February 11, 2013
Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes (Jim Cooper / AP)

In the New Republic, Eliza Gray scores an interview with Fox News chief Roger Ailes on just how pivotal is the Latino community to el mundo de Fox:

Ailes sees the Latino audience as a “tremendous business opportunity.” Latinos primarily get their news from Spanish-language networks like Telemundo and Univision. When it comes to English-language cable news, the Latino audience is up for grabs: Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC all average fewer than 100,000 Hispanic viewers during prime time, according to Nielson, a fraction of the roughly two million people who tune in to Univision’snewscast, “Noticiero Univision.”

The story, of course, features the sine qua non of absolutely any piece of journalism relating to conservatives and Latinos: the assertion that Republicans, and right-leaning politicians in general, have a philosophy that appeals to the heart and soul of the average Latino. Here’s Ailes’s iteration:

“The fact is, we have a lot — Republicans have a lot more opportunity for them,” Ailes says. “If I’m going to risk my life to run over the fence to get into America, I want to win. I think Fox News will articulate that.”

And this: “I happen to think that the Latino audience is an essentially traditional audience and will go to Fox News for traditional American values,” Ailes told TNR.

Ailes and his colleagues at Fox are hoping that this mind-meld will boost properties like Fox News Latino, an English-language site, and the long-standing Fox broadcasting networks. Yet bringing a greater Latino flavor to Fox coverage may require sowing divisions within the Fox audience. A September study by National Hispanic Media Coalition found that 70 percent of the Fox News audience reacted poorly to the term “illegal alien,” a figure that beat the corresponding numbers for talk radio (67 percent), CNN (57 percent), MSNBC (55 percent), PBS (53 percent) and NPR (46 percent). Wonder how those folks would respond to an ever-more-Latino-friendly Fox News?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.