration and fought back against his racially-tinged birtherism. Earlier in Dominick's show, Sanchez even recalled a time when a CNN executive told him that he saw Sanchez as more of a "[ABC News reporter] John Quiñones" rather than an anchor.

    Due to his own experiences, Rick Sanchez should understand the pain inflicted when people use racial and ethnic stereotypes. Reviving the age-old myth of a Jewish controlled media is beneath Sanchez and beneath CNN. What Sanchez said was unacceptable. He owes a sincere apology for his ugly and offensive comments.