English-Language DC Media Club Slams Jorge Ramos for Immigration Stance

May 28, 2014
10:33 AM

A little Washington DC media elitism for you today? In a piece today by POLITICO’s Dylan Byers titled, “Anchor with attitude: Jorge Ramos fights for immigration reform,” the condescending side of the English-language mainstream media was clear. What was supposed to be a profile of why Ramos has arguably become one of the most influential voices in U.S. media, turned into a classic segregation narrative that “English is superior, but Spanish is inferior” when it comes to journalism and broadcasting.


Byers set that narrative up rather quickly when he defined Ramos as “the most popular Hispanic news anchor in America,” in his lede paragraph. This all had to do with a viral video clip showing Ramos actually asking tough questions of House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Harry Reid last week about immigration reform. Granted, Byers also gives Ramos props, but the setup is clear: you are a Hispanic journalist, “the conduit between Washington politics and Hispanic America,” the different one, the not-so-ready-for-prime-time anchor.

Ramos’ style last week wasn’t appreciated by his competitors, especially Chuck Todd of MSNBC, who told Byers the following: “It isn’t about us. Then the POLITICO piece quoted an unnamed Beltway journalist who said, “There is a difference between activism and journalism.”

Todd is right: This isn’t about us. It’s about the people whose voice Ramos is bringing to the table, the millions of people who watch the Mexican-born anchor every day (in both Spanish AND English) and who, quite frankly, are asking the same questions of Boehner and Reid. But people like Todd and the unnamed DC reporter aren’t listening to those voices. Ramos is. And if grilling political leaders is seen as “activism,” then maybe the fine line between politicians and political reporters is incredibly fuzzy.

Interestingly enough, as Byers points out, Ramos is the first one to call that hypocrisy out as well:

The Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci used to say that for her, an interview was like a war. I get the sense that we’ve forgotten that here in the United States. You turn on the TV, and you see very bland interviews. Journalists in the United States are very cozy with power, very close to those in power. They laugh with them. They go to the [White House] correspondents’ dinner with them. They have lunch together. They marry each other. They’re way too close to each other. I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power.

I’m not seeing tough questions asked on American television I’m not seeing those correspondents that would question those in power. It’s like a club. We are not asking the tough questions.

But hey, leave it to the bilingual guy who Matt Drudge once called “the last journalist standing.” We’re sure Todd and the unnamed DC reporter can learn a lesson or two from Ramos.

By the way, this story came from a Twitter convo we had this morning. Here it is:

Also, check out this video between Ramos and Byers: