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Univision and Telemundo Decry Protestors at Anti-Mask Rally For Not Wearing Masks

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Univision and Telemundo, two of the main media outlets for Hispanics in the United States, were outraged by the demonstrations held in Washington D.C. on January 23, where thousands of citizens protested vaccine and mask mandates.

Univision highlighted in a tweet that the protest “in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in the capital was marked by hundreds of people without masks,” something that could be expected considering the purpose of the demonstrations.

Some Twitter users criticized the network for its double standard, arguing that the networks did not condemn Antifa or Black Lives Matter militants last year for not wearing masks during the summer 2020 riots. In fact, Univision consistently defended BLM protests, labeling them peaceful and justifying the violence by blaming “extreme right-wing groups.”

 Univisión y Telemundo critican a personas por protestas sin tapabocas contra mandatos de máscaras y vacunas
Univision justifying violence in the summer 2020 riots and blaming far-right groups. (Screenshot)

Telemundo also criticized the protesters who went to the National Mall. The network labeled those present as “anti-vaxxers,” as if they were against vaccinating people against COVID-19. This manipulated the genuine purpose of the protest: to demonstrate against vaccine and masks mandates to enter restaurants or closed establishments.

“In the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands, people came to the capital to protest against the health mandates. There were thousands, all without masks,” the voiceover in the Telemundo report said in an alarming tone. “A crowd applauding the leading figures of the anti-vaccine movement, many, like Marcela, traveled from other states.”

 Univisión y Telemundo critican a personas por protestas sin tapabocas contra mandatos de máscaras y vacunas
Telemundo labels citizens who showed up in DC to protest immunization mandates as “anti-vaccine.” (Screenshot)

For Univision and Telemundo: anti-vaccine no, anti-mandates yes

Curiously, while both networks labeled the demonstrators as anti-vaxxers, Telemundo’s own report interviewed two women who made their positions clear and did not define themselves as opposed to vaccination, but rather to its obligatory nature or violation of freedom of choice.

“It is my own decision, it also seems unfair to me that they do not allow to enter restaurants, that children have to be vaccinated from the age of five,” said Marcela Samacá to Telemundo.

“I respect the person who wants to get this vaccine, I respect them. But I also ask respect for those of us who do not want to get it,” said Elena Mujica.

Activists march on the National Mall during a “Defeat Mandates” rally in Washington, DC, United States, January 23, 2022. Several thousand protesters attended the rally. (EFE)

In statements to the EFE news agency, several of the demonstrators who made their way to Washington explained their position regarding vaccines and their mandatory nature for workers linked to the federal government.

“I am not anti-vaccine. What I am is anti-mandate. What I am saying is that everyone should be able to choose what they want: to get vaccinated or not; to wear a mask or not,” said protester Nadia Zoltan, who traveled to Washington from Pennsylvania with her husband and two sisters. “Getting fired from your job for not getting vaccinated is tyranny, that has no other name. And America cannot be a tyranny.”

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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