April 3 2014
Jillian Kay Melchior
America’s primary Spanish-language TV news programs have an overwhelming liberal bias, according to a report released this week by the Media Research Center.
The study examined 667 stories that aired on Univision and Telemundo between November and February. Of those, it found that 45 percent of the stories had a distinct left-liberal slant — six times as many as had a right/conservative one.
It also found that “Democratic politicians, led by President Obama, Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats, along with spokespeople for left-leaning advocacy organizations, were quoted nearly three times as often as their Republican and conservative counterparts (1,011 to 370 appearances and/or direct quotations).”
These statistics show “a lack of diversity in perspective when communicating news events in Spanish television,” says Daniel Garza, the executive director of the LIBRE Initiative, a nonprofit free-market group that caters to the American Hispanic community.
Garza referred to a 2012 report by the Pew Hispanic Center in which 32 percent of all Latinos polled said their political views were either “conservative” or “very conservative,” with an additional 31 percent self-identifying as moderates. Only 30 percent reported their political views as liberal. And around one in five Hispanics said they wanted a smaller government that offered fewer services.
But if you judged Latinos by watching Univision and Telemundo alone, “you’d think that conservative ideology in the Hispanic movement is nonexistent,” Garza said. “Mainstream [Hispanics] really are conservative-independent, so it’s not like they’re outliers. But you wouldn’t know that from watching Spanish news. . . . That expression of the conservative point of view has to be representative, and the policy sentiments of the conservative Hispanics has to be expressed, because it’s millions of people.”
Garza noted that the Media Research Center focused only on Univision and Telemundo, excluding prominent news sources like CNN en Español.
“That’s fine, because [the two stations are] where most Spanish-speaking Hispanics get their news, but obviously, I think they could have thrown their net a little wider,” he says.
Telemundo and Univison have disputed Media Research Center’s findings.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum