AP Defends “Obamacare Spanglish” Story While Using Same “Mistakes” in Other AP Articles

It has been a very active two days in the world of U.S. Latino media, after an Associated Press story reported that the Spanish version of HealthCare.gov was reportedly riddled with translation errors and contained Spanglish, suggesting that the translation was generated by a computer program. The story was pretty much refuted and criticized by many—including our founder, Fernando Espuelas for The Hill and Fusion—and when one reporter asked the AP about it, a spokesperson stood by the story.


However, we guess that the AP actually doesn’t read its own stories written in Spanish, since a quick search of health-care related news written by the AP contains the very same “errors” that the Obamacare story was trying to “expose.” Here is one AP article from December (emphasis is ours) where the word “prima” is used for “premium” and not “cousin:”

Para los estadounidenses que seleccionaron planes de seguros a más tardar el 24 de diciembre, la cobertura deberá comenzar el día de Año Nuevo en el caso de los que paguen la prima del mes inicial para la fecha límite, que fue extendida al 10 de enero.

Here is one from just last week:

Es cierto que los pacientes con cáncer y enfermedades como la esclerosis múltiple y la enfermedad de Crohn podrán conseguir seguro y asistencia financiera para pagar la prima mensual. Pero lo que tendrán que pagar anualmente de su bolsillo será tanto que tendrán problemas para no caer en deudas.

Finally, Espuelas shared additional news today that the AP even rewarded the reporters who wrote the misguided piece with an award:

The Associated Press’s recent error-filled article concerning the ObamaCare Spanish-language site apparently is the best story published by the AP over the last month.

The story claimed that the site was written in “Spanglish,” but the site is actually written in proper Spanish, a fact easily discerned by any fluent Spanish-language reader.

Michael Oreskes, AP’s senior managing editor, yesterday gave a “Best of the States” award to the reporters and editors involved in the ObamaCare Spanish-language hatchet job. In an email, Oreskes exalted the high-quality reporting that created this story — above and beyond other stories produced by the AP in the last month. This recognition of supposed excellence comes with a $300 cash prize.

Guess the AP doesn’t get it when it comes to this case.

So, let’s summarize: writing a poorly misleading story saying that correct Spanish terms are mistakes? Perfect for the AP.

Using those very same “mistakes” in your official Spanish-language stories? #NoMames.

Another reason why American newsrooms need more diverse editors.

April 1 Breaking News: AP No Longer to Use “Illegal Immigrants” in Copy, Chooses “Pitbull Fans” Instead


In a stunning editorial decision, the 18-member-pretty-much-lily-white executive board of the Associated Press (that part is true) has voted unanimously to no longer use “illegal immigrant” or “illegal” in any of its news stories. Instead, with what is clearly a nod to the younger generation, the term the AP will be using moving forward will be “Pitbull fans.”


In a statement emailed exclusively to Latino Rebels (probably because we are one of the AP’s most vocal critics when it comes to its continual use of such dehumanizing terms that do very little to shape the nation’s perceptions about U.S. Latinos in media), the AP wrote this:

You guys were right, as usual. We have done very little to help shape the media debate on the use of this term. So after we consulted our Latino friends, since we have no Latinos on our board, they told us that Pitbull would have great appeal with Latinos, so we have decided to go with that. Isn’t that cool?

April Fools.

PS Now for the serious part: yes, the AP’s board is not diverse. It has no Latino journalist on its board, and no human being is “illegal.” Here’s hoping the AP wakes up to this. Having the AP realize that mass media language does indeed matter is a challenge we are willing to take on.

The AP Posts Raw Video of Police Clashes at #OccupyOakland

Via YouTube from The Associated Press:

Dozens of police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement clashed in downtown Oakland Tuesday, with authorities using tear gas to respond to demonstrators' repeated agitations. (Oct. 26)