A RANGE of American media outlets have pledged to stop airing one of Donald Trump’s campaign advertisements, declaring it racist.
NBC, CNN and Fox News are among the networks that have refused to continue airing the footage, which features an immigrant convicted of murder.
The advertisement aired on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and drew a heated online response.
“After further review, we recognise the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBC said in a statement.
Fox News pulled the ad over the weekend “upon further review”, said Marianne Gambelli, president of the network’s ad sales department.
CNN said it was made “abundantly clear” that the ad was racist and declined to air it when the campaign sought to buy airtime.
Facebook also came under scrutiny for letting the campaign ad run on its platform. Yesterday the company released a statement saying: “This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”
The ad, which notes it was sponsored and approved by Mr Trump, was released late last week by the Republican Party, targeting thousands of migrants walking towards the US southern border.
To dramatic music and sound effects, a voiceover says: “The 7000 migrant caravan crossing Mexico, marching towards our border. Dangerous illegal criminals like Luis Bracamontes don’t care about our laws.”
Bracamontes is a twice-deported immigrant from Mexico sentenced to death in California for killing two police officers.
“America cannot allow this invasion,” the ad goes on. “The migrant caravan must be stopped. President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe.
“America’s families depend on you. Stop the caravan.”
The President’s campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted in defence of the ad, accusing the media outlets of choosing to “stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY”.
It also said the media is “trying to control what you see and how you think”.
The President initially stayed quiet on the polarising response to the ad, but later addressed it when asked about it by a reporter.
“I don’t know about it. I mean, you’re telling me something I don’t know about,” he said. “We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective based on the numbers we are seeing.”
When asked whether the ad was offensive, Mr Trump said: “Well, a lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of the times.”
His son, Donald Trump Jr, has also complained on Twitter that American media outlets have refused to run the advertisement.
‘A NATIONAL EMERGENCY’
Mr Trump has made immigration a central issue ahead of the midterm vote.
Calling the caravan a “national emergency,” he has threatened to deploy as many as 15,000 troops to the border with Mexico. Around 4800 had been deployed as of Monday, the Pentagon said.
With their sights set on reaching the United States, some 5000 Central American migrants, mainly from violence-plagued Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, are expected to converge on Mexico City in the coming days and then continue their northward trek, authorities said.
The first 470 arrived in Mexico City on Sunday and spent the night at a stadium on the capital’s east side, where authorities have set up a large camp to host them and provide food and water.
By Monday evening, some 4000 people had arrived at the camp. Another 1000 are expected to arrive by Wednesday, as the fragmented caravan regroups after dispersing across central and eastern Mexico, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).
Often travelling in families or with young children, the migrants are sleeping in tents, on the ground or on the cement bleachers of the stadium, in frigid night-time temperatures of around 12C in the high altitude of Mexico City.
Many were nursing colds or mangled feet after a trek of more than 1600km that began on October 13 in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
“I couldn’t sleep. I was cold and coughing all night,” said Honduran Karla Membreno, 23, who is making the trek with her husband and sister-in-law.
“(But) we have to be strong. God gives us strength to carry on,” she told AFP.
Medical staff were attending to migrants and giving flu shots at impromptu clinics at the stadium.
Other migrants were busy digging through large piles of donated clothing looking for coats, gloves or any other items to fend off the cold.
Two other large groups of Central Americans of between 3000 and 4000 migrants in all are currently making their way across the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, the CNDH said.
Another 3230 Central Americans who were travelling by caravan have requested asylum in Mexico, according to the interior ministry.
The CNDH said it had no evidence of criminals or people who could pose a security risk travelling in the caravan.
Migrant’s from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are all streaming towards the US border as Donald Trump lashes out issuing threats of retaliation
Migrant caravan streams towards U.S. border
Originally published as Ad the US media refused to air