Univision president and CEO Randy Falco says the presidential debate commission has abdicated its “responsibility to represent and reflect one of the largest and most influential communities in the U.S.” by not including a Hispanic journalist among those moderating the three upcoming debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
In an email today to Janet H. Brown, executive director of The Commission on Presidential Debates, Falco expresses his “disappointment and frankly disbelief” over the absence of Hispanic journalists on the Clinton/Trump moderating panels. Though acknowledging that the inclusion of CBS’s Elaine Quijano as a moderator for the Vice Presidential debate, Quijano’s selection “seems insufficient when taking into account past presidential cycles, future demographic trends and the important role Latinos play in the economic and social fabric of this great nation.”
Falco continues, ” The Hispanic community will play a pivotal role in electing the next Presidentand in all federal elections for the foreseeable future.”
“Simply put,” writes Falco, it’s an abdication of your responsibility to represent and reflect one of the largest and most influential communities in the U.S.” Read the entire letter here.
Falco’s email comes in response to this morning’s announcement by the Commission that the three presidential debates would be moderated by NBC’s Lestor Holt, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
Quijano will moderate the October 4 VP debate between the GOP’s Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine.
Falco asks the Commission to “reconsider” its moderator selection. “We look forward to working with the Commission to address what we believe to be a troubling trend – the lack of the Hispanic perspective– and hope we can forge a new path forward.”
Univision, the American Spanish-language network, has an uneasy relationship with Republican nominee Trump, who sued the network after Univision dropped its broadcast of the Miss Universe pageant following Trump’s infamous comments about Mexican immigrants being “rapists” and criminals. Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe Organization, sued the networks for $500 million; the suit was later settled out of court.
Even more controversial was last year’s imbroglio between Trump and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. When Ramos repeatedly demanded that his question be answered during an August 2015 Trump Q&A, the candidate had him tossed from the room, adding “go back to Univision.”