NBC cans hunting show after lobbyist star compares critics to Hitler

By George Chidi
Sunday, September 29, 2013 16:57 EDT
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["Baby African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) Near The Mother" on Shutterstock]
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NBC Sports Network pulled the new show Under Wild Skies from broadcast Saturday after its star — National Rifle Association lobbyist Tony Makris — defended shooting an elephant in the face by comparing his critics to Hitler on an NRA news show.

Makris came under fire, metaphorically, after the premiere episode of the hunting show captured Makris in Botswana shooting an elephant from concealment twice, chasing it down and then killing it with a bullet in its face, followed by a champagne celebration. Elephant hunting in Botswana will be completely illegal in 2014.

Responding to comments about the brutality and inappropriateness of his actions, Makris said that condoning one kind of hunting while opposing another is “committing a very unique form of animal racism,” and that “they said but they’re so big and special and they’re smarter. And I went, you know, Hitler would have said the same thing.”

Following those comments, NBC Sports told the sports site Deadspin.com that they’re pulling the show. “Under Wild Skies will no longer air on NBC Sports Sports Network due to the program’s close association with its host, whose recent comments comparing his critics to Hitler are outrageous and unacceptable,” an NBC spokesman told John Koblin at Deadspin. “NBCSN will continue to air all of our other quality outdoor programming.”

Watch a Media Matters video of Makris’ comments below.

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