Who watches the watchers?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on October 5, 2011

The Miami Herald reported last weekend that Spanish-language network Univision had created a segment on a decades-old drug bust of Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s brother-in-law. In an effort to get Rubio to appear on one of their shows, Univision reportedly offered to soften or spike the story if Rubio would appear.

If Rubio appeared on Al Punto —Univision’s national television show where the topic of immigration would likely be discussed — then the story of his brother-in-law’s troubles would be softened or might not run at all, according to Univision insiders and the Republican senator’s staff. They say the offer was made by Univision’s president of news, Isaac Lee.

Univision has denied the story, but five GOP presidential candidates are boycotting a Univision-sponsored debate over the allegations.

In addition to the Herald’s strong sourcing, the other thing that would appear to condemn Univision is the utter lack of a news hook for the story, which aired July 11. The incident in question occurred in the 1987. Rubio was 16 at the time.

There’s a prima facie case that a mainstream news organization has committed something not dissimilar to extortion and  what has been the reaction of the various media watchdog organizations?

Poynter? Nothing.

Columbia Journalism Review. Nada.

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz. Crickets.

This is the type of story that Poynter’s Romenesko will typically link to, but for some reason it hasn’t.

You’d think that GOP Presidential candidates pulling out of a debate over the incident would at least result in some coverage on cable news shows, but it hasn’t.

Is Spanish-language media held to a different standard in this country? The soft bigotry of low-expectations?


[custom-twitter-feeds headertext="Hoystory On Twitter"]


October 2011



pencil linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram