I’m going to take a strong stance on what I perceive to be biased reporting by a majority of the Latino media – most notably Univision, Telemundo and similar stations. In my opinion, these networks are presenting a prejudiced take on the crisis at the Texas border, in which thousands of children from Central America are crossing over into the United States.
I call it bias, because the only news stories I see from these networks paint the issue as a humanitarian catastrophe and depict some Americans as heartless or indifferent towards the issue. From Univision and Telemundo, I constantly hear about all of the human casualties near the border and how Central American refugees must be allowed to stay, no matter what.
But what I don’t hear is a balanced debate about immigration control or any criticism of these refugees' countries, such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or even Mexico – nations which have been overrun by gangs and police and government corruption.
I don’t hear enough Latino journalists discussing how these nations bear a responsibility to ensure the safety of their citizens.
Nor do I hear Latino journalists discussing how citizens of these countries should demand better elected officials so that there would be no need for them to run from their homelands.
The crisis reminds me of that old saying: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” We need to discuss ways to fix the root of this problem, rather than address its symptoms.
But the reason most Americans don’t comment on this media bias is because all these news broadcasts are in Spanish, tailor-made for these specific ethnic groups. To me, it seems that the Latino networks just care about keeping their viewers happy and simpatico, so that they return each day to watch the latest programming. Meanwhile, the networks are not presenting them with alternative view points, discussions about problem solving or scenarios that could arise from an out-of-control border.
Tuesday night on "The Factor," Bill O’Reilly made a brilliant observation about an anchor from Univision named Jorge Ramos. To me, the only talking point from Mr. Ramos on this immigration debate revolves around the humanitarian issue, but he has no words on how to control it, or who should be held responsible. Now I tell you, what do you think he and his peers are saying in the Latino media?
Mr. Ramos even tried to compare the immigration crisis to the Cuban exile – something I found offensive. The Cuban exile is a political exodus, in which an oppressive regime, similar to that of North Korea has been destroying individual freedoms and repressing the rights of its citizens to self-express. In Cuba, nearly everything is controlled by the government, and you can go to jail on the drop of a dime – and hundreds of Cubans have died under this oppressive regime.
Countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have freedom of expression, open markets, and other civil liberties. Instead, their problems consist of corruption and a lack of a moral compass. So don’t compare the Cuban exile with the problems seen in Central America.
At the end of the day, Latino media is just going to keep on growing. But as journalistic entities in America, they also bear the responsibility of being fair and balanced rather than picking stories that fit a biased narrative. There’s only one United States of America, and we must all protect its integrity and future.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.