President Obama’s announcement of his immigration executive order Thursday night is apparently for Latino ears only. Though the White House claims that they sent out “feelers” to the major English-speaking networks, they didn’t bother sending an official request for coverage. Instead, only Latino networks Univision and Telemundo are airing the president’s 10-minute announcement.
As The Washington Post notes, the president’s 8 p.m. announcement comes at a particularly opportune time for reaching a “captive audience of Hispanic television viewers”: the 15th annual Latin Grammys, which airs on Univision starting at 7 p.m. Last year around 9.8 million viewers tuned into the awards ceremony. Univision is doing its part to make sure the president's message reaches its millions of viewers by temporarily postponing the show to broadcast Obama’s address.
Reports have it that illegal immigrants across the country are throwing watch parties in anticipation of the president’s announcement of amnesty for around 5 million immigrants here illegally. One Chicago Latino leader, Pastor Emma Lozano of Aldaberto United Methodist Church, told The Washington Times she’ll be watching the address alongside people currently facing deportation:
“We’re going to be watching this very closely, people in my church,” said Aldaberto. “We’re going to have the TV on in both languages and really praying and hoping we get what we deserve.”
Though Politico reports that the White House is “exasperated” that the big English-speaking networks “snubbed” the announcement, the same report reveals that the Obama administration didn’t bother sending the standard formal request for coverage to networks Wednesday. Instead, the White House simply posted an announcement of the message on its Facebook page—perhaps the first such announcement of its kind.