The Miami Herald is out this week with a blockbuster report on the liberal media bias the media doesn’t seem to want to cover: the relationship between the Clintons and Univision, one which a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run has much to gain from.
According to the Herald’s Marc Caputo, one of the most powerful directors of the Latin American television station is a major supporter of the former Secretary of State as a presidential contender. Haim Saban, who bought into the company in 2007, has vocally supported a Clinton campaign and donated to her 2008 effort. “Seeing her in the White House is a big dream of mine,” Caputo quotes him as once telling Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
Since 2007, but especially more recently, the ties between Univision and the Clintons have expanded. The Clinton Foundation announced last week that it partnered with the network for a program called “Pequeños y Valiosos” (Young and Valuable), meant to promote education and literacy in the Latino community. The Foundation described it as a “multi-year partnership” in which the Clintons would be heavily involved. Hillary Clinton spoke at the announcement of the early childhood development program, though did not take questions and quickly left afterwards.
Caputo notes that her presence at the event was not the only time the operation felt like it was designed to promote Clinton and not just education. He notes that Univision’s website for the program prominently features Clinton and that the initiative itself promotes policies that are reminiscent of the 2008 Clinton campaign. Also helping Clinton, he argues: Republicans not attacking Univision with the rigor they went after NBC and CNN for planning documentaries on her life.
He reports that some Republican leaders have objected to the partnership, however. One RNC spokesperson told Caputo that the program was “political pay to play by the Democrats and Univision,” a program that is “shameful” given Clinton’s stance on charter schools and education funding. But the RNC does not appear to be planning any boycotts of Univision anytime soon the way Chair Reince Priebus opted to boycott MSNBC when the network tweeted that right-wingers would “hate” a Super Bowl ad featuring a multiracial family.
The reason behind that is clear: Democrats could easily make an overly-aggressive campaign against Univision for its bias look like a campaign against Latinos at a greater scale. Univision’s news programming has been fairly even-handed covering the Obama administration; the network aired a special on the Fast and Furious scandal and, while hosting many pro-immigration reform voices, has also hosted debates featuring anti-immigration activists as well. But the network’s most prominent political face, Jorge Ramos, has actively condemned anti-immigration voices, and Democrats have run campaigns courting Latinos promoting the idea that the Republican Party wants nothing to do with them.
There is a way for Republicans to both actively tackle the clear bias that could give Hillary Clinton a solid lock over the Latino vote (she did win Puerto Rico in 2008) while avoiding the pitfall of having Democrats depict the party as anti-Latino, rather than simply anti-Clinton. Univision’s attacks against Florida Senator Marco Rubio, for example, have largely backfired. The ideological forces at the network have time and again embarrassed themselves in their attempts to attack Rubio, from a staffer calling Rubio a “token slave boy” on Facebook to an attempt to extort the Senator into an interview with a “scandalous” story Rubio appeared not to fear.
Without a strong Latino presence in the GOP, the party is left open to attack with a problem not present when attacking MSNBC, a network that even many on the left consider a caricature of their beliefs, or an ensconced mainstream media that solidified its reputation as Clinton stalwarts decades ago. But given how early the Clinton campaign has begun to set up camp for 2016, the time to expose these hidden ties is sooner rather than later.