Defense of Free Speech MIA on Univision

What is the biggest missing element in Univision’s coverage of protesters efforts to shut down Trump rallies? Voices that denounce the deliberate disruption or suppression of free speech.

Instead of any critical coverage of the behavior of the protesters, in recent days Univision has been playing up their own version of ‘dog whistles’ that call for more hysteria, and more violence.

Case in point: Friday night in Chicago, when Univision showed itself to be all too eager to lend the protesters their platform to promote future efforts to shut down Trump’s campaign rallies.

Note that the first protester featured in the report, by Univision’s Viviana Avila, was flanked by a man with an orange sign that said “Vote 4 Bernie”, “Feel The Bern” and “Trump Is The Next Hitler”.

CRISTINA GALINDO, PROTESTER: One more victory, now we have to… um… unite tomorrow because tomorrow Trump will be in Cleveland, therefore I want the same to happen in Cleveland.

To Avila’s credit, the report did include one Spanish-speaking Trump supporter, who said “they kicked us down, but we will get up. They will never knock us down and keep us down.” However, the main focus was trained on the most radicalized student protesters.

JORGE VELAZQUEZ, PROTESTER: We know him [Trump] as if he were racist, as if he was a Hitler of our generation, and we didn’t want him in our school, because then he’d give us bad publicity.

You’d think that a student in one of the nation’s top universities would instead be more worried about the kind of negative publicity that is brought by shutting down free speech on their campus.

Irrespective of how you feel about Donald Trump or those who infiltrate his rallies to protest against him, it’s clear that both sides share some responsibility for fanning the flames. It should also go without saying that even the most ardent pro-Trump or anti-Trump people should be opposed to a political event being cancelled because of threats of violence. In addition, the sources of any such threatened violence should always not only be clearly identified, but denounced and repudiated.

The text of the referenced report on the March 11, 2016 edition of Univision’s Edición Nocturna appears below:

NOTICIERO UNIVISION: EDICION NOCTURNA

3/11/16

11:35:58 – 11:38:07 PM

ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Good evening. Hundreds of protesters prevented the realization of an event for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Protesters clashed with followers of Trump inside and outside the auditorium of the University of Illinois at Chicago, forcing the intervention of the police and the event was postponed. Viviana Avila has the report from Chicago.

UNIDETIFIED PROTESTER: Without fear!

VIVIANA AVILA, REPORTERA, UNIVISION: Moments of tension were lived inside and outside the convention center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Donald Trump had planned a campaign event. For security reasons, the event was cancelled.

TRUMP SPOKESPERSON: Tonight’s rally will be postponed until another day.

VIVIANA AVILA, REPORTERA, UNIVISION: At least five sections of the enclosure were taken over by protesters against Donald Trump, there were confrontations with supporters of the tycoon. The police began evacuating attendees while Trump's campaign assured the tycoon had met with the authorities and said that they decided to postpone the presentation to a new date.

CRISTINA GALINDO, PROTESTER: One more victory, now we have to… um… unite tomorrow because tomorrow Trump will be in Cleveland, therefore I want the same to happen in Cleveland.

UNIDENTIFIED TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Limited government! Conservatism!

VIVIANA AVILA, REPORTER, UNIVISION: Those who came to see Trump were left disappointed by it.

UNIDENTIFIED TRUMP SUPPORTER: They kicked us down, but we will get up. They will never knock us down and keep us down. Never. With Mr. Trump, he, um… he prohibits… I say, excuse me, gives us… um… lots and lots of, how do I say, jobs? Lots of jobs, there will be many jobs.

Tell the Truth 2016

VIVIANA AVILA, REPORTER, UNIVISION: Since the Trump event was announced, thousands of signatures were collected to prevent him from walking into the stage at the University of Illinois in Chicago, which has a very diverse student population.

JORGE VELAZQUEZ, PROTESTER: We know him [Trump] as if he were racist, as if he was a Hitler of our generation, and we didn’t want him in our school, because then he’d give us bad publicity.

VIVIANA AVILA, REPORTER, UNIVISION: The cancellation of today’s event comes out in moments this week that tensions have escalated in events where Donald Trump attends, and that have resulted in the arrests of dozens of people. In Chicago, Viviana Avila, Univision.

Edgard Portela
Edgard Portela
Edgard Portela is a News Analyst for MRC Latino