Media Matters Starts Up New Project to Bully Hispanic Media and ATTACK Hispanic Conservatives!
Media Matters For America (MMfA) launched its Hispanic Media Project yesterday. Per soft coverage of the launch in The Huffington Post, the initiative aims “…to scrutinize Hispanic news more closely.” At first blush, this clashes with the narrative already in place, which is that conservatives are somehow terrified of Hispanic media (generally, and of Jorge Ramos specifically), which begs the question: if Hispanic media is already as reliably in the liberal tank as is the rest of the mainstream media, then what need is there for any additional scrutiny?
The answer is quite simple. The Hispanic Media Project’s first mission is to hector Hispanic media into favorably covering progressive agenda items other than immigration. This strategy is evident in its critique of Univision’s tout of Jeb Bush as a “Latino candidate”, as evidenced in its third and fourth paragraphs:
Other Spanish-language outlets like the newspaper El País (Spain) have also credited Bush’s Mexican wife and children with making him a “Hispanic candidate,” calling these personal factors an “advantage” to win the Latino vote. Briefly glossing over his “moderate” foreign policy stances — a popular trope in English-language media — El País highlighted Bush’s Mexican wife yet again to address Bush’s claims that he is not like his brother George W. Bush. MundoFox, a Spanish-language cable channel that is partly owned by Fox News’ parent company, has celebrated Bush’s ability to speak Spanish fluently as well as his Mexican wife to position him as a GOP front-runner several times since Bush’s announcement in December.
When Hispanic media outlets do cover Bush’s policy positions, they rarely go beyond the single issue of immigration. And while it is encouraging to see positive coverage of Bush’s multicultural family and bilingualism, a review of Al Punto episodes and close monitoring of El País‘ and MundoFox’s websites following Bush’s announcement reveal that they have not covered his conservative stances on climate change and health care reform.
It remains unclear whether MMfA is playing the long game and looking ahead to a time when immigration reform is resolved, or simply bringing Hispanic news media in line with their Anglophone colleagues. For many Hispanic outlets though, it should be clear that there will now be scrutiny coming from the left flank-whether invited or not.
Second, the Hispanic Media Project seeks to attack and silence Hispanic conservative voices, without any regard to position within the conservative ideological spectrum. It wasn’t that long ago that I discussed one of the fundamental tenets of what we’ve come to regard as the “liberal plantation”, a diversity that does not extend beyond skin tone, and a particularly vicious enforcement of progressive orthodoxy within. Well, there’s a new overseer in town.
The Libre Initiative appears to grace the top of the MMfA hit list, and are the subjects of a lengthy screed that may as well have been drafted by Harry Reid. This hit is not even the first on Libre in recent days.
As Sarah Rumpf points out, People for the American Way published an anti-Libre hit piece a few weeks ago. Likewise, activist Dolores Huerta published an anti-Libre op-ed on ImpreMedia’s El Diario (NY) which served to pre-frame some of MMfA’s points.
Interestingly enough, Huerta gave the game away when she appeared on Univision radio host Fernando Espuelas’ podcast. In between cries of “Koch money” and “Koch lies”, Huerta took the time to point out Hispanic conservative grassroots efforts aimed at the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado that went Republican in this past midterm election. By Huerta and Espuelas’ own admissions (at the 4:35 mark), the Democratic Party took Hispanic voters for granted while Libre (among others-including dedicated GOP field staff) went into the communities, and bypassed every Hispanic media filter by engaging voters directly. Colorado was supposed to be the Hispanic spotlight state, a last firewall for the Democratic Senate majority. However, the result was a 48/48 split of the Hispanic vote in Colorado- a far cry from the 75/23 split achieved by President Barack Obama in 2012.
As I’ve stated before, the institutional Left is terrified at the prospect that Hispanics -to whom the Left feels entitled in perpetuity- could choose to abandon the progressive plantation; that the iron grip may, in fact, be loosening. The armor has been cracked, and we are now seeing a scramble to retain control. There was once upon a time when Hispanic media could be counted on to keep conservatives in check, but no more. By inserting itself into the market, Media Matters for America has shown us that this is no longer the case.
Jorge Bonilla is a husband, father, veteran, and former congressional candidate. You can follow Jorge on twitter @BonillaJL.