"Oh please, Br'er Fox, don't throw me into the briar-patch.”
So goes the line from the old American and long ago Disney-ized folk tale Song of the South by Joel Chandler Harris. The rabbit pleads with the fox not to throw him into the briar patch. The fox does just what he is asked not to do - and thus tossed into the thicket where rabbits thrive, the rabbit escapes. Laughing all the way.
The scene comes to mind with the news that Univision has abruptly told Donald Trump that they will no longer carry the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant. Why? It seems that the network is displeased that in his announcement speech The Donald said:
When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Aside from the fact Trump was accurate, if uncomfortably so? As detailed here in this space just last week, not to mention in Ann Coulter’s new book Adios, America Now? Now Univision - which - hello? - has a contract with Trump - has abruptly broken their contract in a fit of pique. Prompted, according to Trump, by the Mexican government itself. Not satisfied with just doing that, one Alberto Ciruana, Univision’s President of Programming and Content at Univision, cleverly (??) took to Instagram to post a dual wanted-poster-style photo that features Trump paired with the accused Charleston racist murderer Dylann Roof captioned: “No comment.”
The inevitable backlash arrived and Ciruana had to apologize, saying: “I’m Mexican who was very upset by Mr Trump’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants, but I should not have re-posted the photo.” Ya think?
Trump replied. His response will be to sue.
Question. Is Univision trying to elect Donald Trump President of the United States?
Answer? Yes, apparently.
Trump is surging in the polls on the very basis of his blunt criticisms of the Obama administration’s conduct of foreign affairs and the GOP Establishment’s woeful performance on issues - dealings with Mexico over the southern border and on trade but two of those issues.
Now, in a scenario that couldn’t have been scripted by Trump himself, Univision abruptly hands Trump an issue that gives him a chance to, as it were, provide a glimpse of a President Trump in action.
Whatever were Univision execs thinking? If there is anything that would rally voters to Donald Trump it would be exactly something like this. Trump’s office has responded in his trademark style:
The Mexican government and others are putting tremendous pressure on Univision to break their signed and fully effective contract with the Miss Universe Organization because Mr. Trump has been exposing to the public, and the world, the significant damage that is being done at the southern border, and the terrible and costly trade deals that the United States is incompetently making with Mexico (these deals are great for Mexico and horrible for the United States). This has been sharply and openly brought out during Mr. Trump’s run for President of the United States.
Mexican leadership has been doing serious damage to the United States by out-negotiating our representatives and political leaders. They are taking our jobs, taking our money and at the same time hurting us at the border with illegals from all over the world freely flowing into our country. Mr. Trump cannot be silenced on this very important problem for the United States.
Trump himself added: “I have great respect for Mexico and love the Mexican people, but my loyalty is to the United States and making our country great again!”
One of the most elemental rules of political life is to never hand those you oppose an issue, much less an issue that has real energy behind it. The absolute best thing Univision could have done both for Univision and the immigration issue was to just be quiet on the subject of Donald Trump. Not in a political commentary sense - Trump, as with all other candidates, is fair game. But the network should have kept to its contract to show the Miss Universe pageant and never brought public attention to the business arrangement. After all, while Trump may own the pageant the pageant itself is utterly unrelated to his presidential campaign. Trump famously owns all kinds of properties all over America and the world. Whatever position candidate Trump takes on issue X is hardly related to a Trump golf course here or a Trump resort or hotel over there.
By abruptly and quite publicly violating their contract with Trump the businessman, Univision is instantly sending the message that Trump the candidate is right: the US has been far too easy when it comes to negotiating with our southern neighbor. As if all this weren’t bad enough for Univision, once the company’s executive realized his mistake, he now tried to back off with this apology:
“I’m Mexican who was very upset by Mr Trump’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants, but I should not have re-posted the photo.”
Thus provided with yet another opportunity to illustrate how to negotiate, Trump sent out two missives in response. The first, seen here, went to the president of Univision, Randy Falco. Said Trump, in part:
Please be advised that under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami - its golf courses or any of its facilities.
Apparently the Univision bigwigs are golfers who love that particular Trump golf course - and also have an adjoining property with an under-construction gate between the two. No more. Trump demanded Univision stop work and close the gate - in a week. Or he will have it done.
And as to the apology from Univision executive Ciruana? Trump brusquely replied:
Apology not accepted. I call for his resignation as president of Univision and Univision should not be allowed to host the Presidential debate. It is a total conflict of interest.
And while all this was going on? Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos sent a handwritten note to Trump asking - yes - for an interview. Or in other words? We’re going to break your contract and call you a racist but would you like to sit down for a chat?
So. As a result of Univision’s decidedly unthought-thorough stab at partisan politics they received in return 1) a lawsuit for breach of contract over the cancellation of the Miss Universe Pageant; 2) a lawsuit for defamation (the poster comparing Trump to the racist killer in Charleston; 3) its executives have been booted from the Trump golf course; 4) a once convivial agreement on building a gate between neighboring properties has been ordered closed; 5) there is now a demand for the resignation of the executive who posted the defaming poster; 6) the private letter revealing anchorman Ramos to be beseeching Trump for an interview has been publicly released; and…and 6;) Trump has received a boatload of priceless publicity that appears as his numbers surge in the polls.
Well done Univision! If this is the company’s idea of humiliating a Republican presidential candidate other GOP candidates are going to demand equal, Trump-style treatment from the network.
While this particular media episode has a Hispanic flavor, in fact it is one more example of life in the liberal media bubble. One can only imagine the conversations that went on internally in Univision.
Executive One: “Hey, I’ve got an idea! Let’s cancel Trump’s pageant!”
Executive Two:” Great idea! That’ll show him!”
Executive Three: “Yeah..yeah…that’s the ticket! And I have a great idea for a poster too!”
In other words? In the world of the liberal media bubble there was no one there to say: “What? Are you crazy? These are seriously bad ideas!”
Well aside from the particulars of this series of events involving Univision and Donald Trump, this episode is one more lesson that as the 2016 election cycle proceeds, Republican presidential candidates have targets on their backs. Targets placed there by liberal activists who disguise themselves as “journalists.” Activists who are ready, willing and more than able when it comes to taking GOP candidate X and depicting him - or her - as the latest edition in the eternal liberal parade of Republicans as racists, sexists, homophobes, and haters of Everything That Is Good and Great from children to science.
And while all of this Univision targeting of Donald Trump was unfolding - including that accusation of racism? There was the Washington Post going after new GOP-presidential entrant and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The point: to question the Indian-American Jindal’s racial authenticity. Asserted the Post article, using of course a third-party: “There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal.”
Right. And there’s not much left of journalism at Univision or The Washington Post either. Race card playing, however, is apparently there in both institutions in abundance.