Moyers: The Rise of Hispanic America
Continued from previous page
Obviously some interviews are just for information. But sometimes when you're confronting the powerful you really have to do that. And I'm completely convinced that the most important social role of us journalists is to confront those who are in power. And the place for us to be is as far as possible from power and you know that, no? I mean, you were in power--
BILL MOYERS: Oh, I discovered after I came into journalism after the White House that the closer you are to the truth is more important than the closer you are to power. So let me declare war on you for just a moment.
JORGE RAMOS: Sure, okay, let's do it.
BILL MOYERS: Declare on you, Univision is constantly referred to by the Republicans as a Democratic leaning if not pro left news organization.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: But we're accused by Democrats as being for being Republican.
BILL MOYERS: The chairman of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas, says quote, "Univision is headed and owned by some sophisticated equity fund guys and they have turned it into a corporate institution of great power with a left-leaning message." Do you see yourself as the MSNBC?
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: Let me tell you something, I have been working for Univision for 31 years and I have gone through five different owners. He's talking about the owners in the last three years. So I don't think that the owners in the last three or four years, besides when you look at our management they are so varied and they never get involved in our coverage. Not once has someone come and told us, "This is what you have to say. This is what you have to do. This is what our editorial position in." No, we're--
BILL MOYERS: I believe you.
JORGE RAMOS: I never received--
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: --and I'll tell you, you know who our bosses--
JORGE RAMOS: --a phone call from--
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: Never.
JORGE RAMOS: --anyone, from a CEO telling me what to say or what not to do. And I can under-- you know, what I really love is that we're being criticized from both sides. Republicans might not like us because of what we are saying about their immigration position or because of some of the coverage that we have. And on the other hand just ask the White House if they're happy with our interview with President Barack Obama, they're not.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: And-- we're going to get answers, you know. Yeah, I'm there to ask questions, but I'm there to get answers. And if I don't a typical politician usually doesn't answer questions, and if you don't get the answer the first time then you happen have to ask it again and again and again in as many different ways as you can--
JORGE RAMOS: But you--
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: --in order to get the answer that you want to serve your community. And that's what our role is really.
BILL MOYERS: Had you two been selected to moderate one of these presidential debates, couple of questions. What would you ask him?
JORGE RAMOS: Obviously we would stress at some point immigration, what would they do with 11 million immigrants. But I want to know what his red line on Iran, I want to find out about how are you going to create 23 million new jobs in this country. I want them to tell me about his relationship with Mexico, how many more people are being killed in Mexico and if we're going to change our programs here in the United States--