Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reliable Biases

August 16th, 2015 10:31 AM

Univision/Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos recently appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources with a myriad of hot takes on the GOP primary debate and set-your-clock predictable results.

When Ramos does these sorts of appearances on English-language media, he is cast as the “voice of the Hispanic community”. I happen to believe that “mainstream media ambassador to the Hispanic community” would be a more accurate moniker, an assertion proven conclusively by the very first question out of host Brian Stelter’s mouth.  

Ramos immediately went to Trump, and to the two Hispanic candidates (namely, a curation of their race-heresies on immigration). Ramos wasted no time in theatrically calling Trump “the loudest voice of intolerance, division, and hatred right now in America”, and went on to suggest that Trump’s statements might actually incite violence.

Such statements are nothing new in our discourse (recall the media vilification of Sarah Palin’s use of targets in the wake of the Tucson shooting, and ABC reporter Brian Ross’ scramble to link the Aurora shooter to the Tea Party movement). However, this accusation of a pre-crime is something new to behold.

Ramos also took the opportunity to recycle his (disputed, at a minimum) assertion that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes per capita, to take a shot at Trump over the cell phone fiasco, and to call him out for not speaking to Univision. Ramos then follows his usual advocacy for the 11 (or 30, who knows?) million unauthorized immigrants in the country, and a lament that no one called Trump out on that issue.

Ramos then proceeds to launch into a defense of the Iran deal, doing so by pushing the Obama administration’s false premise that war was the only alternative to the catastrophic deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION/FUSION ANCHOR: I want to know if the Republican candidates are going to take us to war. All of them are against the Iran deal. I understand that. However, what’s going to happen with that? Does that mean that if Iran decides to continue the nuclear program that they will bomb Iran? Or, are we going to get into war if they try to defeat ISIS?>

Of course, there was no mention of the effectiveness of the sanctions regime prior to this awful agreement, which included sanctions against the general directly responsible for the deaths of over 500 of our service members in Iraq. I would bet that a non-zero number of those dead by Soleimani’s hand have families that watch Mr. Ramos’ newscasts, and may be disgusted to hear such condescension towards those who oppose the Iran deal on those grounds. Ramos seems to take the same dim view of engagement of ISIS.

Ramos then revealed his biases towards the Fox network, when he charged Fox with “being sympathetic to Republicans, protecting them, defending them.” This is an odd case of projection, given what goes on at Univision with Democratic candidates and institutions near and dear to progressive politics. He seemed shocked at the moderators’ questioning of the candidates. Stelter also chimed in, suggesting that this was some ploy to toughen up Republicans for the general election.

In effect, Jorge Ramos’ appearance on Reliable Sources provided us with a showcase of his reliable biases.

The transcript of the referenced portions of the exchange appears below:

Reliable Sources, CNN August 9, 2015 11:30 a.m. ET

BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm eager to hear your analysis of how the moderators performed and how the candidates performed. How do you think the typical Jorge Ramos viewer came away from the debate on Thursday night? Who were they more impressed by, who were they less impressed by?

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION/FUSION ANCHOR:  Everybody was interested in listening to Donald Trump, whatever he had to say on immigration. And also for us, remember, it's the first time in history in which we have two presidential candidates who are Latinos: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. So that was also, part of the community was interested in finding out exactly what they, they were going to say on immigration specifically.

BRIAN STELTER: Did Trump worsen his position with the Hispanic community through his comments about immigration?

JORGE RAMOS: I think so. I think Donald Trump is the loudest voice of intolerance, division and hatred in America right now. What he is saying about immigrants and women is not only disgraceful but dangerous. Just imagine a presidential candidate talking like that. It's a terrible example.

BRIAN STELTER:  How is it dangerous? Tell us.

JORGE RAMOS: I think it's dangerous when other people might not only repeat what he is saying, but act upon it. That's, that's very dangerous. Now

BRIAN STELTER: You're saying Donald Trump's comments could incite violence?

JORGE RAMOS: When you are saying falsely that Mexican immigrants are criminals or rapists, and that's absolutely false, because all the studies suggest that immigrants are less likely to be, to commit crimes than those who were born in this country, according to most studies. Of course it is dangerous when a candidate talks like that, because just imagine what other people just might do with it. Absolutely.


BRIAN STELTER: Donald Trump basically made you change your cellphone number. That's a pain.

JORGE RAMOS: He did. But on the other hand he has my number, and I don’t understand. Is he afraid of talking to me? Is he afraid of talking to Univision? Why doesn't he want to talk to us? Obviously this bravado that he has is not communicating well with the Latino community.

BRIAN STELTER:  Aside from immigration what are the other priorities you think Univision viewers, Hispanic audiences in the country, were really paying close attention to in this debate and will be in future debates?

JORGE RAMOS: I wanted to know about what they were going to do with 11 million undocumented immigrants. Nobody challenged Donald Trump on that one. And also, I want to know if the Republican candidates are going to take us to war. All of them are against the Iran deal. I understand that. However, what’s going to happen with that? Does that mean that if Iran decides to continue the nuclear program that they will bomb Iran? Or. are we going to get into war if they try to defeat ISIS? I mean, those were questions that I didn't find answers in the debate.

BRIAN STELTER: Take me inside the mind of a moderator. I want to hear your evaluation of the three moderators from Fox's debate. Because what I saw online, as the debate was happening, were journalists who rarely say nice things about Fox actually praising the moderators. Did you feel the same way?

JORGE RAMOS: Exactly the same way. I thought that Fox News, that they were going to do exactly the same thing that they've been doing for many years, which is being sympathetic to Republicans, protecting them, defending them. And what I found were three real journalists asking tough questions, not open-ended questions. No softballs. And I was pleasantly surprised. I, I thought they did a fantastic job and as a matter of fact, if we can choose winners for this debate, it would be the three moderators from Fox News.

BRIAN STELTER: The three moderators.

JORGE RAMOS: I, I would never expect myself to say something like that, but they did a fantastic job. I that's, that’s what we want as journalists. You want to ask tough questions. And sometimes you have to take a stand as a journalist. And they did take a stand. When it comes to corruption, discrimination, racism, lies, dictatorships or human rights, you have to take a stand.

BRIAN STELTER: You've been impressed by how they handled the debate. Why do you think they were tough on these Republican candidates? One cynical view would be they're trying to toughen up the eventual nominee to put them in a better position against Hillary Clinton in the general election?

JORGE RAMOS: Our job depends on being credible. If people don't trust what you say and what you do, then that's it as a journalist.