Screenshot: NBC

During last night’s broadcast of Sunday Night Football on NBC, the network aired a political ad produced by the Trump administration which carried a message of gutter racism.

There’s no use dwelling on the ad itself, which is what would happen if the infamous Willie Horton ad had been produced by the fascist government from Starship Troopers. Its message is uncomplicated and explicitly racist, and is designed to encourage racist American voters to make white supremacy their top voting issue during this week’s midterm elections. It’s absolute trash.

What does deserve discussion, though, is NBC’s decision to air the ad. Money is the motivating factor behind most ad placements, but it’s hard to believe that NBC was having trouble selling ad space for one of the most highly anticipated games of the NFL season, and they could have easily cashed in on another Bud Light ad instead airing Trump’s screeching racism. It’s also unlikely that the ad would have aired if it had been sent in by, say, Alex Jones along with a check for however much 30 seconds of air time costs. Other networks have also turned down the opportunity to air the ad, so it’s not like NBC didn’t have a choice in the matter.

So what’s the deal? Did NBC feel that the ad’s message was legitimate because it was created by the Trump administration, or do they agree with its racist demonization of migrants who are attempting to legally seek asylum in this country?

It’s exhausting to be constantly talking and thinking about they ways in which Trump’s presidency has revealed the American media to be completely unequipped to deal with with his overtly racist policies and rhetoric, but this shit really does matter. NBC put what amounts to hate speech on its airwaves last night, and they should have to explain why. We reached out to the network for comment last night, and will update this post if they respond.

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Update (10:52 a.m.): NBC released the following statement: