Despite the prevalence of nativist rhetoric on its television network, Fox News launched a new website on Tuesday that it hopes will attract assimilated Hispanics. Called Fox News Latino. (Read ‘Latino’ with a “whoosh” sound), the site is mostly in English, but will have some Spanish-language videos.
It will be interesting to see if this website softens the anti-undocumented-immigrant rhetoric so often heard from Fox News commentators. A quick scan of the first day’s headlines: the lead story was the rescue of the Chilean miners, followed by Hispanic Heritage Month Draws To A Close; Latino Man Streaks At Obama Rally; and La-Tea-Nos? And of course, Could a Shape Like J.Lo Save Your Life?
It’s understandable why Fox is interested in developing a following among Latinos–a rapidly growing group that makes up about a seventh of the U.S. population, and is expected to hit 50 million soon. There’s clearly a market, and site manager Francisco Cortes apparently thinks they’re going to dominate by default:
“Right now there’s no exact competition for us,” Cortes told the Miami Herald. “No one else is targeting U.S. Latinos in English on-line, and we think it’s a huge audience.”
That’s not exactly true…as many of Fi2W readers know, there are innumerable websites and blogs in English and Spanish dedicated to American Latinos of all political persuasions. Even Newt Gingrich helped launch The Americano, which targets conservative Latinos.
Not surprisingly, the announcement immediately attracted tongue-in-cheek comments, like Gawker’s Fox News Targets Latinos Unaware that Fox News Hates Latinos.