As Donald Trump and Jorge Ramos Clash, Latino News Media Airs Its Offense

Ashley Parkeraug, New York Times, August 26, 2015

Ricardo Sánchez, known as “El Mandril” on his Spanish-language, drive-time radio show in Los Angeles, has taken to calling Donald J. Trump “El hombre del peluquín”–the man of the toupee.

Some of Mr. Sánchez’s listeners are less kind, referring to Mr. Trump, who has dismissed some Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals, simply as “Hitler.”

Mr. Sánchez says that he tries to focus on the positive in presidential politics, but he, too, at times has used harsh language to describe Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul, according to translations of his show provided by his executive producer.

“A president like Trump would be like giving a loaded gun to a monkey,” Mr. Sanchez said in one broadcast. “But a gun that fires atomic bullets.”

The adversarial relationship between Mr. Trump and the Spanish-language news media, which has simmered publicly since he announced his candidacy in June, boiled over on Tuesday at a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, when the candidate erupted at Jorge Ramos, the main news anchor at Univision and Fusion, when he tried to ask a question without being called on. Mr. Trump signaled to one of his security guards, who physically removed Mr. Ramos from the event.

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Mr. Ramos was eventually allowed to return. But for the Spanish-language press, which has grown in size and influence in politics, the tense exchange was a highly public flexing of muscle against a candidate who many outlets no longer pretend to cover objectively: They are offended by Mr. Trump’s words and tactics–and they are showing it.

Some, including Mr. Ramos, said that their networks have covered Mr. Trump more aggressively than their mainstream counterparts, which until recently, at least, largely dismissed Mr. Trump as a summer amusement–less a serious candidate than a ratings bonanza in the form of a bombastic reality television star. (After the dust-up with Mr. Ramos on Tuesday night, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists issued a statement condemning Mr. Trump.)

Mr. Ramos, who earlier this month delivered a searing indictment of Mr. Trump, calling him, “the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States,” attributed the difference in approach to how directly the issue of immigration affects Latino Americans.

“This is personal, and that’s the big difference between Spanish-language and mainstream media, because he’s talking about our parents, our friends, our kids and our babies,” Mr. Ramos said in a telephone interview.

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About 58 percent of all mentions of Mr. Trump in mainstream news media–broadcast, cable, radio and online outlets–in the past month have focused on immigration, while on Spanish-language news programs, the proportion is almost 80 percent, according to an analysis by Two.42.Solutions, a nonpartisan media analytics company. The Spanish-language news media has also been more critical in its coverage of Mr. Trump’s positions on the issue, with nearly all of it negative in tone.

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Univision severed ties with the Miss Universe Organization, of which Mr. Trump is a part owner, because of his offensive comments about Mexican immigrants. Mr. Trump is now suing the network for $500 million.

Ken Oliver-Méndez, the director of the Hispanic media arm of the conservative Media Research Center, said that in the Spanish-language news media, “There’s just very opinionated, very sweeping condemnations of Donald Trump taking place.”

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Critics of the Spanish-language news coverage, including Mr. Oliver-Méndez, say that the Hispanic press is engaging in advocacy and not journalism.

“The Spanish-language media is basically taking Trump through the prism of what’s best for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, so to the extent that Trump is coming out with statements that are threatening the existence of that community, he’s been covered like an enemy,” he said.

He pointed to several moments last week on the national United States evening news broadcasts of Azteca America, a Spanish-language television network. In one, an anchor said that Mr. Trump had nothing in his head but air, and in another, Armando Guzmán, a Washington correspondent, accused Mr. Trump of lying: “As in everything else, Trump is not telling the truth,” Mr. Guzmán said.

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