How Univision Tried to Blackmail Marco RubioS

When Univision got wind of a story about Marco Rubio's family that the senator didn't want broadcast, the network offered to kill it in exchange for an interview.

The Miami Herald has a fascinating how-your-sausage-is-made story about the news operation at Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language network (and the nation's fourth largest, period). According to Rubio's staff and to several sources at Univision, the network's newly launched investigative team was unusually dogged about a yawn-worthy story last summer—Rubio's sister's husband was convicted on drug charges in 1987, when Rubio was 16 years old and 13 years before he would first seek elective office.

Univision went so far as to stake out Rubio's sister's home with a satellite truck for the story. When the Rubio's adviser Todd Harris set up a call with Univision's news chief Isaac Lee to discuss the story, the Herald says, Lee tried to strong-arm Rubio into sitting down with Univision's star anchor Jorge Ramos.

Toward the end of the conversation, Lee brought up Ramos' show and suggested the drug-bust story could change — or not run at all, according to Harris and Burgos' notes.

Said Harris: "You're saying that if Marco does an interview with Ramos, that you will drop this investigation into his family and the story will never air?"

Lee, they say, responded with this statement: "While there are no guarantees, your understanding of the proposal is fair."

Rubio rebuffed the offer and Univision ran the story, promoting it aggressively over the course of several days. It went nowhere. Seems unlikely that Ramos will be snagging any exclusives with Rubio in the future.

[Images via Getty]