Backlash on Univision for interview with Trump

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Univision is facing backlash for doing an interview with former President Donald Trump that was noticeably warm, and Trump received little pushback as he gave false or misleading statements on border security and immigration policies he instituted as president.

Parts of the Latino community criticized the interview, including calls for more balanced reporting and an outright boycott of the television network ahead of the 2024 election. The network has faced a backlash from some Hispanics.

Lorna Romero Ferguson, owner of Elevate Strategies, and Jason Barraza, partner at Veridus, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the interview.

“It’s a win for former President Trump. He is getting exposure to a different audience than he has in the past election cycle. And an audience that the Republican Party is trying to reach out to more and get their support going into 2024. For him to have the interview that he did for an hour plus a few weeks in front of that audience, it’s a big win for him,” Romero Ferguson said.

Romero Ferguson said Univision is trying to broaden their appeal. Polls have been conducted on trying to understand where the Hispanic vote is, what Hispanic voters care about and what they want to learn about.

“There are a growing number of them that are leaning more Republican. I think they are trying to appeal to that shift in their audience,” Romero Ferguson said.

Barraza said the issue runs deeper than Univision becoming like Fox News.

“Certainly they had a missed opportunity here. This just wasn’t about an interview here. This was a propaganda machine, where they provided a platform and a soapbox for a presidential candidate, for a former president to come forward, and they didn’t question him, they didn’t challenge him. They just let him have an hour of free air time. That’s where the problem is really rooted,” Barraza said.

“It’s the same lies; in this one, he seemed to imply that there was some sort of coordinated efforts by South America to send criminals to America, and there was no follow-up, no asking, ‘Where does this proof come from? What information do you have? What are you basing these claims on?’ None of that. That’s not servicing your viewing audience very well,” Barraza said.

Both Romero Ferguson and Barraza said national politicians on both sides have not done well in reaching out and speaking to issues Latino voters care about.

Lorna Romero Ferguson, Owner, Elevate Strategies
Jason Barraza, Partner, Veridus LLC

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