The Slatest

America’s TV Networks Speak With One Voice: Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Caravan Ad Is Very Racist

Donald Trump speaking to reporters on the White House lawn.
US President Donald Trump makes his way to address reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on October 31, 2018.
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Following NBC’s determination that a Trump campaign ad linking the caravan of Honduran migrants to crime and the murder of law enforcement officers was, in fact, quite racist (although this came only after the network aired the ad on Sunday Night Football), Fox also said it wouldn’t continue to air the spot.

Perhaps unconciosuly echoing football referees discussing a replay call, a Fox executive told CNN, “Upon further review, FOX News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either FOX News Channel or FOX Business Network.” Meanwhile an NBC spokesperson told NBC News on Monday morning, “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.”

CNN had previously said in a tweet to the president’s son, “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts. [Apple emoji].” Facebook also pulled the ad, which the Trump campaign had targeted to Facebook users in Arizona and Florida, according to the Daily Beast. A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Beast that the ad “violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content” and that the site would take it down, although users would still be allowed to post and share it on their own.

The first version of the ad, which was shared on President Trump’s twitter feed, said that Democrats were responsible for allowing a Mexican man named Luis Bracamontes into the country. Bracamontes killed two Sacramento sheriff’s deputies well after he was arrested and released by, of all people, then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Bracamontes later was deported a second time in 2001 and then managed to get back into the U.S.

When asked about the networks pulling the ad Monday afternoon, Trump told reporters, “I don’t know about it,” but also that his ads “are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing.” After being asked a second time why the Trump campaign ran an ad that many said was “offensive,” Trump replied, “a lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times.”