Facing substantial Latino loses, the left-wing establishment media is buckling down in a big-dollar business venture some community members have referred to as an attempt to cut conservative communications with the voting bloc.
According to an exclusive interview with NBC News, Maria Teresa Kumar, an MSNBC contributor and founding president of Voto Latino, had long seen the need for such a project but finally dove in and answered the call to action in recent weeks, when she discovered her elderly mother had decided to forgo the coronavirus vaccine over online allegations the rapidly developed inoculation was unsafe.
Mobilizing the Media War-Machine
The scope of the project will not be restricted to public health particulars, however. With the help of former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, another longstanding proponent for suppressing supposed “misinformation,” Kumar and Media Matters’ Angelo Carusone will use their respective organizations to subsidize a “Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab” aimed at combating potentially incorrect political speech as well.
“The 2020 election showed us that the greatest obstacle to our thriving democracy is having people understand and navigate truth,” Kumar said. “It has come down to a matter of literally life and death when disinformation is targeting a community to the point that they don’t take care of themselves and don’t get vaccinated.”
Goal is to help combat disinfo that was so prevalent in 2020 election cycle and now surrounds Covid-19.
Former DNC Chairman Tom Perez will be involved. pic.twitter.com/ijtdJ1DDtA
— Sabrina Rodríguez (@sabrod123) February 18, 2021
Online disinformation has emerged as something of a hot topic in light of the 2016 presidential election result, which saw Democratic operatives and elected officials allege former President Donald Trump had won the White House on the back of misinformation spread across the social media sphere, in part by the Russian intelligence community.
When a years-long federal investigation turned up evidence of minor messaging interference, the American left doubled down, alleging a wider network of malicious and targeted misinformation on the 2020 campaign trail.
Such allegations were the primary driver behind expanded fact-checking efforts throughout the 2020 election cycle, a reality that led conservative outlets and figures to argue they had been disproportionately impacted by the resulting content suppression and enforcement on a series of high-profile social media platforms.
“There are bad actors that go into multiple groups and drop false memes and narratives,” Carusone said. “Clearly what we saw was not just some organic misinformation bubbling up. The right recognized the opportunity. They recognized there’s a value with flooding the zone in these communities with lies and misinformation.”
Going forward, the progressive politico said, Media Matters would have boots on the ground “infiltrating closed messaging groups” and “monitoring” political information spread across a variety of mediums. Flagged content would then be forwarded to Voto Latino for the purposes of crafting a rapid response to combat questionable narratives.
“Fighting misinformation is trench warfare,” after all.
The Left’s Miami Vice
Conservative Latino voices were anything but assured that “trench warfare” would be to the benefit of their wider community, however, panning the project as a purely partisan endeavor.
Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, for instance, was quick to point out that the language behind the campaign was in line with a long history of “condescending” rhetoric directed toward communities of color.
Democrats had long attempted to serve as an arbiter of truth on behalf of the black and Hispanic voting blocs, labeling content outside the left-wing establishment media umbrella as opinion or outright falsehood, rather than allowing those under-served communities the opportunity to draw their own conclusions.
“This is part of a general strategy that’s also being used with mainstream media,” Aguilar told The Western Journal. “The idea that, ‘Conservatives are just lying and we’re telling the objective truth.’ So, you know, it’s pretty simple to just– So, there’s no debate anymore. Right? Because ‘I’m right and you’re wrong objectively.’ So, the debate’s over and they’re trying to use the same strategy with Spanish language audiences.”
“And this is the problem with Democrats, and we’re seeing it now, is that they want to stifle speech,” he said. “Instead of engaging in the battle of ideas, what they want is to silence conservatives because they’re afraid that the Hispanic audience is going to hear both sides and say, ‘You know what? I like the other side better.'”
Prager University alumni Emma Jimenez and Anna Paulina Luna, a former Florida congressional candidate, separately informed The Western Journal last week that they had seen such things play out with regard to coronavirus vaccine response in their own communities.
According to a comprehensive study conducted by COVID Collaborative, just 14 percent of black respondents and 34 percent of Latino respondents believe the coronavirus vaccine is safe. But Jimenez and Luna argued that those numbers were the result of far more than widespread naivety and right-wing deception in communities of color.
Even before the virus, substantial levels of vaccine skepticism had existed in the aforementioned communities, in large part thanks to historical medical discrimination and abuses like the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Democratic campaign skepticism, racially driven vaccination strategies and recent suggestions that inoculation is not a free pass to return to normalcy only exacerbated that skepticism, according to Jimenez, whose elderly mother had decided to forego the vaccine.
Jimenez went on to argue that these realities were beside the point for members of the Democratic Party, who she believed were simply using health misinformation claims as cover for a campaign to suppress conservative political speech in the community, delegitimizing it as false, if not intentionally deceptive.
The suggestion was anything but far-fetched for Luna, who cited the recent growth of the Latino voting bloc as reason enough for the left to seek total narrative control in efforts to court the community.
“I am not surprised at seeing this,” Luna told The Western Journal. “The DNC has shifted their focus [from] the black community to Hispanic Americans as the largest voting minority in their country from 2020 onward is Hispanic Americans.”
Of course, voting data from the 2020 presidential election fails to reflect that clear focus. According to Edison Media Research cited by Reuters, Trump walked away with 31 percent support in the Latino community last cycle, a strong 3 percent increase from 2016.
Nowhere was that difference felt more strongly than in the Latino stronghold of Miami-Dade County, Florida, where Trump fell to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by just seven percentage points. Previous Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton had more than quadrupled those margins the previous cycle, carrying the district by roughly 30 percentage points.
The Western Journal sources were unanimous in suggesting that those numbers had likely spurred on the $22 million left-wing investment in Spanish language media, awakening the Democratic Party to just how well conservative ideals resonate in the Latino community.
“This is your typical socialist playbook — it’s to blame misinformation. Whatever you don’t agree with, they call misinformation,” Linda Catalina, a local resident and Latina influencer, said.
“The reality is that Latinos are natural conservatives. Personally speaking, I’m Colombian. Colombia is a very Catholic country, just like Mexico and just like most of South America and Central America. Because of that, we are mostly anti-abortion. We are pro-freedom. We’ve seen what socialism and corruption has done to our home countries. We value freedom, which is what we came for, you know, when we came to this country.”
“It’s insane how little awareness they have of their voters and how little they care about us, where we come from, what our values are,” she added.
“The reality is that the Democratic Party is completely out of touch with the voters, especially the Latino voters — and we’re sick and tired of their s***, their ‘Latinx.’ All that stuff? We hate it.”
The Western Journal has reached out to Perez, Media Matters and Voto Latino, but did not immediately receive a response.
Did you know that The Western Journal now publishes some content in Spanish as well as English, for international audiences? Click here to read this article on The Western Journal en Español!
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