Death of Jenni Rivera Proves--Again--How Clueless Los Angeles Times and MSM Continue to be About Mexican Anything

Categories: Español Music
Thumbnail image for JenniRivera1.jpg

The media requests for me to opine on the death of Mexican regional superstar (and Long Beach) gal Jenni Rivera are already coming in, and I expect them to only increase as the American media trips over themselves to cover the story. After all, I'm America's Mexican, right? I'm more than happy to take them, if only to help the MSM correct their pathetic record on reporting on a mega-superstar that operated in plain sight under a media that, like usual, didn't bother to pay attention while she was alive because she was a Mexican and popular mostly to Mexicans--and they never matter unless you can get a diversity grant to cover them.

Now that she's dead? Look everyone: we cover Mexicans!

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No media outlet is the bigger sinner, however, than the Los Angeles Times, the perpetual pendejos when covering Latinos in Southern California. A look through the Proquest archives show that they never did a single full profile on Rivera--not once. The only full stories on her were two--one was a story on a reality show involving her youngest daughter. Another--of all things!--was a real-estate story on Rivera purchasing a multimillion-dollar estate in Encino. Before her death, there were only two other shorter stories, both by freelancers: a concert review, and a record review.

Think about it. Southern California's paper of record had their real-estate writer and two freelancers cover one of the biggest Mexican stories in the United States of the past decade. Their music critics did NOTHING. As if to make up for lost time, the Times have published seven stories on Rivera since her yesterday, the epitome of too much, too little, too late. And even in their morning email blast, "Top of the Times," not a single link or mention of their Rivera coverage--SICK SICK SICK!

(And for the Times' folks: I know online archive searches are always imprecise, so please do correct me if I'm wrong)

No one among the MSM big boys is absolved here. NPR? Not a single story on Rivera until she passed away. New York Times? Just a brief mention in a story not involving her. Orange County Register? HA! Even Rivera's hometown paper, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, waited until last year to finally cover the hometown hero.

I gotta get Nexis to truly figure out the paucity of Rivera coverage, but the point remains: for all the racket that the MSM has made about diversity over the past 15 years, they continue to fail--as if we ever expected them to succeed in the first place? Tellingly, on Twitter, Jorge Ramos--anchor for Univisión, and dean of Spanish-language journalism in the United States tweeted yesterday (in Spanish, of course), "The English media doesn't understand the TV coverage in Spanish of the death of [Puerto Rican boxer] Macho Camacho and Jenni Rivera...that's why their ratings fall."

Amen, brother. As for the coverage that they're doing? That's a whole other rant...

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120 comments
kateyapple
kateyapple

For some that gets to write a artile about a person u have failed. The way it seems u didnt want to write it and you realy didnt care to do the reachs. If Jenny was mainstreamed she wont just been heard in mexico it would be world wide. Ill give u a explain like the late milagro Jackson.or My favortie artist Vicente fernández. The Dead dead show sum respect maybe Not all that to but others there world .

nikyj
nikyj

find me my name is caridad polanco gallo i live in 1891 cole dr east meadow ny 11554 that the bitch died u don have the ball s to my house bitch

nikyj
nikyj

hey my name is caridad polanco gallo i live 1891 cole dr. east meadow ny 11554 find my bitch that bitch died for a reason they all died for fame watch next time it goting to be jay z beyonce and prince who are going to die next year

mistahsalas
mistahsalas

@LAWeeklyMusic cool it on trying to make @jennirivera death a racism issue!!!!!

j2hess
j2hess

Don't feel too bad, Gustavo. At least you get a column - no one wants to ask an German-Irish guy anything!

mrcastro90731
mrcastro90731

Now that she is dead i No longer need my xmas gift this is the best gift ever so happy we got rid of this ridiculous bitch.

DavidGonzales
DavidGonzales

Aw c'mon, your article is overblown. You can't blame mainstream media in its entirety for not covering Jenni Rivera much before she died, as she wasn't a "mainstream" artist, though she was very talented and it's a shame she passed away. 

Banda isn't a mainstream music as is rock, pop...even American blues artists don't get much mainstream attention because blues music isn't "mainstream." What is getting more mainstream attention is Rock en Espanol (Cafe Tacuba, Mana) in large part because rock is a mainstream music. 

Also, your use of the word "pendejos" is uncalled for and cheapens your attack. Oh well, you have your right to your opinion. 

RogerDeFlor
RogerDeFlor

Talk about a run-on sentence: "I'm more than happy to take them, if only to help the MSM correct their pathetic record on reporting on a mega-superstar that operated in plain sight under a media that, like usual, didn't bother to pay attention while she was alive because she was a Mexican and popular mostly to Mexicans--and they never matter unless you can get a diversity grant to cover them."

Darlene Leyba
Darlene Leyba

Even Ryan Seacrest opened an hour of his morning show to let the listeners call in and talk about Jenny. I must admit, I did not know who she was. Same thing with Selena when she passed away, she was just crossing over with her music.

