A group of Hispanic conservative leaders has shown their support for Univision in light of the backlash the network has faced for its recent interview with former President Donald Trump. The interview, conducted on November 7, has been criticized for its journalistic standards, leading to a call for a boycott and a request from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss Univision’s journalism practices.
In response, Hispanic conservatives have defended the network’s right to conduct interviews without interference.
In a letter dated Monday, the conservative leaders expressed their concerns about the potential letter from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, stating that it would be an attack on press freedom and a form of electoral interference.
They emphasized that members of Congress do not have the authority to dictate which political candidates Univision interviews or how they conduct their interviews.
Alfonso Aguilar, director of Hispanic Engagement at the American Principles Project, explained that the purpose of the letter is to encourage Univision to continue providing equal access to conservative and Republican voices.
He criticized the Hispanic Congressional Caucus for not speaking out against biased reports from Univision in the past, suggesting that they were favoring Democrats.
The letter was signed by other notable conservative figures, including Mike González from the Heritage Foundation, Catalina Stubbe from Moms for Liberty, and Mercedes Schlapp from the CPAC Foundation. Aguilar stated that the signatories are familiar faces on Univision, having appeared on the network regularly over the years.
Univision has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the letter and the controversy surrounding the Trump interview. This debate coincides with recent polling data showing President Biden’s struggle to maintain support from Black and Hispanic voters.
The interview itself marked a significant shift in Trump’s relationship with Univision. Previously, there had been tension between them, with Trump ejecting anchor Jorge Ramos from a news conference in 2015 and Univision canceling a contract to air the Miss Universe contest hosted by Trump’s company. Trump has referred to Univision as a “leftist propaganda machine and a mouthpiece of the Democrat Party.”
Univision’s ownership has also changed recently, as the network merged with Mexican media company Grupo Televisa in 2021. This merger may have influenced the change in Trump’s perception of Univision, considering the network’s close relationship with Mexican political leaders.
The interview with Trump was held at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and was arranged with the assistance of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Univision implemented a new policy prior to the interview, which prevented opposition advertising during single-candidate interviews and resulted in the cancellation of a booking with a Biden spokeswoman.
The controversy surrounding Univision’s Trump interview has raised concerns among Democrats and journalists within the network. León Krauze, an anchor at Univision in Miami, decided to separate from the network shortly after the interview aired, though neither he nor Univision provided a specific reason for his departure.
Comedian John Leguizamo also expressed his disapproval of Univision, urging actors, artists, politicians, and activists to boycott the network. He referred to Univision as “MAGAvision,” referencing Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”