The conservative network that is currenlty serving as the mouthpiece for the Republican party in the U.S. has launched a website that will be targeting Latinos: FoxNewsLatino.com. When I first heard of it, I thought “holy mother of God, Fox News is launching a whole cable TV network to brainwash Latinos and turn them into conservatives?!” It’s not a TV network, of course, just a website … but I wouldn’t be surprised if a whole TV network is in the works, being that Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News with Roger Ailes, has often said that he does not agree with his own network in the way that it attacks Latino immigrants. In addition, it is clear that Republicans can see the writing on the wall: the Latino vote will only continue to grow and become stronger as time goes by and as of now, Republicans have done everything in their power to alienate this key demographic, basically driving Latinos to support the Democratic Party. As The Hollywood Reporter points out:
This year’s census is expected to show a further increase in the U.S. Hispanic population, which has in recent years attracted increased attention from advertisers and media executives.
At first sight, it appears that the Fox News conglomorate is being cautious and using the site as a place where it can show a more “caring” side of conservatives to recruit Latinos into “liking” the conservative points of view, while the regular Fox News website and cable channel continue to spout off its hatred of Latino immigrants. I don’t know if they got the memo, but CNN already tried a similar approach: having someone as hateful as Lou Dobbs on prime time, while catering to Latinos via its CNN en Español. Nevertheless, it appears Fox News is willing to give it a try at having it both ways. Putting things into context highlighting Senator Vitter’s racist ad as an example, ThinkProgress elaborates:
Aside from the Spanish-language content, there are also a few stories posted on Fox News Latino which have been conveniently left off of Fox News’ main site. “Latino Group Calls Louisiana Political Ad Offensive” and “Who’s Afraid of Spanglish?” are nowhere to be found on FoxNews.com. In the past, Fox News has reported quite extensively and largely in favor of the English-only movement.
I wonder what will the progressive response be, if any? Progressives and Democrats need to be careful not to take the Latino vote for granted. Yes, progressive ideology is more in line with the needs and values of the Latino community, but where is the appeal to cultivate and grow the passion in Latinos for the progressive movement? Take for example what happened with the DREAM Act on progressive media outlets recently. On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann was the only progressive prime time host on that network to even cover the momentous vote that was gearing up to take place on that piece of legislation. Furthermore, where is the Latino appeal on MSNBC’s cable channel and website? Where are the Latino hosts?
Don’t get me wrong, the work that MSNBC’s progressive hosts do is invaluable because it has been a tremendous help in exposing the racism in many conservatives’ policies that have come about over the years. However, the question nevertheless remains: where is the progressive response to this new Fox News Latino?
Update: here’s the link where you can contact MSNBC to ask them to counter Fox News’ new ideologically conservative Latino website by putting on progressive Latino hosts on MSNBC’s cable channel.