If you are at all familiar with the racist immigration-themed ad that President Trump’s campaign released last week, you are probably aware that it is extremely racist. The video, which Trump himself tweeted out last week, was covered by CNN and other sites, including Splinter. CNN also refused to run the ad on its network, but there was still one network that stepped in to sweep up that yummy racial hatred-money: NBC, which aired the ad during Sunday Night Football, a program watched by millions and millions of people. (MSNBC had also been airing the ad until this morning, according to CNN.) Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted on Friday that the campaign spent $1.5 million on airtime for the ad.
However, after everyone yelled at them, NBC reversed course on Monday, with a network spokesperson telling CNN in a statement: “After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible.”
The problem with the ad is not that it is “insensitive.” The problem is that it is deeply racist. I’m also not sure how much further review was needed to recognize the nature of the ad, unless the following things happened: 1) Literally only one single person was involved in selling the airtime to the Trump campaign, and 2) That person was, despite working for a news organization, somehow blissfully unaware of the content of the ad, which they still allowed to run on their network.
For example, NBC News’ own coverage of the ad called it “racially divisive” and quoted conservatives describing it as “racist” and “sickening.” Not sure why NBC couldn’t call it racist if Jamie Weinstein managed it, but still!
So no, I do not think that the ad was approved to run on the network by people who were entirely ignorant of its contents. I suspect NBC simply did not think through the decision to allow the ad to run during a primetime football game between what I am told are two very good teams.
Nice one, idiots.
Update, 12:52 p.m. ET: Fox News has come to the same realization, CNN reported:
“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertisement sales, told CNN in a statement.
That’s right: The ad was too racist for Fox News.
The New York Times’ Kevin Roose also reported Facebook pulled ad buys of the video on the site: