Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has been treated as a major pundit on TV roundtable shows (and even mocked as an “Obama stalker” and CNN debate questioner on Saturday Night Live during the primaries in 2008). Ramos sees zero distinction between journalist and liberal advocate, which comes across in Time’s 10 Questions interview in the August 9 issue. He scribbled in “immigration reform now!!!” under his picture for the magazine and tried to argue the Declaration of Independence also includes inalienable rights for illegal aliens:
As a Mexican-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, what is your take on the immigration debate? -- Ndukwe Kalu, Los Angeles
The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, but right now millions of men and women in Arizona and in other parts of the U.S. are not being treated as equals, and I can't believe that. Countries are judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable, and the most vulnerable population in the U.S. right now is undocumented immigrants.
Time's questioner wasn't thinking about Ramos telling reporters that on some rare occasions he's been "torn between being a journalist and being a Mexican." Time didn’t find anyone to ask how the “most vulnerable” are treated by countries like Mexico, whose immigration policies are much harsher. Time found no one to ask if he thinks fairness and balance should completely bow to Latino-left advocacy.
Do you think U.S. borders need to be better secured? -- Erik Davalos, Reno, Nev.
Border security is not enough. We have to have immigration reform. It doesn't matter how many guards you send to the border. It doesn't matter how high the fence is going to be, because almost half of all undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. come by plane. It's an economic problem.
When Mexico did come up, Ramos blamed the drug war in Mexico in part on the “huge market for drugs in the U.S.,” and slammed Yanqui imperialism when asked if Mexico would allow military intervention on the drug front:
Do you think Mexico would ever allow U.S. military intervention? -- Albert Morales, Washington
Mexico will never accept U.S. military intervention. Mexicans always remember 1848. That's when Mexico lost more than half its territory [in a war with the U.S.]. Having said that, I think that the presence of U.N. soldiers in parts of Mexico, including Ciudad Juárez, should be a possibility.
When asked about Obama, Ramos sounded exactly like a Latino Democrat in Congress, complaing that he promised "us" he would pass amnesty:
What was your impression of President Obama when you first interviewed him? -- Sonia Hernandez, San Antonio
I spoke with Obama when he was running for President. He needed the Hispanic vote. He promised us that he was going to have an immigration bill during his first year in office. And President Barack Obama broke his promise. He gave Latinos a lot of hope, and right now many are deeply disappointed.
On the website, this quote was followed by the note “(See pictures of Barack Obama's nation of hope.)”
Then Ramos compared illegal aliens in the United States to longtime South African political prisoner Nelson Mandela:
Whom would you like to interview whom you have not yet interviewed? -- Maria de La Luz Sierra, Willis, Texas
Nelson Mandela. He always understood that injustice cannot last forever, and that same message is one we can now apply in the U.S.
Ramos also touted that the U.S. is almost “the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world,” as if no one spoke English:
Hispanics are now the largest U.S. minority and growing. In your view, what is the most important implication of that fact? -- Benjamin Figueroa Pereira, San Juan, P.R.
The process of change is well under way. The U.S. is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, with the exception of Mexico. It means - and I am completely convinced of this - that the first Hispanic President has already been born.
Ramos wrapped up by touting the possibility of much broader left-wing Latino activism like his own:
What is preventing Latinos from uniting to exercise their power in this country? -- Kyoko Tsuru, New York City
It's lack of political representation. We are 15% of the population, and we have only one Senator. We need not only one Cesar Chavez; we need a thousand Cesar Chavezes.
For the young reader, we should offer the context that Cesar Chavez was a left-wing union organizer of farm workers in California and a liberal hero for decades. (Conservative columnist Ralph de Toledano wrote a book-length expose titled Little Cesar in 1971.) Ramos would like a thousand Latino leftist activists in our legislatures – and the idea that anyone thinks he is an objective journalist ought to be corrected by this interview.
One final note: Time might look a little selective in its questioners when you consider the list of names. There's Ndukwe Kalu at the beginning, and Kyoko Tsura at the end. In between, it's Erik Davalos, Sandra Chavez, Albert Morales, Miguel Cortina, Angelica Montes, Sonia Hernandez, Maria de La Luz Sierra, and Benjamin Figueroa Pereira. Perhaps these are all Ramos fans who watch Univision. But it might also underline Time's failure to find one confrontational question (see Bobby Jindal) in the pile.