Trump on Mexican TV
Trump’s comment, over a year ago, of Mexico sending rapists and murderers, is the core of most people’s, particularly Mexicans and liberals, sole understanding and impressions of Trump. The media onslaught against him is complicit in creating false, misleading, and negative ideas about the candidate. They take his comments out of context, they focus on scandals of little importance, they take Trump’s worst possible facial expressions and couple them with misleading headlines, while obsessing over his mistakes (never even remotely showing the same scrutiny for Hillary Clinton, even after she coughs up half of herself in the form of phlegm or calls a third of Americans ‘deplorable’). The Mexican media and television gives Trump the same treatment; they portray him as a rogue businessman, a blatant racist, intolerant of minorities, and a buffoon.
The morning of Trump’s Mexico visit, Despierta, con Carlos Loret, a morning show on Televisa, showed a montage of all of Trump’s anti-Mexican comments. The montage began with Trump yelling, “Get em out of here!” to disruptive protesters at his rallies. The editing implied however, that Trump was saying that to Mexicans. They repeat the Mexican rapist comment about three times, coupled with “Get them out of here!” and presto, the power of suggestion.
Carlos Loret hosted a panel of analysts and commentators. Mexico, they suggested, had become a protagonist in this U.S election and not in a good way. Most of them were baffled, trying to figure out what Peña Nieto had to gain by inviting Trump to Mexico. None of them could really say, but they did have Enrique Krauze on, the renowned Mexican writer, talking about Trump as a tyrant and comparing him to Hitler.
“It [Trump’s trip to Mexico] was surreal because Mr. Trump has spent his entire campaign painting Mexico as a nation of rapists, drug smugglers, and trade hustlers who would have to pay for the 2,000 mile border wall that Mr. Trump was going to build.”
Proceso translates almost the entire piece and praises it as
“Fue surrealista porque Trump ha dedicado toda su campaña a pintar a México como una nación de violadores, traficantes de drogas y de comerciantes estafadores; quienes tienen que pagar por el muro de más de 3 mil kilómetros de largo que quiere construir en la frontera”, sentenció el poderoso rotativo en el principal editorial de su edición impresa de este jueves."
People outside of the U.S might not recognize the Times consistent bias. Saying that Trump has spent his entire campaign painting Mexico as a nation of rapists, is a bit of an overstatement. Trump has mostly referred to illegal immigrants committing crimes. Yet most Mexicans refuse to hear anything else about Trump at this point. The racist card is a convenient narrative for the left leaning media, who doesn’t need to address any of Trump’s policies if he’s simply seen as a bigot and xenophobe or a candidate using intimidation tactics on voters.
Proceso repeats, as stated in the New York Times piece, that Trump’s immigration plan focused solely on fear, breaking up families, and ruining the country, a clear misrepresentation of his policy speech.
And the clip the Mexican media kept playing was Trump’s bombastic opening:
“Are you ready? Are you ready?! We’re going to build a great wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.”
And ok, it looks bad. If you’re in Mexico that looks bad. He comes back from your country after making your President look like a chump, leaving a trail of political chaos behind, and this is the opening to his speech, which he then follows by saying you are going to pay for his wall, you just don’t know it, even though he knows you’re watching. I can see the accusations about how he humiliated your country.
So it had to be that Peña Nieto, or someone in the Mexican government, was getting something out of it too because there is no way Peña Nieto did not foresee this reaction of the Mexican people.
In terms of Trump, he can’t soften on the wall, probably why he hid the fact that Peña did tell him he refused to pay. This is America First at play; it’s not necessarily pretty. It seemed like he dominated that press conference. Had he been asked for an apology, he probably would have said no. He’s not Obama, going around apologizing for America’s actions and calling Americans lazy and dumb in his recent trip to Laos.
One more thing worth pointing out in the New York Times piece:
“He has no workable plan to seal the border, build a wall, or repair the economy once he destroys it by devastating the immigrant workforce. He would however, be able to make millions of immigrants miserable, and break up their families, and damage the country.”
One crucial detail is that Trump entire speech is focused on ILLEGAL immigrants, but this “powerful” editorial appears to gloss over that distinction. His speech focused on illegal criminals and suggested a softening, a negotiation, with people living here illegally that have an established life and no criminal record.
What’s important here is, a piece like this in the New York Times not only gets read by a bunch of yuppies on Macbooks in coffee shops, or dozens of liberal college professors heading to class to indoctrinate students, and/or many unsuspecting liberals and hipsters wearing Che Guevara shirts, but it gets reiterated in the Mexican media and makes its way to many far removed Mexicans, who might not recognize the inaccuracy and bias present in the New York Times and most of which will never sit and listen to a Trump speech in its entirety. And so forms this racist shadowy figure from the dark corners of the Right.
And while Trump is not a traditional Conservative and has some policies, like his maternity plan, that might infuriate traditional Conservatives (and to some degree rightly so), he's seen as the Republican, the nutty Right wing guy. I have this contention I've arrived at after many a conversations with family, is that many Mexicans have no deep understanding of the political right in America and that much of that is due to the media. Just in the last two weeks I've encountered several blog posts and articles written by Latino writers where the word Conservative is used synonymously with racist and xenophobe.
The mainstream media, Hollywood, television, comedy, consistently vilifies the Right and makes them look like old white intolerant racist gringos with guns. So it’s easy to put Trump into that basket.
Take for example the recent roast of Rob Lowe on Comedy Central. Everyone’s talking about it because it’s fun to hate Ann Coulter, even though the left constantly repudiates the word hate and accuses Donald Trump of spreading it. (Love Trump’s hate, isn’t that their tag line?) They don’t mind hating and viciously hating someone that doesn’t think like them though. This is the great irony of a lot of the mainstream left. Ann Coulter was not only attacked and villified, but the editing of the show aided in making her look like a sour puss idiot. She didn’t use the jokes written for her because she thought she'd kind of be insulting herself. So she used her own and took a risk by going out of her element. Regardless of whether she "gets" the point of a roast, it's clear that Comedy Central thought it would be funny to edit the show in a way that highlighted the impression of her as the enemy, an unwanted outsider. Because, of course, she’s a Conservative, which means she’s evil and rightfully hated. I guarantee that nobody in that audience has ever looked past her slightly hyperbolic, at times incendiary, language, which she uses to sell books (very effectively), and tried to actually understand her arguments. No no no, Conservatives are not allowed to have a sense of humor.
Mexicans understood that Trump’s visit to Mexico would help his campaign and have zero benefits for them. It's still difficult to pin point just what Peña Nieto got out of it. Once again, they’re sold out by their own leaders. And they would be damned if their incompetent President’s invitation was an important turning point for Trump’s campaign and helped his numbers in the poll. And it did. So Trump, as portrayed in the Mexican media, is now not only a racist, but a bully that came into their country when he wasn't wanted and stood tall, stood his ground, and towered over their President. And this impression is so strong that no matter what Trump's policies are, most people will be unable to shake off this idea that Trump is their biggest enemy, they won't even attempt to understand his meaning, or see through the media's bias that skews his image. They'll just believe. They'll believe and eventually that belief will solidify and never budge.