Saturday, September 15, 2007

Misreporting in Spanish Language Television

Leslie Sanchez points out that the Spanish language network Univision, which recently hosted the first U.S. presidential election debate in Spanish, sometimes misrepresents the positions of the Democratic candidates in order to make them more palatable to socially conservative Hispanics:

John Edwards has not taken a definitive position on abortion. Hillary Clinton's position on the issue is that "she will fight for the defense of children." And Barack Obama wants taxes to be "as low as possible."

Each of these statements is misleading, at best. Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Clinton support "a woman's right to choose" and Mr. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts. But on Univision, a Spanish-language TV network with an average prime-time audience of about 3.5 million viewers, these and other slanted statements about the presidential candidates are commonplace.

These statements appeared on Univision's Web site, but like much of the network's reporting, they were missed by the mainstream media because they appeared only in Spanish.

Ms. Sanchez also points out that none of the Republican candidates other than John McCain have agreed to participate in a Univision debate. Republicans are fools if they blow off this demographic.

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