Rep. Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat, predicted that Republicans would be forced to make nice with the new channel because of its potential as a force in the “crossover of Hispanic culture . . . that makes Hispanics, and Univision, more powerful.”
Top Republicans say they are already hoping to make overtures to Fusion before it goes on the air. “Our job at this point, rather than complain or criticize, is to meet with these folks and hope to impart on them the importance of covering our points of view more extensively,” says Al Cardenas, the Cuban-American chairman of the American Conservative Union who has advised Republican politicians on reaching the Hispanic electorate.
Ramos is often the object of GOP concerns about Fusion because of his open advocacy of legalizing undocumented migrants, dating back to a period when most Republican leaders were staunchly opposed. Ramos makes no apologies. He insists he’s intent on Fusion representing a “pro-Hispanic” viewpoint, but not favoring either Republicans or Democrats. His supporters point to his aggressive questioning of Obama about immigration as proof that he won’t go easy on Democrats.
Sherwood, the ABC news president, says “Fusion will be guided by the standards of ABC News.” But he leaves open the possibility of “clearly delineated opinion or advocacy.”
“We don’t intend to change Univision,” Sherwood says. “Univision doesn’t intend to change us.”
A clearly shifting demographic
During his off hours, Ramos says he’s the family driver, hauling kids to water polo and the like. The 54-year-old anchor didn’t speak English when he came to the United States from Mexico on a student visa as a 28-year-old, but his children were born here.
“When I talk to them, it’s always in English,” Ramos says. “When I talk to them in Spanish, they answer me in English.” He may be the biggest thing in Spanish-language news, but his kids don’t watch his show and their friends don’t either.
On those car rides with his kids and their friends, he says, they are always correcting him. He’s chosen the wrong word. His grammar is incorrect. He’s pronounced something wrong.
“I still have an accent,” he says in a Mexican-inflected voice that is a kind of music of its own. “And I’ll die with an accent.”
The children of the people who watch him each night on Univision will have accents, too. He knows that.
They’ll sound like Americans.