After Donald Trump booted Univision’s Jorge Ramos from his Iowa press conference Tuesday night for interrupting and repeatedly shouting out questions without being called on, Ramos took to Twitter to explain himself.
I’m a reporter. My job is to ask questions. What’s “totally out of line” is to eject a reporter from a press conference for asking questions— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) August 26, 2015
Ramos has been called the “Walter Cronkite of Latino America,” but he has a history of behaving more like an activist with a cable-news platform than a reporter.
Ramos sees himself as the gatekeeper to Latinos—and therefore: a political kingmaker.
“There’s a new rule in American politics and the new rule is: No one can make it to the White House without the Latino vote,” Ramos said after being chosen as one of the “Time 100” most influential people. “The next president of the United States is going to have to talk to us over here in this newsroom. Because without this newsroom and without talking directly to Latinos, no one can make it to the White House.”
Ramos loves to editorialize.
“Right now Donald Trump is, no question, the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States,” Ramos told his audience last week.
During his report, Ramos repeatedly asserted that building a wall along the border with Mexico is unthinkable and physically impossible.
“Can you imagine building a fence for the 1,900 miles between Mexico and the United States? It is absurd!” Ramos fumed.
A few days later, Ramos doubled down on his commentary on CNN.
“It’s impossible,” Ramos sputtered. “He can’t build a 1,900-mile [wall] . . . and it’s absurd.”
“When you call 11 million people in this country ‘illegals’ — and no human being is ‘illegal’ — isn’t that spreading hate? That’s precisely what’s affecting the Hispanic community,” Ramos continued with obvious emotion. “Look this is not politics for us. This is personal. When he’s talking about immigrants, he’s talking about me.”
He’s not above a good publicity stunt.
Ramos doesn’t hesitate to insert himself into the story. Last summer, Ramos swam the Rio Grande from the American side to the Mexican side (and back!).
“They cross the river. They risk their lives. And for them, the American dream starts right here,” Ramos told his audience after climbing back onto the U.S. shore.
The intrepid journalist braved rocks, chest-high water, and “a very strong current” in his attempt to . . . what exactly?
Interestingly, Ramos wouldn’t illegally step into Mexico.
“That’s Mexico, that’s the Mexican side, and because of legal issues we won’t touch the Mexican side,” Ramos said.
Ramos openly advocates for his preferred policies.
Last spring, after the House tabled the Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration-reform bill, Ramos confronted Speaker John Boehner at a press conference.
“Mr. Speaker, we came here to ask you why you are blocking immigration reform,” Ramos told Boehner.
“Me? Blocking?” Boehner replied.
“Yes, you. You could bring it for a vote and you haven’t,” Ramos said.
Boehner explained that the Republican-controlled House didn’t trust the Obama administration to enforce any new immigration laws as written, but Ramos ignored his explanation and admonished him:
“You haven’t done it. You can do it and you really haven’t done it,” Ramos exclaimed.
“I appreciate your opinion. Thank you,” Boehner deadpanned.
Even President Obama has lost patience with Ramos over his outspoken advocacy on the issue.
“And those, like you Jorge, who suggest that there are simple, quick answers to these problems . . .” the president said in a sit down.
“I never said that . . .” Ramos tried to interrupt.
“Oh yes you do! Because that’s how you present it,” Obama shot back. “When you present it that way it does a disservice.”
After scolding Ramos, Obama lifted him back up — and assigned him marching orders.
“And so the question I have for you, Jorge,” Obama continued, “because you’re going to have a big voice is: Are you going to do a good job?”
Ramos is confused about his job description.
Jorge Ramos seems to think activism and advocacy are not incompatible with journalism.
After President Obama’s executive orders on immigration last winter, Ramos explained that Obama was “paying a debt to the Latino community.”
“President Barack Obama felt the pressure, no question about it, from Hispanic leaders, from Latino organizations, from journalists,” Ramos said. From journalists?
In an article posted on his personal website in January, Ramos wrote that if Republicans in Congress challenged President Obama’s immigration executive orders, millions of illegal immigrants “would face deportation again. Latinos have no choice but to take this personally.”
“What Republicans don’t understand is that for us, the immigration issue is the most pressing symbolically and emotionally, and the stance a politician takes on this defines whether he is with us or against us,” Ramos added.
At least you know where he stands.
— Mark Antonio Wright is an intern at National Review.