It was back in July when NBC Universal declared it would no longer be doing business with Donald Trump.
He wasn’t a frontrunner for president then; he was never supposed to be. His candidacy was a joke, and there was no reason to think it would ever be anything else.
We didn’t know back then how thirsty so much of the GOP primary electorate was for Trump’s brand of straight-talking xenophobic racism.
It was that racism that convinced NBC – along with a host of other major corporations – to cancel business dealings with Trump. In his campaign launch speech Trump called undocumented immigrants crossing our southern border “rapists,” and thanks to a concerted effort by immigration activists, Trump was widely condemned.
We knew who he was back then.
Now his racism is winked at, accepted as part of his impish Trumpishness. Trump says wacky things! It’s part of his brand! No need to take the horrific things he says seriously, even as he and Ben Carson battle it out for the lead in poll after poll.
This weekend Trump will come home to NBC to host Saturday Night Live. And why not? The outright racism of his campaign launch has become a punch line. The ratings are sure to go through the roof. I’ll watch, and I haven’t watched an episode for years.
Why shouldn’t NBC go back on its promise? Corporations don’t make moral decisions, they make business decisions. Back in July it was good business for NBC to end its relationship with Trump. Four short months later, it’s good business to have Trump revive SNL‘s flagging ratings, if only for one night.
But people can make moral decisions. And I’ve been nursing this fantasy that one of the cast members will take an enormous risk, interrupt the show – ideally, during Trump’s monologue – and on live television deliver some ugly truth right to Trump’s face.