After a year of feuding with Donald Trump, Univision is finding that Republicans are unwilling to appear on the network, according to Enrique Acevedo, the anchor spearheading Univision’s coverage of the Trump administration.
Acevedo said GOP members of Congress — save for those who represent the Miami area, where Univision is headquartered and is particularly strong — have been avoiding the network, the nation’s largest Spanish language platform, since inauguration day.
“It’s happened more since the inauguration. It’s harder to get access to Republicans than it is to get access to Democrats and I understand why that is. Republicans think they have more to lose going on Univision,” Acevedo said, citing his attempts to get Republican senators like Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on the air. “If we get an answer, which is an exception, the answer is: ‘It’s a busy week, they’re not doing media,’ and then we see them on Fox or CNN.”
Prior to the 2016 election, Univision’s leaders often declared that the road to the White House ran through the Latino community — and that the road to the Latino community ran through them. Univision executives gave presentations to Republican candidates, explaining to them how important Univision was to the Hispanic community, and how important that community would be to anyone who wished to get elected.
But the election results seemed to call that notion into question, as the candidate who launched his campaign with a promise to build a wall along the Southern border was elected by a solid margin in the Electoral College. The man who threw top Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference and never granted Univision an interview became President Donald Trump.
Acevedo said when it comes to sit-down interviews, Univision is often categorized as “ethnic” media and gets pushed aside, even though in some markets such as Los Angeles, Spanish-language networks can attract higher ratings than their English-language broadcast competitors. But Acevedo said he believes there are other motives.
“The Republicans have already built the wall around Univision and our audience,” said Acevedo, who moved to Washington to cover the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration. “They can ignore us at their own peril but it’s a disservice to the 55 million Latinos who want to hear form their members of Congress regardless of affiliation and they deserve to hear from them.”