FLASHBACK: Jorge Ramos Said Trump Indictment Was a ‘Beautiful Act’

News & Politics

It is instructive to remember the words of Jorge Ramos, Univision’s senior anchor and Special Editorial Adviser to the CEO, about the original indictment of former President Donald Trump’s in New York’s business records case, given that there is now a conviction on the books.

As a matter of record, it is also important to remember that Ramos’ derangement led him to conduct a performative confrontation with Trump over immigration, which he later admitted was “produced, and not organic (click “expand” for transcript):

PETER MANSBRIDGE, CBC: Why did you make the decision that you had to go to Iowa to confront Donald Trump?

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: As you know, television… television doesn’t happen. Television is produced. It is created. And, so we brought three cameras, we brought microphones, and our purpose was to talk to Donald Trump. And confront Donald Trump. That was the purpose. As a journalist.

MANSBRIDGE: A confrontation.

RAMOS: I wanted to ask him a question- many questions, but (…) yes, it was going to be a confrontation.

… 

MANSBRIDGE: You keep calling it questions, your “questions”, where in fact you didn’t ask a question. They’re statements, not questions.

MANSBRIDGE: You can not deport 11 million people

RAMOS: You can not deport 11 million… you can not deport 11 million people.

MANSBRIDGE: You can not deport 11 million… you can not deport 11 million people

RAMOS: You can not build a 1900-mile wall.

MANSBRIDGE: You can not deny citizenship to children in this country.

RAMOS: You can not deny citizenship to children in this country.

RAMOS: I confronted him on the fact that he wants to deport 11 million people, and build a wall, and deny citizenship.

RAMOS: We thought that in Dubuque, Iowa, there would be just a few journalists following the candidate. And we were right. So we showed up like two hours before, we brought three cameras, and then we made a plan. I was going to be wearing a microphone so my voice would be at the exact same level as his when we start editing

DONALD TRUMP: No, you haven’t you haven’t been called.

RAMOS: I have… I have the right to ask a question. And this is…no. And this is the question. You can not deport 11 million… you can not deport 11 million people. You can not build a 1900-mile wall. You can not deny citizenship to children in this country.

RAMOS: Then we had the three cameras well-positioned, the lighting was right, and then I made a plan. (…) We planned everything.

RAMOS: TV, television doesn’t happen. You create it. You produce it. It doesn’t happen just like that. And that’s exactly what we did. (…) We NEEDED TO CONFRONT HIM.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: You wanted to get into a fight with him and you got your fight.

RAMOS: We will be judged, as journalists, by how we responded to Donald Trump.

As we noted at the time, Ramos’ op-ed , titled “The beautiful act of indicting former presidents”, opened with an attempt to link Trump with all manner of Latin American strongmen and corrupt politicians:

I come from a country – Mexico – where presidents and former presidents have been untouchable.

We have had presidents who were murderers, corrupt, election fraudsters and cheaters, thieves and magicians who suddenly made their relatives very wealthy. And all left office as free men, without facing justice. All of them. That’s why I believe the indictment of former US President Donald Trump is so instructive.

….

In Mexico, for example, they have a lot to answer for. All the presidents until 2000 were virtually appointed and elected with fraud. The ruler who ordered the murder of dozens and perhaps hundreds of students at the Tlatelolco plaza in 1968 was never put on trial. Nor the one who allowed the halconazo massacre in 1971. One built himself a tacky mansion in what Mexicans came to call Dog Hill, and another acquired a luxurious white home from a contractor in his government.

It’s never been clear how some former presidents live well above the sum of their modest government salaries and pensions. It’s hard to understand why some secret budgets have never been made public.

Latin America is also loaded with corrupt and super-wealthy former presidents. Some efforts, not so convincing, have been made to bring the worst abusers to justice in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Colombia and other places. But only in Peru has this practice become a kind of national sport: President is elected, president is jailed. Or almost so. Eight Peruvian presidents have been arrested or faced criminal charges since the end of the Alberto Fujimori presidency in 2000.

This is the flimsy predicate upon which Ramos builds up to his argument- that Trump should be indicted, tried, and perhaps even die in prison in order to “maintain a healthy democracy”:

Putting presidents, former presidents and coup plotters on trial is an honorable and necessary practice to maintain a healthy democracy.

It is sad that tyrants like Fidel Castro and Augusto Pinochet did not die in prison. Both were responsible for murders, tortures and multiple violations of human rights. Justice never got to Cuba or Chile.

But it’s never too late to start. There are some former Latin American presidents who should not be free. I understand that many presidents, when they win power, prefer to look forward and avoid long and wasteful fights with powerful figures from the past.

But there are times, like in case of Trump and so many others on the continent, when we cannot bury our heads, or morals, in the sand.

The lovely act of putting former presidents on trial is much more about the defense of democracy than a desire for vengeance. It is to bring back down to earth those who abused their immense power. And it is a marvelous lesson for those yet to rule: Do wrong, and we’ll clip your wings.

The implied sentiment is crystal clear here. Ramos thinks Trump should die in prison but doesn’t outright say so. Instead, Ramos hides those sentiments within word salads disguised as history lessons. 

But that last line gave the game away. Ramos cares less about actual democracy than about clipping Trump’s “wings”. If it means doing so via a fatally flawed indictment and trial process, then so be it. Ramos is fine with emulating some of these aforementioned Latin American tyrants if it means Trump is out of the picture. And therein is the fatal, hypocritical flaw in his arguments.

At the time, we observed Ramos’ omission of Nicaraguan leftist strongman Daniel Ortega within his rogues’ gallery. Interestingly enough, Ortega eliminated most of his opposition, including his chief political opponent, via trumped-up charges of financial crimes. Does that sound familiar to anyone? 

There is no doubt that Ramos will publish a follow-up column on the verdict. Disturbingly, he continues to wield significant influence over Univision’s editorial content- to the detriment of Univision’s audience.

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