‘Presidents of 2 Mexican Countries’ — Fox News Mocked by El Salvador’s President-Elect
Nayib Bukele, the president-elect of El Salvador, appeared to take a swipe at Fox News through a tweet he made on Sunday, a tongue-in-cheek posting he made in response to the network’s gaffe over the weekend confusing his nation as being part of Mexico.
Posting an image of himself shaking hands with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Bukele wrote in his tweet, “The Presidents of 2 mexican countries,” and included the hashtag #FoxandFriends.
The statement was clearly meant to poke fun at and highlight the mistake made by the Fox News program, which over the weekend had included a chyron that read “Trump cuts U.S. aid to 3 Mexican countries.” The story that the program was referencing had discussed how the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — three Central American countries that are independent of Mexico.
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) April 1, 2019
Users on social media quickly pounced on the network for what was, at best, an overlooked typo by a producer (one who was perhaps sleep-deprived, some had hypothesized), or at worst, demonstrative of the network’s overall ignorance on Latino culture and Central American geography, per reporting from CNN.
While some users laughed at the network’s mistake, others saw it as deeply disturbing. “This is less an error than an expression of Fox News’ underlying sentiment towards most Latinos,” wrote Adam Serwer, a staff writer with the Atlantic.
This is less an error than an expression of Fox News' underlying sentiment towards most Latinos https://t.co/jixywxLtNl
— Adam Serwer? (@AdamSerwer) March 31, 2019
The network expressed remorse immediately after its mistake. “[W]e apologize for the error — it never should’ve happened,” co-host Ed Henry later said. But by that point, the damage had been done, and the gaffe had become a viral embarrassment for Fox.
The story behind the faux pas was meant to showcase how the Trump administration was planning to cut aid to these three nations, in part because of his belief that those countries hadn’t “done a thing for us,” the president previously said.
Trump also stated that these nations had “set up these caravans” of immigrants that were heading toward the U.S. border, per reporting from The Daily Beast.