Univision Deal With Clinton Attracts Charges of Media Bias

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 12:40 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Hillary Clinton has negotiated a partnership with a cable network giving her direct access to nearly every Hispanic television household in the country, an arrangement some suggest screams of media bias and a potentially unfair advantage for the presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

The former secretary of state has entered into a multi-year contract with Univision, the largest Spanish-language news network in America, to promote a childhood development initiative through her "Too Small to Fail" program started last year, giving her a direct channel through which to reach the politically influential Hispanic community, The Washington Post reported recently.

The program, "Pequenos y Valiosos," or "Young and Valuable" will encourage parents to engage their young children in developing language skills.

"Although the program has worthy goals, the problem here is that a major broadcaster is getting awfully close to a presumptive nominee for president," Raul Reyes, a member of USA Today's Board of Contributors, wrote in a column Monday.

Reyes points out that one of the owners of Univision, Haim Saban, is a major Clinton donor and backer who once told an Israeli newspaper, "Seeing her in the White House is a big dream of mine."

Reyes also notes that Clinton is featured in five out of six of the slides promoting the program on the Univision website.

"A second problem is that many in the press are largely ignoring this relationship," he wrote. "With Univision a huge force in media and Clinton a huge figure in politics, the public interest is not served by the press that overlooks their partnership."

The Heritage Foundation, meanwhile, says in its blog that the deal is "the definition of media bias."

"At at a time when press freedom is under attack worldwide, and the U.S. is tumbling in the latest global press freedom index, it's especially important to hold our media outlets accountable when they are providing an outlet to a possible presidential aspirant to connect with the fastest-growing and youngest demographic in the United States for a multi-year partnership," wrote the blog's author, Israel Ortega.

"Reyes has it right: 'The mainstream press should wake up to a story that lies in plain view: The Univision/ Clinton ties deserve careful, thorough scrutiny.'"

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