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The media rejected Trump’s ‘racist’ ad in an unprecedented way

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President Donald Trump.
President Donald
Trump.

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  • President Donald Trump’s closing message to voters before the
    midterm elections has offended so many that the three major cable
    news networks and the world’s largest social media site have all
    refused to carry it.
  • As part of his scorched-Earth strategy in the final days
    before Tuesday’s momentous midterm elections, Trump’s 2020
    reelection campaign released two ads widely viewed as racist
    attacks on immigrants.
  • The media’s unified decision to reject the president’s ad is
    virtually unprecedented. 

President Donald Trump’s closing message to voters before the
midterm elections has offended so many that the three major cable
news networks — including the president’s favored outlet — and
the world’s largest social media site have all refused to carry
it.

As part of his scorched-earth strategy in the final days before
Tuesday’s momentous midterm elections, Trump’s 2020 reelection
campaign released two ads widely viewed as racist attacks on
immigrants.

The ads assert that Democrats allowed Luis Bracamontes, an
undocumented Mexican immigrant and convicted murderer, into the
country and
warns that a migrant caravan traveling through
Mexico to the US border includes similar criminals.

The fearmongering ads are both factually misleading —
Bracamontes entered the country under both Democratic and
Republican administrations — and offensive, as they paint a group
of thousands of migrants as dangerous criminals without
proof.

CNN refused to run the TV spot, calling it
“racist.”

But NBC aired the 30-second ad during Sunday evening’s primetime
NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay
Packers — the single most-watched game in the 13-year history of
“Sunday Night Football” with an average of
21 million viewers

Trump promoted
a longer version of the ad
on his Twitter feed last week,
prompting immediate and widespread denunciation and comparisons
to the infamous “Willie Horton” ads that ran in support of
former President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential
bid. 

NBC faced immediate backlash with some of its top talent,
including film director
Judd Apatow
and “Will and Grace” star
Debra Messing
, bashing the decision on social media.

Racist Trump champions celebrated the message.

“Go Trump Go! Your Midterm Ad is a masterpiece personifying the
insanity of our immigration Policy. Bravo Trump!” white
supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke tweeted
about the ad

Democrats immediately slammed the ads as the lastest example of
Trump leveraging bigotry to motivate his base. 

“No one [should] be surprised that the guy who fueled his rise to
power on the birther movement is now deploying the next phase of
white nationalism to fuel the election of his most loyal
Republicans,” Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist and former
spokesman for Hillary Clinton, told Business Insider. 

NBC soon pulled the ad — and Fox News followed. 

“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,” an NBC spokesman
told Business Insider
.

By midday on Monday, the three major cable networks and Facebook
had all pulled the president’s ad — a virtually unprecedented
move. (Facebook continued to allow users to post the contents of
the ad). 

Fox’s decision to pull the spot —
which it aired
six times on Fox News and eight times on Fox
Business — took many by surprise, and reinforced the feeling that
the Trump campaign had gone too far.  

“The President produced an ad that was so offensive that the
cable network he openly promotes won’t even air it. Where we are
as a country,” tweeted
Brendan Nyhan, a professor of public policy at the University of
Michigan. 

Even Republicans who argued that the the ad wouldn’t much impact
Tuesday’s elections found its contents distasteful. 

“I don’t think it matters that much since it came so late,” Matt
Mackowiak, a Texas-based GOP strategist, told Business Insider of
the ad’s potential impact on midterm voters. “I wish the Trump
campaign had been far more careful. They do not have to go
overboard. The contrast on sanctuary cities, border security and
interior enforcement is stark enough.”

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