On Tuesday, a woman claiming to be a Univision journalist
praised Vice President Kamala Harris
at a news conference
in Mexico City
, only to be called out by the network for being "not part of this media
The true identity of the woman who gave her name as Maria Fernanda was unknown, and the White House
said it was looking into it, but what was clear was that someone claiming to be a journalist was allowed into a news conference with the vice president, and Univision refused to work with her.
“Let it be clear to everyone that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not a member of this media organization,” Univison news president Daniel Coronell tweeted.
In Mexico, an individual with no affiliation with @Univision pretended to be a reporter for @UniNoticias in order to ask the @VP a question and compliment @KamalaHarris. Let it be clear that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not a member of this media organization https://t.co/edxyzRVlt8
— Daniel Coronell (@DCoronell) June 9, 2021
The alleged journalist's question to Harris during a news conference following her meeting with Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador raised red flags on Tuesday.
“Thank you, Madam Vice President,” the woman said after an announcer introduced her as Maria Fernanda of Univision. “It’s an honor for me because I got to vote for the first time as a nationalized citizen, and I voted for you.”
She then asked Harris what she would "say to these women
, those mothers and also women of color on both sides of the border
, farmers, many of whom I see every day as a message of hope, but also as what will you do for them in the coming years?"
Harris thanked her and answered the question, but an uproar erupted on Twitter
, with reporters from the Los Angeles
Times and Real Clear Politics
pointing out the unusual nature
of the praise that came before the question.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a reporter tell a politician she voted for her, as a Univision reporter did before asking a question during Kamala Harris's news conference. — Noah Bierman (@Noahbierman) June 8, 2021
“For me, it's an honor because I actually got to vote for the first time as a nationalized citizen, and I voted for you,” says Univision reporter Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilapWegmann) on June 8, 2021.
Symone Sanders, a Harris spokesperson, stated that her team would look into the following:
We appreciate you bringing this to our attention; we are investigating. https://t.co/5gVsyOoudr
— SDS (@SymoneSanders46) June 9, 2021
As if the situation couldn't get any stranger, Univision has a reporter named Maria Fernanda Lopez, who appears to be based in Miami
and tweeted on Tuesday night that she was not in Mexico at the time and was not the one who made the "unethical comment" to the vice president.
I am Maria Fernanda LOPEZ, and as stated by our News Director @DCoronell, it was a misunderstanding. I have never traveled to Mexico, and I was in Miami during the incident where Maria Fernanda REYES claimed to be a reporter of @UniNoticias and asked @KamalaHarris to make an unethical comment https://t.co/YUZFIWIqPF
— MARIA FERNANDA LOPEZ (@mafe
Univision responded to Stardia's request for additional comment, saying, "The person is not affiliated with Univision."