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Latino Daily News

Sunday July 22, 2012

Playing Both Sides of the Immigration Debate, Is Fox News Exploiting Hispanics?

Playing Both Sides of the Immigration Debate, Is Fox News Exploiting Hispanics?

Photo: Fox News Latino

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Leading Latino leaders are criticizing the Fox News website Fox News Latino, saying it lacks credibility among Hispanics by profiting from them even as they are demonized by the conservative parent network known for anti-immigrant coverage.

Since it launched in 2010, Fox News Latino has positioned itself as “the place to go for news that impacts the Latino Community,” covering news, politics, entertainment, and other stories through that lens.

Notably, the tone of Fox News Latino’s coverage of issues like immigration dramatically differs from that of other parts of the Fox News family, which typically adopt a hardline slant.

Last month after President Obama announced that his administration would no longer seek to deport young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children, Fox News Latino covered the story using the headline “Obama Administration Halts Deportations for Undocumented Children” and featuring a photo of a Latina activist in front of the U.S. Capitol.

By contrast, the Fox Nation website headlined its story on the subject “Obama Administration Bypasses Congress, to Give Immunity, Stop Deporting Younger Illegals” accompanied by a photo of handcuffed young Latinos.

Such disparities in coverage between the Latino-focused website and the rest of the right-wing network are frequent, with other instances including a January 2011 border shooting and last month’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law.

Fox News hosts and personalities regularly demonize immigrants, refusing to abandon the slur “illegals” though other outlets have done so. The network also cheerleads controversial immigration laws like those in Arizona and Alabama, and outlandish smears of immigrants.

For Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, the entire Fox News Latino approach is a way to profit off Latinos while hurting them on the home network.

Falcón agreed Fox News Latino “covers a lot of good stuff,” but added that Fox News has “written off this community, they are propaganda. This is an admission they are not fair and balanced. It is so obvious.”

Lisa Navarrete, a spokesperson for the National Council of La Raza, also found a profit motive in the Fox News Latino enterprise: “At the end of the day, Murdoch is a business man first and their political views come second. They look at the demographic numbers.”

She said many Latinos have trouble trusting anything from Fox News, even if it comes from a Latino-focused site.