The want for a steady audience to ensure their networks' survival got the best of Univision and Telemundo’s newsrooms during their reports this week about four looters -- three of whom are undocumented migrants -- that were arrested in the hurricane-ravaged community of Fort Myers, Florida.
As part of their efforts to portray Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) as anti-immigrant -- and imply the lootings were justifiable -- the scripts at both networks went from accusing DeSantis of seizing on the arrest of the looters in order to trash undocumented migrants, to hinting that the thieves were acting on their emotions, to saying for a fact that DeSantis had not seen “the recovery efforts involving tens, hundreds of Hispanics”.
Take a look at the extent of the disconnect of the nation's Spanish-speaking liberal media with their audiences:
ROGELIO MORA-TAGLE, UNIVISION: The governor of Florida took advantage of the fact that four people were arrested looting in an abandoned house to trash undocumented migrants.
JULIO VAQUEIRO: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at undocumented immigrants accused of looting in the Ian disaster area.
PEDRO ULTRERAS: Lee County authorities, the hardest-hit area here near the beach, reported that they have arrested four people, four people, for apparently breaking into homes just 24-hours after the hurricane. These people apparently broke into business as well, seizing the moment, such a sensitive moment for all
MORA-TAGLE: And, the governor of Florida surely hasn't had a chance to see the recovery efforts involving tens, hundreds of Hispanics.
MORA-TAGLE: So, this place here is the one that the governor of Florida has not been able to observe. For sure, among those Hispanics that we have seen, many don't have documents, but they do have a great readiness to help in this tragedy
The message was clear: robbing the few possessions left at homes and businesses ravaged by one of the worst hurricanes to hit Florida was perfectly ok when it involved the discriminated migrants crossing illegally into the country in search of the American Dream.
In effect, the takes were a colossal insult for the hard-working, law-abiding Latinos watching the news reports that aired as part of Telemundo and Univision's coverage of President Biden's visit to Florida on Wednesday, October 5th.
To make matters worse and drive the corporate media's talking points of DeSantis being anti-migrant, Telemundo reporter Rogelio Mora-Tagle lumped all immigrants -- legal and illegal -- into one group.
So, this place here is the one that the governor of Florida has not been able to observe. For sure, among those Hispanics that we have seen, many don't have documents, but they do have a great desire to help in this tragedy
Missing from the report: the fact that since day one, Governor DeSantis has been on the ground (including in Ft. Myers) coordinating and participating in recovery efforts involving tens, hundreds of Hispanics, along with people of all races and backgrounds that have come together as one to help their fellow Americans in a moment of tragedy.
That should be the focus at Univision and Telemundo in applauding the good deeds and calling out crime for what it is: punishable by law.
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