On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, all three broadcast news networks and the two largest Spanish language evening network newscasts refused to cover disturbing news regarding ObamaCare. Two audits from the Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General found Tuesday that 2.6 million unresolved problems in the applications of those seeking health care on the federal marketplace (used in 36 states).
While the news media are conducting a blackout on this troubling news about Obamacare, the networks gave plenty of coverage to President Obama’s so-called ‘victory-lap’ in April when the number of those ostensibly enrolled hit eight million people and weeks earlier when the deadline to receive initial coverage passed.
"George W. Bush is a racist." Those where the first words I heard about modern American politics when I came here to study back in 2000. How did my friends know? Well, he was the Republican candidate. I wouldn’t want to be associated with someone like that, so I became a Democrat.
That scenario is not uncommon. That is how a large number of Hispanics get their feet wet in American politics. Conservatives are against other races, other countries and the poor, aren’t they? That general view of distrust for those racist southern conservatives is reinforced constantly in the media. Not that they are all racists, but everyone knows about that elusive “racist element” discussed all day on MSNBC and every day in the pages of the New York Times. The same narrative is showcased on Univision and in Hispanic newspapers all over the country.
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.
In the battle for balanced news, score one each for Univision and Telemundo. Unlike the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news, both Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo on Friday night included soundbites from conservative leaders on the resignation of President Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
On Univision, correspondent Lourdes Meluzá ran a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who noted that Sebelius has been the principle face of “the disaster that has been, is and will continue to be ObamaCare.” Even more noteworthy, Univision’s report also featured Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, who called ObamaCare the former Secretary’s “legacy of shame” and said Sebelius “could go down in history as one of the most incompetent Cabinet secretaries in the history of the Republic."
Tuesday's Daily Show went to bat for the Hispanic media, as liberal comedian Jon Stewart attacked Brent Bozell and the newly-launched MRC Latino for its accusation of a liberal bias on Univision and Telemundo.
Stewart called out "Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research bull (bleep), I mean Center" and mocked his claim that the Spanish networks helped sign people up for ObamaCare. "Bastardos! How dare a cable network use its reach to help the audience comply with the law." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared at the Newseum on Tuesday to launch MRC Latino, a project that will fight for unbiased coverage from Hispanic media outlets. Explaining an analysis of Univision and Telemundo, Bozell announced, "What we're finding with this study, unfortunately, is that the Latino media are not even close to achieving balance." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In his closing remarks, Bozell informed, "It is not a very smart thing for the owner...of that company to say that electing Hillary Clinton is a big dream of his." (This was a reference to Univision's Haim Saban.)
A panel of experts on Spanish-language media outlets came together at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to help launch MRC Latino and discuss the state of networks such as Telemundo and Univision. According to Daniel Garza, the executive director of The Libre Initiative, ObamaCare challenges America as to "whether we're going to tend as a country to lean towards the free market system that has made us the most prosperous, most powerful nation on Earth or are we going to lean towards more statism." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As for what his group is doing about it, Garza explained, "Over a million dollars doing ad buys, digital buys. We've been on Spanish language and on English language to drive that message." Izzy Santa, the Hispanic Communications Director at the Republican National Committee asserted, "I think one of the biggest struggles that we have is that our bench of Spanish communicators who are bilingual needs to grow a lot more."
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday participated in a question and answer session to promote the launch of MRC Latino. Appearing at the Newseum in Washington D.C., Bozell and Paul discussed the state of Hispanic journalism and took questions on bias, the future of the Republican Party and other topics.
On the subject of the immigration issue, Paul opined, "Part of where I think there is a bias on reporting on the immigration issue is that the whole thing is that the Democrats have proposed comprehensive and it's either that you take that or you're against immigration reform." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Our English-speaking media were very clear after the 2012 election that the Republican Party was demographically doomed, since all the voters "of color" were shifting toward Obama and the Democrats. They echoed the mantra of GOP moderates, stating the only way to political viability was through "comprehensive immigration reform."
What these analysts did not do was explore the messaging that Hispanic voters are getting from Spanish-language media. Has the conservative message been rejected by Spanish-language voters - or is something being kept from them?
Senator Rand Paul appeared at the launch of MRC Latino in Washington D.C., Tuesday, to discuss the state of Hispanic media and what conservatives can do in response. Appearing at the Newseum with MRC Latino Director Ken Oliver-Mendez, Rand Paul asserted, "There is bias in the media. It is good that we monitor and check the media...Part of overcoming that is showing up, but part of that is also having something to say." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Discussing Latinos and his own Republican Party, Paul insisted, "I think that what's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican Party, that we care about where they are coming from and we care about what their problems are." The Kentucky Senator insisted, "Are there many in the Latino community who go to church and believe in traditional values and are conservative? Yes. Maybe half. Maybe 60 percent."
Having broken down the numbers by issue, Oliver-Méndez observed that the bias was particularly stark on the issues of health care and poverty, with Univision and Telemundo reporters and anchors heavily promoting liberal/Democratic messaging on ObamaCare and "income inequality." [watch Oliver-Méndez's presentation below the page break]
On Tuesday morning, the Media Research Center unveiled its latest arm, MRC Latino, with a symposium in Washington, DC on imbalance and unfairness in Hispanic media, beginning with Univision and Telemundo, introduced with remarks by Sen. Rand Paul. It's time for conservatives to participate more fully in Hispanic media, and for those outlets to present both sides of the nation's most important debates.
MRC Latino director Ken Oliver-Méndez released the findings of a new report called “Hispanic Media in the Balance” (written with MRC research director Rich Noyes) that assesses how much national Spanish-language newscasts on American TV tilt to the left. Take a peek at the summary:
On Monday March 31, Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to reveal the launch of the MRC’s newest project, “MRC Latino.”
Bozell proclaimed that “I don't think conservatives have focused on the fact that with the Latino population surging, so too is the attention on Hispanic-Latino media. And when we looked at it over a four-month period, what we found was just non-stop promotion of ObamaCare and of immigration.” [See video below.]
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported Monday on President Obama’s "more inclusive" press strategy (with black and Hispanic media outlets), which naturally led to Obama assuring Hispanic radio hosts and TV anchors that amnesty for illegal aliens (or "comprehensive immigration reform") is still an important item on his agenda.
Kurtz noted that Obama granted an interview to the Spanish-language TV network Telemundo after they complained about being excluded in a round of interviews with ABC, CBS, and NBC. Kurtz failed to note that Telemundo has been NBC-owned since 2002, but his reporting surely reminded opponents of illegal immigration how Telemundo sounds more like a lobbying group than a news outlet:
And [anchorman Pedro Secvec] noted that "our network, Telemundo, is starting a big campaign for Hispanics to make sure that they are counted in the next census. A lot of them are afraid, you know, of participating, because they think, 'I don't have the papers to live in this country.' " The president responded by encouraging Latinos to participate and saying it has been "true historically" that such information has not been shared with immigration authorities.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.