Saturday, June 28, 2008

McCain, Hispanic voters deserved better

Simply out of respect for all the sacrifice required to run for president, Sen. John McCain deserved better from CNN in its coverage of his remarks today to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday afternoon before 4 p.m. CST, anchor Rick Sanchez and his network showed Sen. Barack Obama making his pitch on immigration reform to Hispanic politcos. But CNN focused on anti-war protestors who interrupted McCain's remarks. Sanchez, even in a subsequent interview with a conference observer, did not let Hispanic voters like myself know what McCain said about immigration reform -- particularly in what would come first ... more border security or steps for undocumented workers and their families to gain legal status.

Damn those anti-war protestors for trying to take away our forum. Hispanics get few chances to be heard on the national poltical stage. Damn them also for showcasing such disrepect at our conference. Our culture emphasizes respect for patriots and those who have served, even if we disagree with them. Now people will believe that Latino officials were behind the demonstration. And shame on CNN for giving these protestors a further forum.

While to his credit Sanchez was trying to emphasize to the nation that Latinos were not behind the inappropriate protests, he forgot to inform Latino voters about what McCain was saying concerning what he would do on issues close to our hearts. That's forgivable under the stress of the moment, but it just seems we get shortchanged in the media coverage all the time. And Sanchez -- who has done a much better job before Saturday in bringing attention to Latino issues -- is sadly segregated to Saturdays and Sundays.

CNN did televise the NALEO appearances live. But for many Hispanic advocates like myself, Saturday is a critical time of the week to connect with the community. I was writing a grant for $20,000 to help make the loan payments on Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church here in Nashville. I have to go to the public library to use their computers and copier.

So I was depending on CNN to tell me what happened at NALEO.

Did McCain and Obama address stopping the 287(g) program that's ravaging Latino families in Nashville?

Did McCain and Obama address ending the ICE raids of workplaces?

Did McCain condemn the Minutemen harrassing Hispanics in Maricopa County in Arizona, along with the local sheriff?

We need political pressure placed now against those mistreating Latinos, not wait so many more months for a new president. The candidates must be forced to take a stand on these matters immediately if they want the Hispanic vote.

Earlier in the day, CNN anchor T.J. Holmes did a good job interviewing a Latino newspaper columnist on what Latino voters are saying and what they want to hear from the candidates.

Thank goodness for the internet and bloggers, where I could get the full story on what the candidates said at NALEO. I'll post on that tomorrow after I analyze the remarks and candidate records.

No comments: