It’s a well-known fact that despite Donald Trump’s numerous declarations that the mainstream press is “the enemy of the American People,” not only would he not be president, he would be nothing without them. (Let’s not forget CNN’s long, loving shots of empty podiums at Trump’s rallies while the commentariat blathered endlessly about Hillary’s e-mails, shall we?) He is a media parasite, who has learned to adopt “controversial” stances to generate the heat that drives mainstream media narratives, regardless of the cost or the consequences. In pursuit of this charade, he’s even now gone so far as to threaten to use the power of the FCC to revoke the licenses of networks who say things about him that he doesn’t like.
Now, this threat may more or less be toothless, but that doesn’t mean the public shouldn’t be concerned. However, what’s more concerning is what the president and his Congressional goon squad are able to do in order to shut down and/or restrict negative press coverage surrounding his administration. Nowhere is that better evidenced than in today’s domestic Hispanic media.
From the moment Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” (a move that to this day still baffles the mind for its sheer arrogance), he’s ground his ax the sharpest against Hispanic journalists, and the Republican party has not hesitated to follow suit. From the leadership on down, the attacks have been sustained, intense, and largely ignored by mainstream media outlets that are otherwise “unfair” to him.
Trump’s rhetoric has inspired a horde of imitators among the electorate who have unleashed all manner of hateful rhetoric against journalists like Henry Gomez, a senior political writer for Cleveland.com. In September last year, Gomez wrote an article describing the influx of hate mail that had poured in from hundreds of angry bigots for his critical coverage of Trump during the election, a broad swath of what he called “Donald Trump’s greatest hits.” When the article was released, he made the rounds through nearly every mainstream media outlet except for one: Fox News. Whatever the chatter on the crotch couch was that day, I’m not certain. However, odds are good that it wasn’t especially sympatico with the plight of brown-skinned journalists and the liberals who love them.
The most notorious of Trump’s battles with Latin journalists would have to be his feud with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, widely thought of as the Walter Cronkite of Hispanic media. Ramos began using his platform to roundly criticize Trump from the moment his campaign began to the point where Trump had Ramos ejected for a press conference for refusing to suck up the man’s mouth farts like the rest of the Good Germans in the room. Trump proceeded to categorically deny Ramos interviews despite being Latin America’s preeminent newsman. and went on to blacklist nearly every Hispanic media outlet for the remainder of the campaign. He only granted two interviews with Spanish-language networks after the incident. The rest of the conservative movement, also eager to prove that they wouldn’t take shit from Mex-i-cans, proceeded to pile on Ramos culminating in a failed Media Research Center campaign to force his resignation.
Trump wasn’t alone in his Hispanic media blackout. Back in March, a top anchor at Univision named Enrique Acevedo told Tiger Beat On The Potomac that “it’s harder to get access to Republicans than it is to get access to Democrats” nowadays, noting that it’s “happened more since the inauguration.”
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Sure enough, he’s not wrong. Media Matters did a review of appearances by Republican officials on Univision and Telemundo during Hispanic Heritage Month in both 2014 and 2017 which demonstrated that number was down by 60% for Republicans. As the official marketing firm for American white supremacy, the Republican party has had zero interest in reaching out to people who don’t look, act, or think like them. Now that they’ve managed to use their propaganda arm to gain control of both houses of the presidency, the legislature, the judiciary and the electoral college, they have even less incentive to do so.
The saddest part of all this is how easy it would be for mainstream media outlets to offer greater support and solidarity to their colleagues in Hispanic media. Not only would they certainly be grateful for the support, but coordinated coverage between both parties could easily turn Trump into burnt orange tomato paste. Of course, that would require a fundamental shift in the goal mainstream press away from providing for-profit cover fire for crooked conservatives to something along the lines of honest reporting. Frankly, there’s just no money to be made in that.
This was originally posted at Pink Elephants.
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