Trump Meeting With Univision Executives Could Impact Election Coverage
In a November 9 interview with Univision, former President Donald Trump called Latinos “unbelievable people” with “incredible skills, incredible energy” and “very entrepreneurial.” It’s a major shift from some of his well-known anti-Latino claims during the 2016 election cycle.
Now back in campaign mode, Trump was making his pitch to Latino voters on Primetime. However, according to reports from The Washington Post, this change in word choice may be coming from the network itself.
The Post outlines how Univision is allegedly moving to more favorable coverage of former President Trump in the upcoming election. Though the network has not confirmed this as a formal change, the article cites several people with knowledge of how the network is operating.
Allegations started after TelevisaUnivision executives met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, then canceled Biden ads
There are a few incidents that the Post refers to as evidence that there is a shift away from the Democratic Party. The first is an alleged meeting with three executives from TelevisaUnivision at Mar-a-Lago last week. The meeting took place on the day of the Univision interview.
After the interview, the network told the Biden campaign that ads scheduled for the upcoming Trump interviews were canceled. According to The Post, it was because of a policy banning opposition ads in interviews with just one candidate.
It also points to what some said was a too-friendly Trump interview, plus the cancellation of Biden’s response as proof of a change in tone at the Spanish-language network towards the Republican Party. There was also a cutaway from a Biden speech in October.
“The new ownership is essentially co-opting and kidnapping the soul and mission of what Univision has been up to now, and they are serving it up on a silver platter to Donald Trump,” Political Consultant and member of the Democratic National Committee Maria Cardona told the publication.
Adding, “It is going to mask the pernicious and dangerous politics that Donald Trump is going to implement if he becomes president again.”
However, some people who are close to the Univision strategy told the Post this shift could potentially be a good thing.
Latino voting statistics among other factors could have influenced this move
One of the reasons cited for this change is likely coming from voters themselves.
“Not since 2004, when former president George W. Bush outperformed expectations among Latino voters, has the Spanish-speaking population been so up for grabs in a presidential contest, according to early polling,” the Post wrote.
Though Biden won about 65 percent of the Latino vote during the 2020 elections, support may be down this time around. One New York Times/Siena poll showed that if the election were to happen today, 42 percent of Latinos would vote for Biden. Another poll from CBS News/YouGov stated that Latinos are “much likelier to say their finances would improve under Trump than Mr. Biden.”
These polls might be worrisome for the Biden campaign, but they’re not a recent trend. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, Republicans made some gains with Latinos: 39 percent voted Republican last November, up 14 percent from the 2018 midterms.
As attention shifts to one party, people inside Univision are worried their coverage will shift toward it as well. Especially since Univision’s evening news audience has been declining in the last few years.
Many are criticizing the network, especially after Trump’s previous commentary on Latinos
Univision has not made public any formal changes to their coverage or policies. But as the article states, some journalists inside the network are worried about “the heavy hand of their new corporate bosses.”
On Tuesday, Variety reported that one of the network’s most prominent news anchors, León Krauze, was leaving Univision in the wake of the Trump interview and the Washington Post article. In a statement to mitú, TelevisaUnivision lamented Krauze’s departure but did not comment on the Washington Post story:
“TelevisaUnivision expresses our heartfelt gratitude for the outstanding contributions, expertise, and insightful analyses delivered by León Krauze throughout his tenure with our news division,” they said.
“We sincerely appreciate his dedicated efforts in empowering and informing Hispanic communities at both the national and local levels for over a decade. We extend our best wishes to Leon in all his future professional endeavors.”
Others on social media are also reacting to the article. Nicaraguan-American political strategist and commentator called the move a “soft-ball”:
Gen-Z political commentator Santiago Mayer also chimed in, calling the news “terrifying.”
Others called out Univision, claiming media “continues to fail us.”
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