Thousands of dead people and noncitizens voted in the 2020 presidential election. There were more votes cast than registered voters. Black Lives Matter and Antifa infiltrated the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Those are just some of the conspiracy theories compiled in a new media monitoring report published Wednesday, revealing the extent to which misinformation pervaded the airwaves of Miami Spanish-language talk radio in the immediate lead-up to, and aftermath of, the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Scrutinizing a week’s worth of early to mid-January pre-recorded programming, the report shows how a group of radio hosts across two popular local AM stations, Radio Mambi and Actualidad Radio, mischaracterized the events of Jan. 6 and continued amplifying baseless claims of voter fraud, sometimes with the tacit endorsement of high-ranking guests, including U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Miami-Dade.
Leaders of the organizations that produced the report — including progressive-leaning advocacy groups Florida Rising and Miami Freedom Project as well as communication firms ProsperoLatino and Latina Comunica — told the Herald that the aim of the media monitoring initiative is to better understand, and expose, how misinformation is disseminated on Spanish-language radio, a key component of an influential misinformation ecosystem targeting Hispanics in South Florida.
“For us, it’s not just monitoring for monitoring’s sake. It’s about capturing and documenting what’s being said to sound the alarm but also hold these outlets accountable,” said Andrea Mercado, co-executive director of Florida Rising, a nonprofit organization that works to increase the voting and political power of minority groups in Florida.
“It’s really important to capture the kind of disinformation that is being spread across media outlets in South Florida.”