by Dr. Mark Denison–
Yesterday, NBC fired The Donald. Ending a longtime relationship with Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant, along with The Apprentice, NBC was responding to comments Trump made about immigrants in his speech announcing his presidential ambitions two weeks ago. “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” NBC said in a statement. Trump attributed the decision to a clash in viewpoints on immigration, saying his views were strong and NBC’s were “weak.” Asked to apologize for his statements, he declined because his statements “were correct.” He continued, “Whatever they want to do is ok with me. When I came out with a strong immigration stance, and I’m very strong on borders and I’m very strong on crime, I knew I might lose NBC along the way.”
Let’s put a timeline on all this. You need to understand three dates: June 16, 29, and 29. On June 16, Trump announced for President. In his remarks he portrayed Mexican immigrants as “bringing drugs and crime. They are rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” Of course, this did not endear Trump to the Hispanic community. In response, NBC said they “didn’t agree with his position on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration.” But they reaffirmed his standing with the network.
The second date is June 29. Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language network launched a petition drive to run Mr. Trump from the airwaves. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group of 39 Latino advocacy organizations, had called on NBC to sever ties with Trump. But the network stood behind their star. While they didn’t support his views, they supported him. After all, his shows brought in millions of dollars to the peacock network. But on June 29, something changed. Univision plopped their petitions on the desk of NBC – 218,000 of them.
The third date is June 29, about ten seconds after the second date. On June 28, Trump’s views were in contrast to those of NBC, but they affirmed their relationship. But when a petition with 218,000 names on it was dropped on them, they dropped the hammer on Mr. Trump. What was forgivable on June 28 was unforgivable on June 29. They stood by their man one day, but he was fired the next.
I’m not going to pass a hat for Mr. Trump, nor do I defend what he said. In fact, I disagree with what he said. But let’s not miss the bigger picture. This story is not about Donald Trump, Univision, or the National Leadership Agenda. It is about NBC. They did not dump Trump because they were appalled at his statements on immigration, or they would have done so on June 16. NBC caved to expediency. The 218,000 signatures convinced them that it would cost them more to keep Trump than fire him. So, in a nanosecond, Trump was gone. No more pageants, no more Apprentice, no more stress. Dump Trump and the problem was solved.
In this age of political correctness, when the prize goes not to the one who stands on their principles, but to the one whose only principle is to offend no one, I appreciate a man who says what he thinks, whether I agree with him or not. NBC found Mr. Trump’s statements reprehensible – not when he said it, but when 218,000 others found them reprehensible. And I’m sorry to say it, but that is the America we now live in.