NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw has apologized for some questionable remarks he made on Sunday's Meet the Press, urging Hispanics to “work harder at assimilation."
"I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities."
Brokaw: "The Hispanics should be working harder on assimilation." https://t.co/D4QGQhSRZh— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall) 1548628093.0
Brokaw apologized soon after fellow journalists and members of the general public assailed him for his remarks.
"I am sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many. The great enduring American tradition of diversity is to be celebrated and cherished," he wrote on Twitter in a series of broken thoughts he attributed to possible glitches on the platform.
"I am sorry - I never intended to disparage any segment of our rich, diverse society which defines who we are... Finally, I am sorry I failed to convey my strong belief that diversity - dynamic and inclusive is what makes America."
Brokaw also had kind words for PBS "NewsHour" White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who'd criticized him for the comments he made on the air, saying that "the idea that we think Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasn't always part of America, is, in some ways, troubling."
"Let's go forward together," he wrote.
my twitter acct failed me at the worst time. i am sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many. the great… https://t.co/MsBLITr4RS— Tom Brokaw (@Tom Brokaw) 1548640677.0
But Brokaw's scattered apology prompted many to wonder if he actually knows how Twitter works. Just have a look at his feed:
The replies to his tweets were... interesting, to say the least.
Many made the same joke:
Has Tom Brokaw assimilated to being on Twitter, yet?— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@Ana Navarro-Cárdenas) 1548685630.0
@tombrokaw Maybe you should learn to assimilate better on Twitter.— Lizz "Hollywood Death Cult" Winstead (@Lizz "Hollywood Death Cult" Winstead) 1548650895.0
@reif_james @tombrokaw He’s not assimilating properly I can’t understand him— Ms. Rivera (@Ms. Rivera) 1548644448.0
Jokes about assimilation weren't the only cracks to be made.
@tombrokaw Ambien is a helluva drug. https://t.co/dSonTKnjaJ— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly) 1548648627.0
@tombrokaw Jesus Christ Tom— Seth Mandel (@Seth Mandel) 1548642453.0
@SethAMandel @tombrokaw Let the man talk I want to see where this is going— Comfortably Smug (@Comfortably Smug) 1548644770.0
@tombrokaw Did your great-grandkids steal your phone— Heather Kenny (@Heather Kenny) 1548642305.0
Brokaw didn't seem fazed, however.
it worked! i got your attention. ‘night— Tom Brokaw (@Tom Brokaw) 1548647527.0
Brokaw, 78, has hosted all of NBC's major news shows, and his comments left many taken aback.
"A lot of this, we don’t want to talk about,” Brokaw said when the topic of immigration arose during his "Meet the Press" appearance. “But the fact is, on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, ‘Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.’ I mean, that’s also a part of it.”
Brokaw did not offer any evidence for his claims, and they grew ever more farfetched from there.
"It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other,” he added. “I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time."
Video: @TomBrokaw warns opposition to more Hispanics in U.S. fueled by intolerant Republicans. “I hear, when I push… https://t.co/MjbfHMAdnn— Brent Baker (@Brent Baker) 1548607425.0
These comments earned Brokaw the rebuke of others both within his field and outside of it.
I’ve heard some older people lament that we no longer have the dominance of 3 nightly network news broadcasts, anch… https://t.co/xRgfJVWgIQ— Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@Lulu Garcia-Navarro) 1548679684.0
Hey @tombrokaw, my in-laws are really happy with their “brown grandchild.” I don’t know who you talk to that they w… https://t.co/ahLkuKBypa— Jorge_Silva (@Jorge_Silva) 1548652523.0
.@tombrokaw's ignorance is offensive on so many levels. My culture has NO responsibility to assimilate into yours s… https://t.co/zzbpeaJJeG— Sen. Martín Quezada (@Sen. Martín Quezada) 1548680790.0
.@tombrokaw I assimilated pretty well. https://t.co/8nDmzDxR7E— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1548656000.0
That's one very awkward start to the week.