KPCC
KPCC

@RunGomez was there a zinger in there about us?

TonyHTonyH
TonyHTonyH

@rcarchiboldNYT @GustavoArellano All pales in comparison to the NYT piece which reads "Jenni who?" - Ignorance is no excuse for disrespect.

Roberta H Martinez
Roberta H Martinez

I think she described herself as being Mexican American. It is possible to have more complex view of your place in the world. Shame there wasn't this much coverage on Lalo Guerrero when he passed.

Lori Spangler
Lori Spangler

I live in LA County and I had never heard of her either.

Cristi
Cristi

My second point (which is probably more on point this time) is that MSM would have covered Jenni Rivera if she was Cuban-Am out of Miami or New Yorrican.  I'm not saying East Coast Latinos have it easier, I am just saying that a small cadre of East Coast Latinos run the show when it comes to Latino entertainment -- in Miami and New York.  And, in their perspective, Jenni Rivera didn't exist.  So she was never going to be big on Latino media and they were never going to pitch her to the MSM.  Sadly, 70% of Latinos in the US don't like the East Coast, ... but that is just too bad for us; because the people in charge aren't moving to the Southwest anytime soon, ...

Cristi
Cristi

I tried to post a comment four hours ago that was never posted. Is this thing on?  Or is somebody just heavily monitoring?  Basically, my comment was that the big commentary amongst Latino media types yesterday was an observation that Jenni Rivera was traveling with her publicist who also doubled as a entertainment journalist for Univision.  (He also perished in the plane crash -- tragically.)   Clearly, in any other profession (and maybe even in the journalistic profession) that would be a conflict of interest.  But Univision has tolerated that kind of behavior by publicists/entertainment journalists for years.  So, yes.  We should blame the MSM for being lame and not paying attention to Mex-Am superstars, but we should also blame Univision and other Latino media for failing to have professional ethical standards.  Everybody is to blame in this story.  We have a lot to learn about how to do things better in regards to covering Latino entertainment figures. 

Aaron Roach
Aaron Roach

Never heard of her before she died, and I'm not falling over myself to look up her catalogue now. All this hand-wringing over the lack of Latino coverage in the American press, and not a single comment on her talent. It's okay, English language music sucks too these days.

Victor A. Patton
Victor A. Patton

Right. And if no "mainstream" media outlets covered it, everyone would be complaining about what a conspiracy it is.

gincandres
gincandres

@GustavoArellano gracias por tu voz!!!! We need a million more like you, but there is nothing like the OG. #SinPelosEnLaLengua #askamexican

DavidGonzales
DavidGonzales

Oh man Gustavo, maybe you are the one who is clueless. The number of albums sold does not define mainstream. Maybe the OC Weekly should find another writer.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@DavidGonzales Millions of records sold is not "mainstream"? Oy vey...also? Rock en español's sales figures are nowhere near that of banda, or even pinche grupero.

stephrguzman
stephrguzman

@GustavoArellano De nada! It was a great blog post.

RunGomez
RunGomez

No? @KPCC "...Mexicans--and they never matter unless you can get a diversity grant to cover them."

DavidGonzales
DavidGonzales

@TonyHTonyH The article you mention did not use "Jenni who?" to insult the memory of Jenni Rivera, the article said that the number of people who knew about her was matched by the number of people who didn't, and might say "Jenni who?" just because they didn't know her. There was no offense intended.

victoriabernal
victoriabernal

@GustavoArellano Anytime (& thanks for reply)! I had comment for your facebook thread but apparently you've reached your "friend" limit :)

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@Cristi Sorry--our blogging system is buggy :-/ Gracias for your thoughts!

-paulc-
-paulc-

@GustavoArellano @DavidGonzales Thats not really fair to say.  While it maybe mainstream for certain people, Its nowhere on the radar for others.  Its like saying  Skrillex is a household name...

DavidGonzales
DavidGonzales

@GustavoArellano @DavidGonzales I used to write about music for some newspapers and magazines when I lived in Asia, and learned alot about it: the mainstream market is one that appeals to all people and not just targeted towards a certain demographic--in this case, Jenni Rivera was targeted at a Spanish-speaking Mexican and Mexican-American audience. For comparison, Christina Aguilera was promoted towards a mainstream market.

At the time of her death, Selena was preparing to enter the mainstream market and was recording an English-language album. Prior to that, as a Tejano singer, she was targeted towards a Spanish-speaking audience. There isn't much of an audience for a singer who sings only in Spanish. Shakira, for example, wouldn't make it as a mainstream artist if she sang only in Spanish. 

Selena was also changing her style of songs in order to appeal to the mainstream (Dreaming of You isn't Tejano, but mainstream), as there isn't a mainstream market for Tejano, though maybe in time she could have sung some Tejano for the mainstream. Banda, the style of music Jenni Rivera sang, isn't a mainstream style, either. 

Though very talented, Jenni Rivera was not a mainstream singer.

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