NBC, Fox News Pulling Trump's Anti-Caravan Ad

Carla Harmon
November 5, 2018

The move is a striking rebuke of a commercial promoted directly by a USA president's campaign.

The ad paints a doomsday scenario in which an "invasion" of few thousand Central America asylum seekers - many of them women and children traveling in a series of caravans - supposedly posed a dire threat to American democracy. The ad drew a comparison between Bracamontes and the thousands of migrants who are now fleeing Central America and making their way to the United States-Mexico border (aka the "caravan").

Trump's reelection campaign didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Asked about charges that the ad - which several networks have either refused to air or made a decision to stop running - was offensive, the president went on the offensive himself. "We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing".

Given that the ad has already aired to a huge audience and midterm elections are only two days away, "ceasing to air" the ad for "insensitive" reasons would seem to be a case of locking the barn door long after the horse galloped out in front of millions of viewers, but the fact that NBC is taking even this small, late stand marks a precedent for the 2020 elections.

"After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have chose to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible", said an NBC spokesman, Joe Benarroch.

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".

Unsurprisingly, Trump's reelection campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was none too pleased.

Fox's decision follows NBC saying earlier Monday that it had erred in running the ad.

Mr Parscale said the media was trying to control what Americans see and think.

The backlash against President Trump's anti-illegal immigration ad linking the approaching caravan with a cop killer has become so severe that CNN refused to air it, later prompting both Fox News and NBC to pull it after airing.

That drew a public rebuke from the president's son, Donald J. Trump Jr. "President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe".

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