On "The Kelly File" Monday night, host Megyn Kelly and guest Howard Kurtz attacked NBC for the "gratuitous grandstanding" with which it fired Donald Trump from "Celebrity Apprentice," saying that if the network had been genuinely offended by his disparaging statements about Mexicans, it would have dismissed him weeks ago.
NBC announced on Monday that it was severing ties with Trump for referring to Mexican immigrants as drug- and gun-smuggling rapists at his campaign launch. "At NBC," the company's statement read, "respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values."
Kurtz, Fox News' resident media analyst, accused the network of "gratuitous grandstanding," claiming that "if NBC was really offended by Trump's comments, they would have done this a week ago instead of putting out a wimpy statement."
Given that Trump wouldn't have been able to host a fifteenth season of "Celebrity Apprentice" anyway now that he's running for president, Kurtz said that "it's an easy shot to take to mollify Hispanic viewers -- who are understandably offended by [Trump's] comments."
However, he added, even Geraldo Rivera is asking Trump to apologize, but a lot of people at Fox News "like the fact that when Trump goes over the top, he doesn't apologize, that he doesn't parse his words like the average politician -- who would've backed off and 'clarified' many times by now, but Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord."
Kelly noted that "Ann Coulter has a whole book out that makes this point," though she granted that Coulter isn't running for president -- which is a significant difference because, as Kurtz noted, "she would never be elected with that point of view."
Watch the entire exchange via Fox News below.