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October 23, 2014

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Univision video confirms Sandoval said his kids don’t look Hispanic

I have confirmed that Brian Sandoval, as reported by Univision’s news director in a column and revealed in an earlier blog post, did indeed say that his children don’t look Hispanic when asked by the Spanish-language station whether he was worried about his kids being profiled if they were in Arizona.

Sandoval denied (twice) making the comments during an interview with “Face to Face” this week. But the comments are on videotape, I have confirmed. Univision, however, is declining to release the tape, claiming (as most media organizations would) that it is work product.

My guess, too, is that Univision will not air the video now – why wouldn’t the reporter have used it originally???? – because the station higher-ups are mortified about the disclosure of Sandoval’s comments in a scathing column in El Tiempo by news director Adriana Arévalo. My guess is that station folks also are apoplectic that a news director would consider it appropriate to write a harsh column about a gubernatorial hopeful – they are saying she did it in her capacity as an El Tempo columnist but she can’t just wash away her TV title.

The political implications here are obvious. Rory Reid’s campaign already is out with a release this morning headlined, “Brian Sandoval Again Lies to Nevadans on Statewide TV,” referring to the column and his repeated denials on the program Wednesday evening. Is it possible Sandoval made an offhand comment without thinking? Maybe. But it still sounds pretty awful – and what about kids who do look Hispanic? – and his denials also will continue to be exploited by Reid.

Most interesting question: Does either campaign now push for the release of the video, knowing what it will show? Sandoval, who seemed sincerely shocked when I brought it up, might want the context to be revealed. And Reid, surely seeing a wedge issue and an integrity issue, might want to exploit it.

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