Fox News Rallies To Defend Donald Trump After NBC Announces Split

››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN, CRISTINA LóPEZ G. & RACHEL CALVERT

Fox News hosts are rallying to defend Donald Trump after NBC severed business ties with the GOP presidential hopeful following his offensive campaign announcement speech in which he referred to Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists."

Donald Trump Made Racist Comments About Mexican Immigrants During His Presidential Campaign Announcement

Trump: "When Mexico Sends Its People ... They're Bringing Drugs. They're Bringing Crime. They're Rapists." Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists," saying that "the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems" during his presidential campaign announcement speech on June 16:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.

Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. [Time, 6/16/15]

Univision Announces They Will Not Air Donald Trump's Miss Universe Pageant

Univision Ends Business Relationship With The Miss Universe Pageant. Univision announced in a June 25 statement "that it is ending the Company's business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization" and "any other projects tied to the Trump Organization" as a reaction to Donald Trump's "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants." From the press release:

Today, the entertainment division of Univision Communications Inc. announced that it is ending the Company's business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which is part-owned by Donald J. Trump, based on his recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants. At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country. We will not be airing the Miss USA pageant on July 12th or working on any other projects tied to the Trump Organization.

Univision News and the local news division will continue to provide comprehensive coverage of all candidates, including Mr. Trump, to ensure our audience continues to have access to all points of view. [Univision, 6/25/15]

Hispanic Advocacy Groups Call For Media Outlets To Sever Ties With Trump

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) Applauds Univision, Urges NBC To Follow. The NHLA applauded Univision's "courageous action to sever ties" with Trump's organizations in a June 27 press release, calling it "civil rights leadership in the digital age," and stated:

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 of the nation's preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, released the following statement applauding the entertainment division of Univision Communications for ending its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization--which is partly owned by Donald Trump, a contender for the Republican Party's presidential nomination--over his repugnant comments regarding Mexican immigrants and, by extension, Mexican-Americans. NHLA also calls on NBCUniversal (NBCU) to follow Univision's lead and both withdraw from airing the Miss U.S.A. pageant and terminate its financial ties to Donald Trump. [NHLA, 6/27/15]

National Hispanic Foundation For The Arts' Felix Sanchez: "NBC And GOP, Dump Trump." Felix Sanchez, co-founder and chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation For The Arts, encouraged NBC to "dump Trump for his Mexico insults" in a June 29 CNN.com op-ed:

Following Trump's presidential bid announcement last week, a groundswell of Latino reaction to his blanket character defamation began bubbling up online and on social media. Trump's repugnant charges were heard loud and clear, and Latino voters were outraged and incensed at both his audacity and the outright lies. But the Latino community has also been deeply frustrated, not only by the depth of the insult but by the media's inadequate interpretation of Trump's remarks.

[...]

If both the Republican Party and NBCU turn a blind eye or tacitly continue to work with a person who espouses such bigoted rhetoric, it is clear that the Latino community will express its disgust and assert its power, not just through TV ratings but also at the polls. [CNN.com, 6/29/15]

NBCUniversal Announces Their Decision To Sever Ties With Trump, Others Follow Suit

NBCUniversal Ends Relationship With Trump Because "Respect And Dignity For All People Are Cornerstones Of Our Values." NBC announced that the network is "ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," in a June 29 statement, noting it will no longer air Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and will exclude him from participating in NBC's reality-show The Celebrity Apprentice:

At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.

Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. [NBCUniversal, 6/29/15]

Televisa SAB: Having Commercial Ties With Trump Is "Unacceptable." In a June 29 e-mail statement, Televisa stated that they were also ending their business relationships with Trump, saying he "hasn't demonstrated understanding or respect" towards immigrants from Mexico. They added, "Televisa isn't indifferent to these declarations and energetically condemns all forms of discrimination, racism and xenophobia." [Bloomberg Politics, 6/29/15]

Carlos Slim's Ora TV Scraps Project With Trump's Company. Ora TV's chairman Arturo Elías Ayub announced they were scrapping a TV project in coordination with one of Trump's companies, calling Trump's statements "totally out of line," saying "We think it's incredible that someone can think like this in the 21st century and have this racist position." [Latin Times, 6/30/15]

Right-Wing Media Defend Trump's Position On Immigration

Sean Hannity Defends Trump's Characterization Of Hispanic Immigrants As Criminals. On the June 29 edition of his radio show, Fox's Sean Hannity defended Trump's characterization of Hispanic immigrants as criminals, reiterating the candidate's position that immigration is connected with drug trafficking (emphasis added):

HANNITY: We've got a problem in this country. If he [Trump] can make that statement and CNN refers to it as "racially-tinged," because [inaudible...] could play this on TV. Floor to ceiling drugs confiscated by people crossing our southern border. You want to talk about crime? Well what do you think -- who's coming from Latin America and Mexico? Are they rich, successful Mexicans, Nicaraguans, El Salvador residents? No! Why would they leave if they're so successful? It's people who have not had opportunity in Mexico and so they will raise all this money and give it to these human traffickers, human traffickers take full advantage of them, take every penny they've got and then maybe get them across the border in a perilous journey which some people don't make it. Now if we really care about our fellow human beings, we owe it to them not to put that -- sort of like a sign up that says "Take a risk you can try and come across because we're going to make it easy for you" and it turns out not to be so easy. But if we had a fence, if we wanted to secure the border, it wouldn't be a problem. So when Trump says, "are they sending their best, their brightest?" In other words, if you have a pool of people, if we opened up America's borders, and who would apply to come to America? We probably would have our choice of doctors, and lawyers, and computer programmers, everybody wants to come to America. You know that's a great thing, we're not building a fence to keep people in, we're building a fence to prevent people from coming in because the world would flood here, which they've been doing. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/29/15]

Sean Hannity: "I Agree With Mr. Trump... I Have Seen The Drug Warehouses." During the June 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity defended Trump during a panel discussion of the GOP candidate parting ways with NBC, saying "I agree with Mr. Trump as somebody who has been down to the border 11 times, I have seen the drug warehouses, I was there when criminals were arrested, I know the human trafficking side and the impact on our educational system, criminal justice system, [and] our healthcare system."  [Fox News, Hannity, 6/29/15]

Bill O'Reilly: Maybe Trump Was "Highlighting A Problem ... That Is Harming The Nation." On the June 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly rushed to defend Trump after NBC cut ties with the presidential candidate. O'Reilly suggested that Trump's statement was actually "highlighting a problem ... that is harming the nation," adding that he didn't think "Donald Trump was trying to demonize all Mexican people." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/29/15]

Megyn Kelly Defends Trump By Claiming Ann Coulter Agrees With His Anti-Immigration Stances. On the June 29 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly defended Trump's characterization of immigrants, citing "data' from  Ann Coulter's new book, Adios, America!, that, according to Kelly, "support[s] the fact that some obvious immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals":

KURTZ: A lot of people here, even when Trump goes over the top, they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.

KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Granted, she's not running for president. But she --

RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view.

KELLY:  But she cites data that does support the fact that some obvious immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to  be criminals.

RIVERA: I researched it tonight --

KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?

RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/29/15]

Steve Doocy Excuses Trump's Comments Because "He's Probably Right. Our Unsecured Southern Border Is A Problem." On the June 30 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy excused Trump's extreme rhetoric, saying "When you think about it, he's probably right. Our unsecured southern border is a problem." Later in the show, Doocy praised Trump's unwillingness to apologize for his offensive remarks, saying "The thing with Donald Trump, after it was announced that NBC was severing ties with him, he didn't back down, in fact he doubled down. People like that about Donald Trump." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/30/15; 6/30/15]

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