Univision’s Anointed One: HUD Secretary Julian Castro

April 10th, 2015 4:57 PM

Recently, sandwiched between the Cruz and upcoming Rubio campaign announcements, Univision took the opportunity to remind us of their own clear preference regarding the 2016 presidential ticket, and their anointed “Latino Candidate.”

Anchor emeritus Jorge Ramos’ interview of HUD Secretary Julian Castro aired first on Fusion’s America with Jorge Ramos and was subsequently dubbed in Spanish for Univision’s Al Punto. (Side note: why cut the ping-pong game from the Univision version? But that’s not the only thing different from the Univision version - I’ll explain in a bit).

Per Ramos, the purpose of the interview is to talk housing. However, the introductory softball questions wrapped around housing topics lead one to believe that this is a reintroduction of sorts; a carefully orchestrated piece of counterprogramming intended to offset the respective splashes of the Cruz and (presumptively) Rubio presidential campaigns. And seriously, I have prime Brooklyn bridge property available to anyone who thinks this is really just about housing.

After going through the housing small talk, Ramos (having just gone out of his way to sell the segment by asking whether it is best to own or rent) asks the money question, which in the coded language of the Latino grievance industry and its various allies is the “authenticity” litmus test:

“Do you feel the responsibility, as a Latino, to fight for Latino issues? In other words, when you talk to the President, and then you go and say ‘OK, we have these problems with housing’, do you also say ‘well, Mr. President, we still have to do more on immigration?”

Several things pop out:

First, that Ramos’ “fight for Latino issues” language closely mirrors that of Univision News President Isaac Lee when he went on KQED and took his 2013 post Gang-Of-Eight victory lap around Marco Rubio. In one fell swoop, Ramos both infantilized his audience by casting immigration as the sole issue of concern to Hispanics nationwide, and validated those critics he always seems to whine about - the ones who charge him with only talking about immigration.

Second, Ramos’ interpretation of “fight for Latino issues” somehow became “fight for other Latinos” when rendered into Spanish for Al Punto. This confirms Ramos’ (and by extension Univision’s) intended reduction of Hispanics to immigration supplicants. This mischaracterization is grossly overbroad, not to mention deeply offensive.

Furthermore, why did Ramos see the need to alter what was said for presentation to Univision’s audience? Other than for casting Castro as the sole Latino politician on the ticket who can be counted on to deliver for the Latino grievance lobby and its clients, what purpose could this alteration of the record have served? What other alterations of the record has Ramos performed, and how have these altered translations skewed coverage, scope, or reception of a news story?

Needless to say, Castro takes the pandering prompt and dutifully proceeds to spout platitudes about representing all Americans as HUD Secretary, prior to answering in the affirmative.

Shifting to the presidential election and Castro’s potential role in it, Ramos lays out the naked political reasoning behind Castro’s appointment to HUD:

“The idea is that you were called to Washington because they want to give you more power, so that eventually you could run for president. That you could be the first Hispanic president.”

Castro shrugs off the Ramos adulation and gives the standard “I’m focused on this job” non-denial denial.

Tone and tenor mean things, and one must weigh Ramos’ fawnish softballing of Castro vis-a-vis his consistently harsh prosecutions of both Cruz and Rubio.  In a 2012 interview with Rubio, for example, Ramos interrupted or reiterated the same question of the junior Senator from Florida more than 30 times.

Compare, for example, Ramos’ lack of intellectual curiosity regarding the radicalism  of Castro’s Mom Rosie, who says of the Alamo “I hate that place and everything it stands for” to his inquisitions about Ted Cruz’ father and Marco Rubio’s brother-in-law. It couldn’t be more obvious that Univision is going all-in for Julian Castro - which in itself sends a clear signal to the rest of the mainstream media.

If there is a mortal media lock with regard to the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket, it is not on the top of the ticket.

Below is the transcript for the cited America with Jorge Ramos segment on Fusion:

RAMOS: To talk about Housing we have invited the Secretary of Housing, here with us, Julian Castro. Obviously he was the mayor or San Antonio and now he has a new job. Congratulations and thanks for being here for the first time, as Secretary. 

CASTRO: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, I have been on the job there almost 8 months, and one of the most pressing questions right now for Americans is: what is the best option for them? We see rent in cities across the Unites States rising very quickly. At the same time, whereas, a few years ago it was true that is was too easy to get a home loan, today it has been really difficult to get a home loan.


RAMOS: Do you feel the responsibility, as a Latino, to fight for Latino issues? In other words, when you talk to the President and then you go and say ok we have these problems with housing…do you also say well Mr. President but we also still have to do more about immigration?

CASTRO: I do feel a responsibility, of course, as a Latino that is one of just a handful that has this kind of opportunity. I do feel a responsibility to lend that perspective. At the same time, I also know that as the Secretary of HUD I am charged with representing everybody, and working in the best interest of everyone. But of course issues like immigration are near and dear to my heart.

RAMOS: This is the question that we always ask and you can’t answer…So the idea is that you were called to Washington because they want to give you more power. So that eventually you could run for President, that you could be the first Hispanic President. Is that too much?

CASTRO: Yeah, I believe that has been overblown. The way I see it is, as a mayor of a city that is the seventh largest city in the United States, and that directly relates to the work that we do as HUD, as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. So I was glad to accept the challenge of seeing what we could do on a nationwide scale to lift up urban communities, and other communities, and whatever happens after this…we’ll see. But I have never seen it in the same way that sometimes it’s pitched out there.

RAMOS: Well, that is the way we see it sometimes in the media. So the idea that you might run as vice presidential candidate with Hillary Clinton, that’s not even considered?

CASTRO: I don’t believe it’s going to happen. People ask about that, as you can imagine now, from time to time. The thing is is that’s a question unlike any other in politics, because that’s not like you are running for office, you don’t chose to do that. I am going to try to do a great job with what’s in front of me, as the Secretary of HUD, and I have found that in life if you do a great job with what you are doing now, that opens up doors in the future, whatever that future is.