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L.A. Times Endorses 3 White Candidates in English — and Their Latino Rivals, in Spanish

Los Angeles Times (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

The Los Angeles Times is facing criticism after it endorsed three white candidates in its English edition, but endorsed their Latino opponents in its Spanish edition.

The discrepancy was caught by a Latino-themed website, latinorebels.com.

The races include:

  • U.S. Senate, where the English version endorsed incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but the Spanish version endorsed challenger State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles);
  • California Insurance Commissioner, where the English version endorsed independent (and former incumbent) Steve Poizner, but the Spanish Version endorsed State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens); and
  • L.A. County Sheriff, where the English version endorsed incumbent Jim McDermott, but the Spanish version endorsed challenger Alex Villanueava.

In addition, the center-right “OC Political” blog notes, the English and Spanish versions differed on two ballot propositions, and the Spanish version left out several races where there were no Latinos running (but in which Latino voters will still be casting ballots).

In addition, the blog noted, “While the LA Times en Español endorsed 7 Latinos and 1 white man, the LA Times English endorsements for Statewide offices were much more ethnically balanced, with 3 white people, 3 Latinos, 2 Asian Americans, and 1 African American for State office.”

Latinorebels.com dug into the text of the endorsements themselves, and found the differences revealing:

The English version of the LA Times suggests you re-elect U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein because she comes from a more “civil and productive era of governance” and has accomplished a great deal like that. The editorial casts doubt on the effectiveness of her challenger, state senator Kevin de León who seems “unwilling to compromise.”

LA Times en Español, however, has a different take. According to its editorial, de León is the best choice because he seems pragmatic and effective enough and knows the immigrant community best. And, after all, “Dianne Feinstein has been in the  Senate since 1992” and that’s “too long. A generational change is needed.”

Aside from the fact that the latest argument smacks of ageism, should Spanish-speaking LA elect one senator and English Speaking LA elect another? How about bilingual English-Spanish voters? What kind of conclusion can they reach after reading both endorsements?

Local CBS affiliate KCAL-9 reported on Wednesday that the paper — “the most powerful and influential in Southern California” — called it an “innocent mistake.”

In related news, a new Morning Consult poll revealed Thursday that 64% of registered voters said the press had done more to divide Americans than to unite it, compared to 56% who said the same about Trump.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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