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Yesterday, during Sunday Night Football, NBC aired a 2018 midterm ad from President Donald Trump that was widely decried as racist just a few days earlier when it debuted on Twitter. The ad attempts to stoke fear over a caravan of migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border, tying the group to an immigrant convicted of murdering a police officer.
Not only was it racist; the ad was also swiftly proven false days ago.
Nonetheless, NBC aired Trump’s attempt to ignite his anti-immigration base before the midterm elections—and to its massive football audience. The backlash was immediate, and this morning NBC announced it wouldn’t air the ad again.
NEW NBC statement regarding the Trump immigration ad:— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) November 5, 2018
“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.” – NBCUniversal Spokesperson.
After NBC announced its decision, Trump’s most fervent supports lost it. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, declared that NBC decided to side with illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens by exercising editorial judgment.
So, @NBCNews @CNN @facebook have chosen to stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY. Instead of standing with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and those that follow our laws. The #FakeNewsMedia and #PaloAltoMafia are trying to control what you see and how you think. STOP THE CARAVAN!— Brad Parscale (@parscale) November 5, 2018
The president’s staunchest defender, son Donald Trump Jr., was also livid earlier in the weekend over another network’s choice to keep the ad off its airways.
CNN refused to run this ad... I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda. Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday. #vote #voterepublican pic.twitter.com/VyMm7GhPLX— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 3, 2018
That Trump Jr. and Parscale would call out networks for not airing a demonstrably false ad as proof that said networks purposely air fake news is, uh, a weird attempt at an indictment.
Especially when, today, Fox News also decided against running the ad.
Fox News pulled it too. Statement came out 20 minutes before your tweet.— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) November 5, 2018
Fox News has now also pulled this commercial..... thank u, next. https://t.co/cciDaF8W9g— Catalina Victoria Rogers (@cv_rogers) November 5, 2018
So either Fox News has decided to join the #Resistance, or the ad truly is a xenophobic stain on this nation’s politics.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]