WikiLeaks: Univision Owner’s Support for Hillary Clinton Has Influenced News Coverage

Mary Calvert/Reuters
Mary Calvert/Reuters

Some of the hacked emails recently released by WikiLeaks expose the influence of Univision’s co-owner on the presidential campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton and suggest that the billionaire media mogul condones the network’s blatant and constant portrayal of Donald Trump as the anti-Latino villain and Clinton as the defender of everything Hispanic.

According to the emails, Haim Saban, the network’s co-owner and chairman, has counseled the Clinton campaign on its Latino strategy, and Univision’s negative coverage of Republican presidential candidate Trump seems to be helping her team carry it out.

Days after his 2015 presidential announcement, when Trump said some of the illegal immigrants who sneak into the United States are criminals, Saban counseled the Clinton campaign to take a tough stance against the Republican nominee.

“Haim thinks we are under reacting to Trump/Hispanics. Thinks we can get >>> something by standing up for Latinos or attacking R’s [Republicans] for not condemning,” Podesta wrote in an email sent out to members of the Clinton team on July 3, 2015.

Almost immediately, Jennifer Palmieri, a former White House staffer who now serves as communications director for the Clinton campaign, responded, “Haim is right – we should be jamming this all the time.”

Predictably, Univision’s news programs, especially anchor Jorge Ramos, have since characterized Trump’s comments as “anti-immigrant” every chance they get, putting all Latinos, both legal and illegal, into one box. The Republican candidate was actually referring to illegal immigrants.

In the July 3, 2015, email thread about Haim urging the campaign to go after Trump, prominent DREAMer and immigration activist Lorella Praeli , who now serves as the Clinton campaign’s Latino Outreach Director, sent out a message of her own, saying:

Alex, who works for Haim, called a few minutes ago. Same message- Haim > thinks HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] needs to be on the forefront of this and show that she’s an > integral part of the community, lift up and be proud of the contributions > Latinos make… He asked to call him and share our plan > and get input from them.

The Clinton campaign discussed setting up an interview to respond to Trump’s comments with only Univision, leaving out its competitor Telemundo, in the same email thread where Univision’s chairman told the campaign to go on the offense.

Univision’s editorial and corporate divisions are separate, Monica Talan, a spokeswoman for the network, argued in an interview with Politico, adding that “the News division must have complete editorial independence, and it does.”

Nevertheless, Tina Flournoy, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, revealed in an email to Podesta on March 17, 2015, that Saban arranged for Univision to pay her boss to speak at Univision’s upfront presentation for advertisers and the media in May 2015.

The arrangement also included a 15-minute “open press” interview with Alicia Menendez — an anchor at Fusion, Univision’s joint venture with ABC.

Saban — Clinton’s prolific donor who has confessed that to see Hillary assume the presidency is “a big dream of mine” and has said he would give her campaign “as much as is needed” to defeat her rival Trump — is in charge of the biggest Spanish-language media network in the U.S. that has major influence on the Latino population of the country.

The total 9,000 hacked emails that have been released by WikiLeaks as of October 13 — sent and received by Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta — make Saban appear as an integral part of the Clinton campaign who influences what Univision reports about her.

Nevertheless, when Hotair published an article on May 13, 2015, titled, “The press is starting to notice Univision’s pro-Hillary boosterism,” the network’s co-owner wrote to the Clinton campaign nearly three months later in an August 23, 2015, email:

I have nothing to do with it. [I] NEVER tell our news dep. What to cover.,,,unlike some of my peers.

Saban — who has been identified as Hillary’s biggest financial supporter after donating more than $2 million to support her political campaigns and an additional $10 million-plus to the Clinton Foundation, where his wife sits on the board — may not be aware of how Mrs. Clinton’s camp really feels about Latinos.

In an August 21, 2015, email published by WikiLeaks, Podesta refers to Latinos as “needy” and calls former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson a “dick.”

Two days after the email was sent, Richardson, doubtless oblivious to Podesta’s remarks, endorsed Hillary Clinton, whose trustworthiness remains a drag on her run for president.

Richardson was the first Hispanic Democrat to seek the presidency of the United States in 2008, along with Hillary.

Univision has yet to mention the August 2015 email, which was posted Wednesday, despite the fact that it berated Latinos and a Latino leader.

Although Podesta has suggested some of the emails have been fabricated by Russian hackers, “the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party have declined to certify the emails’ authenticity,” reports McClatchy DC, later adding, “But Clinton herself indicated they were authentic when she recalled at Sunday’s presidential debate the details of a speech she’d given that was among the emails.”


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