Commission Says “No” to Univision Moderating a 4th Presidential Debate

Should Latinos be Outraged? Commission Rejects Univision Debate Bid and Even Tells  CEO Randy Falco “Don’t be a sore loser.”

 The Commission on Presidential Debates’ (CPD) response to Univision CEO Randy Falco’s request asking for an added session targeting Latino voters: Don’t be a sore loser, was simply, “there are many organizations and individuals who wish they had been included in our moderator selection,” they siad. “It is impossible to accommodate all of them.”

Falco said in his letter, that none of the moderators it named can “speak credibly to the concerns of Hispanics in America.” And he wants the independent group to create an additional forum featuring Univision’s news anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas. About 8.7% of all voters are Hispanic, and the Latino population is especially significant in five swing states that could determine whether President Obama or Mitt Romney wins the election: New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Colorado. That’s why “it is surprising that not one moderator is Hispanic,” Falco says.

How easily the CPD dismisses the fastest growing minority in the U.S. Do they not understand what 50.5 million people means to an election?

Adding insult to injury, the CPD goes on to tell Falco that the four moderators it picked “see their assignment as representing all Americans.” And the debates “have always focused on issues of national interest that affect all citizens, including Univision’s audience.”

So Latinos… Hispanics, do not represent a large enough segment of the American population? Once again, better to lump in Latinos with the rest of the group? It just goes to prove that mainstream America decision makers do not understand what it means to be a Latino in America…what it means to be bicultural and represent a buying power of $1 trillion!

The CPD said that it has met with Univision to consider “joint efforts to get the largest number of people possible engaged in discussing and learning from the debates, and (we) remain interested in working with you toward that goal.”

Falco’s letter reiterated the need to schedule a forum “that will speak directly to this burgeoning audience so influential to the presidential dialogue and outcome in order to maximize Hispanic voter participation.”

Univision even offered to help with the arrangements, and include Ramos and Salinas, who he says are “fully bilingual” and are “the journalists most trusted by Hispanics.”

On Monday the Commission said that PBS’ Jim Lehrer, CNN’s Candy Crowley, and CBS’ Bob Schieffer will moderate sessions with the presidential candidates while ABC’s Martha Raddatz handles one with Vice President Joe Biden and his likely GOP challenger Paul Ryan. Not one Hispanic in this group of moderators.

Should Univision extend a separate invitation to the president and Romney along with the VP candidates to a debate addressing the immigration, healthcare and other issues important to Latinos?

Let us know what you think.

–Elia Esparza, Editor


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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).