Much like their English-language counterparts, the flagship evening news programs of the Univision and Telemundo television networks found plenty of time to cover the scandal over racism that rocked Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but no time to devote to news developments which cast President Obama and his administration in a negative light.
Over the course of four days between April 28 and May 1, Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo dedicated 16 minutes and 33 seconds of airtime to Donald Sterling and the future of the Los Angeles basketball franchise, but evidently didn’t consider the President’s worse-ever popularity poll numbers, the sharp decline in U.S. economic growth, Secretary of State John Kerry’s ill-considered remarks against Israel or fresh, incriminating White House emails twisting the facts about the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to be worth even a single second of news coverage.
Bias in the media is often as much about what is left out of the news as what is included. The networks’ latest lack of coverage of news that reflects poorly on the performance of the President and his administration’s leadership of the country is a disservice to viewers, and once again calls into question both their journalistic judgement and impartiality.
To be sure, Sterling's outrageous comments and the saga surrounding his team deserved attention, but only in proportion to other significant news developments which more directly impact the lives of everyday Americans, particularly in a crucial midterm election year where voters have an opportunity to express their approval or disapproval of the President and his Democratic allies in Congress.
A month ago, MRC Latino was launched with a clarion call for the nation’s leading Spanish-language news outlets to do a better job of living up to their journalistic vocation (to review the results of our initial study, click here. This is certainly an apt occasion to renew that call.