NBC is getting some good high-road headlines today for finally cutting ties with presidential candidate Donald Trump over his ignorant comments about immigrants.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," the company said in a statement. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.
"To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC...
"In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in 'The Apprentice' on NBC ... 'Celebrity Apprentice' is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue."
Undaunted, Trump fired back, saying in a statement that he stands by his comments: "NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct. That is why our country is in serious trouble."
And then, he took his best shot at the network, saying: "If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court. Furthermore, they will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won't stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be."
"Lying Brian Williams": I told you that decision would continue to haunt the network.
But if you read NBC's statements with any skepticism, you can see there is a clear path back for the network to work with Trump again on the two "Apprentice" series, which actually make money for NBC - a very clear path.
Trump said he won't be "participating" in "Apprentice" during his run for the presidency. But what about when that fizzles as it is sure to do? And he could pull the plug on it whenever he wants to.
Nothing in today's statement says they won't be together again and joking away past differences - especially if NBC tries "Apprentice" for a cycle with someone else as host and the ratings tank.
This is, after all, the company that brought Williams back.
As for the pageants, based on their TV audiences, NBC isn't losing much. It will surely sell its 50 percent to Trump or another buyer and get out of the beauty pageant business as it should have decades ago, if you ask me.
Today's statements sound nice, and I am glad to see NBC finally denouncing Trump's words.
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But don't get carried away just yet and start talking about NBC as a company with an actual social conscience until the network does something that will cost it some real money.