On the heels of Fox News launching a website catering to Latinos and perhaps as a response to the beating the Latino vote handed to the Tea Party in the 2010 midterm elections, the conservative think thank Heritage Foundation is now launching a site entirely in Spanish. Via PR Newswire:
“The new website, Libertad.org, will give Spanish-speaking Americans access to the top-flight research and informed, conservative commentary that has helped Heritage build a center-right majority in the nation as a whole,” said Heritage Vice President for Communications Mike Gonzalez.
“Surveys show that vast majorities of Hispanic Americans already embrace conservative attitudes, such as the desire for smaller government and less regulation,” Gonzalez noted. “They also cherish personal freedom and free enterprise — the promise of which drew them and their forebears to this country in the first place,” he added. “Heritage Libertad will provide the hard facts and conservative analysis too often ignored by the liberal-dominated media currently serving the Hispanic community.”
By “will provide the hard facts” they most likely mean “will provide data that is conservative biased” and by “the liberal-dominated media currently serving the Hispanic community” what they probably really mean is that they will seek to overtake “any media outlet that is currently not following right-wing marching orders to support a conservative agenda“. Make no mistake, you can count on the true aim of this think tank’s efforts in Spanish being not only to attract Latinos that may already lean conservative on certain issues but to go further and seek to replicate the powerful reach that conservatives already have on most English-language media outlets by aiming to move the Latino community’s overall attitudes in support of right-wing policies.
If you think for a moment that the Heritage Foundation will stick to the unbiased “hard facts”, then to prove yourself wrong you need only to look at their history to find out how that Foundation, in the tradition of most conservatives being two-faced when dealing with Latinos, spread hateful misinformation on shows like Lou Dobb’s. As reported by Think Progress as early as last year:
Lou Dobbs Show Promotes Myth That ‘Gaping Loophole’ Will Provide Health Care Coverage For ‘Illegals’
Last night, Lou Dobbs Show correspondent Lisa Sylvester reported that “people who break immigration laws” will be “rewarded” with free health care coverage due to “gaping loopholes” in the proposed health care bill. Sylvester interviewed right-wing immigration hardliners and health care opponents to make her case:
ROBERT RECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: What we’re doing is creating a new program for low-income people to give them free medical care and giving illegal immigrants free and total access to that system. It’s a huge transformation. It’s radically different than anything the country has done in the past.
Meanwhile, on the progressive side, Spanish language outreach is still lagging. If you currently go to the Center for American Progress’ website, the most recognized progressive think tank, you will find no Spanish language material whatsoever. As previously argued by Project Economic Refugee, it is NOT enough to expose or ‘fact-check’ the hypocrisy and two-faced nature of conservatives’ media efforts to recruit Latino support. In order to truly neutralize such manipulation of public opinion, communications tactics must be accompanied by a voice offering a progressive counter in the messaging wars of our public debate. There is no question that conservatives are making smart investments on Spanish/Latino outreach; will progressives match it or will they make the strategic mistake of seating by the sidelines and just watch conservatives win over Latinos?