Last Friday, NBC News’ Brian Williams interviewed a number of Hispanics to find out why it is that President Obama did so well with their demographic in last week’s presidential election.
A man named Salvador, who has a successful career and lives in Wichita, Texas, was one of the interviewees. He was born in Mexico and moved to the United States 21 years ago. When asked why he voted for the president, Williams was surprised to learn that he, in fact, did not. Salvador had supported Mitt Romney. He did, however, offer his take on why he believed so many Hispanics did vote for President Obama.
“Unfortunately the majority of the Mexican people that come over to the United States, they’re already marginalized in their own country,” he told Williams. “They don’t have very much education and they believe that the government is the only source of wealth.”
Salvador expressed discouragement in America’s growing entitlement society, saying about his fellow Hispanics, “It is a tragedy, because all their potential, all their gifts, are just totally shut down. They cannot produce. If I would have listened to the Democratic Party when I came into this country, I would not be where I am today… They treat you as a lower class. They make you believe that they can provide things for you. But, in the end, you give your dignity to them instead of keeping it.”
When asked of his thoughts on the Republican party and how they approach the Hispanic community, Salvador said, “Every conservative that I’ve talked to, they treat me as a person. They don’t see me as a Mexican. They don’t see the color of the skin. They’re interested in my character, and I’m interested in their character. I don’t see them as white, green, blue, whatever it is.”
When Williams asked Salvador what people from his community thought of his political views, he said, “Certainly I’m told I’m not Hispanic enough. I’m not holding to my culture.”
The interview segment ended with Salvador telling Williams that he feared the United States was going down the same path as his home country. “I’ve seen this movie before, you know? That’s the way Mexico is. They [the Obama administration] just have to look at how Mexico is today. There are so many resources there. There’s a lot of people that could produce things but the mentality is not there, and the government will not allow it to happen.”
It was an provocative segment to say the least. Even for those who disagree with Salvador’s political views, his expressed thoughts on the dynamic of the country were fascinating. His concern, that the vision of the Democratic party and President Obama includes the discouragement of poor workers’ entrepreneurial spirit, should be something worthy of a societal discussion. His charge, that the Democrats’ primary contribution to their Hispanic constituency is government dependency, should be a something worth considering.
You’ve got to hand it to Brian Williams for airing a perspective, like this, that flies in the face of the media-driven, conventional wisdom that the Democratic party is a friend to the Hispanic community, and the Republicans are not.
There’s only one problem, however. Brian Williams wasn’t actually the person who interviewed Salvador. Conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh was. Salvador called into his radio show last Friday.
Forgive me for my act of deception, but there is a point to my false claim that Williams was the man bringing Salvador’s viewpoint to air. It relates to a discussion Williams had with NBC analysts on election night, in which he seemed to endorse the idea that the Republican party should “shut down” conservative figureheads in the media like Rush Limbaugh. The insinuation, of course, was that it was the rhetoric and influence of such people that alienated potential GOP voters in this year’s election.
I don’t doubt that Williams honestly thinks such an act would benefit both the GOP and the country. He and people like him assuredly believe that it’s the conservative media and conservative thought that are standing in the way of America freely evolving into the perfect, secular society that many liberals have always dreamed of.
What liberal media elites like Williams don’t understand, however, is that the only reason the conservative media is so wildly popular in this country, is because mainstream media outlets (like his employer, NBC) simply don’t lend a voice to people like Salvador whose life-lessons and beliefs stand in firm opposition to their liberal sensibilities.
Can any reasonably intelligent person listen to the words of a man like Salvador, and not at least concede that he makes a point worthy of a discussion? Heck, maybe it’s even worthy of that elusive “national discussion” we keep hearing politicians talk about. But anyone who pays close attention to today’s mainstream media knows darn well that we’ll never hear this kind of opinion communicated on any of the network news evening broadcasts, especially if it’s coming from a Hispanic individual living in the Hispanic community. An immigrant from Mexico who believes that the Democratic party oppresses Mexican Americans, and that Republicans view him as an individual and not through the prism of race? Something like this is not just uncomfortable to liberals. They view it as Science Fiction!
You see, what really torques off the media-elites in this country is a narrative that doesn’t recognize their own viewpoints as the undisputed, prevailing wisdom. And until they start placing some value on the discipline it takes to offer an honest and inclusive media product to the public, the conservative media will continue to grow in popularity.
The problem, of course, isn’t limited to dissenting opinions. It runs the spectrum. All of the media double-standards, the commentary disguised as reporting, the omission of inconvenient stories , the promotion of dishonest stories – they all build the case for a conservative counterbalance.
Brian Williams, and all those of similar mind who came before him, may despise people like Rush Limbaugh and want him off the air. The irony that continues to elude them, however, is that the growing success of the conservative media is a product of their own creation. If the mainstream media truly wants to diminish the power of the conservative media, the most effective weapon they have to achieve that goal isn’t to rely on left-wing smear-groups like Media Matters and MoveOn.org to do it for them. No, their most effective weapon is to bring integrity, fairness, and balance to their own organizations.
I think we all know by now, however, that they just don’t have that in them.