NBCUniversal has stopped airing a Trump campaign commercial that accused various TV-news anchors of being in league with Democrats attempting to move forward an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct.
The 30-second spot carried with it a debunked line about former Vice President Joe Biden being involved with the ouster of a prosecutor in Ukraine. CNN turned down the ad last week, citing inaccuracies in the copy. The commercial shows images of CNN anchors and correspondents such as Jim Acosta, Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo, along with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and accuses them of being “media lap dogs.”
NBCUniversal previously aired the ad on Bravo and MSNBC. But when the Trump campaign requested another cable buy for the commercial, the company exercised its right to reevaluate the ad, according to an NBCU spokesperson. After doing so, NBCU requested the company make some changes to the spot. NBCU declined to specify the exact changes it wanted made.
Broadcast networks are required by the Federal Communications Commission to run campaign spots “as is,” and may not censor any part of it. But cable networks are not mandated to adhere to that policy, and may request alterations.
The Trump campaign did not respond to the NBCU request and did not submit a new version of the commercial, Instead, the campaign opted to run a different commercial, the spokesperson said.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported NBCU’s decision to turn down the campaign commercial.
NBCU has run other controversial Trump ads, only to remove them after they started getting notice. In the fall of 2018, NBCU pulled a Trump campaign ad that played up the purported threat of migrants entering the United States. The spot also attempted to link Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican immigrant who murdered two Sacramento sheriff’s deputies in 2014, to migrants leaving Central America. The ad didn’t get much notice until NBCU aired it during a broadcast of “Sunday Night Football,” one of TV’s most-watched programs.