Media Coverage of Ramos Incident Exposes a Double Standard

By Lisa Navarrete, Advisor to the President, NCLR


This week in Trump is the dust-up between the Donald and acclaimed Univision anchor Jorge Ramos at a news conference in Iowa. I’ll leave it to the press conference etiquette experts as to who violated the rules of engagement, but one thing is very clear: the media’s coverage of the kerfuffle reeks of a double standard.

Watch Trump eject Jorge Ramos below:

Ramos has been called “biased” and an “activist” for attempting to ask Trump tough questions about the candidate’s immigration plan. I have another phrase for Ramos was trying to do: being a journalist. In what universe is it biased to ask a candidate to explain his or her policy positions and how they plan to implement them, especially from a journalist who has spent decades covering the issue of immigration?

No one would call a reporter from Fortune magazine asking a corporate CEO tough questions on board governance an “activist;” they would call them a business reporter. Ramos’ experience and career make him an expert, not an activist. And unlike Donald Trump, Jorge Ramos knows what he’s talking about when it comes to immigration.

That is why, like some other reporters, he has asked Trump to explain how he would deport 11 million people or compel a sovereign nation to build a wall. But unlike other reporters, Ramos’ knowledge and experience has led to other, deeper questions that should be asked like, does Trump recognize the economic and humanitarian crisis mass deportation would create? How does he plan to address it? Why has Trump skirted responsibility for the violence committed in his name, such as the attack in Boston?

Trump eventually let Ramos back in and a spirited exchange took place when the candidate decided to answer some of Ramos’ questions.

On the issue of immigration, Ramos is doing the job the entire media should be doing on Trump—looking past the bluster and the hype to see if there is any there there. Spoiler alert: there isn’t. As such, Ramos isn’t just providing vital information to the Latino community; he is providing a critically important and constitutionally guaranteed service to all Americans

Trumpification of the Republican Party Reaches Turning Point

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore

It has been a dreadful week on the issue of immigration. On Monday, Donald Trump released his long-awaited immigration “plan” which put his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy. His agenda of mass deportation, a massive wall, and the end of birthright citizenship hits many of the hallmarks of bad policy-making: completely impractical, prohibitively expensive, widely unpopular, doomed to fail, and deeply inconsistent with our values as a nation.

Yet once again—with a few exceptions, like Marco Rubio—the other Republican presidential candidates rushed to embrace Trump’s latest salvo: the proposed evisceration of the 14th amendment. Even Jeb Bush, who does not support ending birthright citizenship, echoed Trump’s use of the heinous and despicable term, “anchor babies.” Calling millions of U.S. citizens a term universally viewed as offensive by the Latino community does not bode well for Republican electoral prospects.

And the most disturbing incident of the week was the horrific beating of a Latino homeless man in Boston, who was innocently sleeping near a train station. The two brothers charged in the crime told police that their attack was motivated by their agreement with Donald Trump that “illegals have to go.”

Much of the responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of not only Trump, but of a Republican Party whose leadership has so far refused to publicly and unequivocally denounce Trump and his extreme rhetoric. Words have consequences, and hateful words lead to hateful actions. No one—especially not two intoxicated bullies—can tell a person’s immigration status by looking at them. This senseless attack was predicated on how this person looked. In other words, a summer of disparagement and demonization has put a target squarely on the backs of all 55 million Hispanics in this country.

When the election rolls around next November, there is no question in my mind that we will look back at this week as a turning point in the election. It will be known as the week when Trump’s dominance of both the campaign and the direction of the Republican Party on the immigration issue turned a dark and dangerous turn. It will be remembered as the week that Republicans not only started to lose the Latino vote, but also the election.

Republicans can only turn this around if the Party finds both its courage and its voice to say “enough is enough” to the demagoguery and bigotry of Trump and his ilk, and to the unconscionable demonization of an entire community that has now put millions of people in harm’s way. If not, Trump will succeed in getting his massive wall. It won’t be a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but a permanent wall between the Republican Party and Latino voters.