NBC and Fox News announced on Monday that they would stop airing a controversial immigration ad from the Trump campaign. CNN had already decided not to run the ad.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted out an ad featuring Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant who is facing the death penalty for the murder of two police officers. Text over the video reads “Democrats let him into our country,” and “Democrats let him stay.”
The ad also showed a clip of the migrant caravan heading toward the U.S. border from Central America with the caption “Who else would Democrats let in?” It was later revealed that Bracamontes had been released from U.S. custody by Trump ally and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
CNN quickly condemned the ad, running multiple articles that condemned the ad and the 2016 GOP election strategy in general as “racist.”
What happened now?
NBC aired the ad during its Sunday NFL programming and immediately faced backlash.
“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,” Joe Benarroch, a spokesperson for NBC’s advertising sales department, said in a statement Monday.
The wording of this announcement means that the ad would also not appear on NBC’s cable channels like CNBC or MSNBC. The ad had also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, before the announcement was made.
Fox News made a similar decision Monday. Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales for Fox News, said in a statement to CNN and NBC News, “Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network.”
Facebook has also blocked the ad from being eligible for paid promotion, saying that it violated the social network’s policy regarding “sensational content.”
CNN reported that the ad had not been submitted to the remaining two broadcast networks, ABC and CBS.
In a statement about its own refusal to play the ad, CNN’s communications team tweeted that “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.”
The tweet ended with an emoji of an apple, an apparent reference to CNN’s own ad campaign where it compares inaccurate news coverage to someone insisting that a banana is an apple. This tweet was in response to a tweet by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., in which he accused the network of “only run[ning] fake news” and not talking about “real threats that don’t suit their agenda.”
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. 🍎
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 3, 2018