OPINION

Rick Sanchez: Latino voters send angry message to the media – oh and Trump

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va.. By virtue of her long political resume, Hillary Clinton will enter her highly anticipated upcoming debates with Donald Trump with the same heightened expectations that often saddle an incumbent president.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va.. By virtue of her long political resume, Hillary Clinton will enter her highly anticipated upcoming debates with Donald Trump with the same heightened expectations that often saddle an incumbent president. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

You know that bit that Johnny Carson and other late-night comics have done for years,in which they bring out a rare animal like a Black Footed Ferret or a Bornean Orangutan and everyone marvels? 

That’s what it felt like today watching MSNBC as two Latinos professors were brought on to explain why Hispanics are voting against Trump in such large numbers. 

How insulting for a network that has consistently ignored the perspective of 18 percent of the U.S. population to suddenly and ignorantly come to the realization that it should invite a Latino or two for a five-minute segment. 

I don’t know what is sadder or more bewildering: the fact that TV talking heads helped Trump, or that they don’t even know that they did.

- Rick Sanchez

"Morning Joe" is a place where a woman from England with a very stretched accent sits alongside a newspaper guy from Boston, a politician from the Florida panhandle (the only place in the state where there are no Latinos), a young man from New York, a very blond news reader, an African-American columnist and a woman who gained fame for being Sara Palin’s handler sit and talk about America. 

Hispanics are generally not invited to the conversation, and when issues regarding Latinos do come up, it is dealt with obliviously and/or dismissively — like the time the very blond news reader told a Hispanic activist being interviewed about Trump’s “rapist” comment that he (Trump) “didn’t really say that.”  

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That’s the reality of the national news environment in America and, to be fair, it’s not just MSNBC. When it comes to Latinos, TV network executives and the talking heads they hire are clueless.  

It’s not because they are mean or because they purposely discriminate, it’s simply because they don’t know what they don’t know. The U.S. media has made an admirable and somewhat successful effort to invite African-Americans to the national conversation and that’s a good thing. However, hiring a black journalist and expecting her to represent Hispanics and Asians is as ridiculous as hiring an Asian and having them speak as a “person of color” for African-Americans. 

I have been writing, saying and eventually screaming here at Fox News Latino about how little attention and understanding our media pays to Hispanics for more than a year now. Before that I was forced to leave CNN for essentially saying the same thing — although much less artfully. From Latinos all over the country, I get constant “that a boys,” from those in the media ‘crickets.’

So now, on the eve of the election, I awake to the realization that TV networks just noticed that Hispanics are pissed and will tilt the election against the dude who never apologized for calling them “rapists and criminals” and later bragged about grabbing women’s crotches. 

I don’t know what is sadder or more bewildering: the fact that TV talking heads helped Trump, or that they don’t even know that they did. 

They did so by rationalizing and even defending Trump’s comments about Latinos, while effusively condemning Trump’s comments about Muslims, women, the disabled, African- Americans and the parents of a dead Marine — leaving Latinos throughout America with only one recourse: Election Day!

Hispanics will almost single-handedly put Hillary Clinton in the White House tomorrow not because they love Hillary, but rather because they despise Donald Trump with every nerve and sinew in their body. In short, she didn’t call them “rapists and criminals.”

The numbers are staggering. Trump will lose in Nevada, Florida and New Mexico, states where the GOP had made great Latino strides. 

Florida, however, is the door slammer. Trump will lose because, for the first time ever, a Republican candidate lost the respect of Reagan/Bush-adoring Latinos. The freedom-lover immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Colombia – the bulk of South Florida’s Latino community that has historically voted Republican – are grossed out by Trump.

But the bellwether is especially loud for Trump along the I-4 corridor of Central Florida. Call it the “Puerto Rican Wave.”  Ever since the Puerto Rican economy hit the skids, they’ve arrived in record numbers. Now numbering more than a million, they represent the fastest-growing demographic subgroup in the nation’s most important swing state. 

The greater Orlando region is brimming with these newly arrived Latinos who are different in one very significant way from all other Latino immigrants who come to America — they are U.S. citizens! That means they can literally go from runway to voting booth and file a protest vote against Trump. Central Florida polling has Trump’s unfavorable rating among Puerto Ricans at a staggering 91 percent.

Latino voters are no doubt justifiably angry with Donald Trump and will honor our democratic principles by voting their gut. Too bad our national media is not a democracy.

Rick Sanchez is a contributor for Fox News Latino.

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