In a move that surprises and saddens many decent, thoughtful people, NBC continues to broadcast “The 2012 Miss Universe Competition” (7 p.m., NBC). It’s not because people are all that agitated about an international beauty pageant. It’s because “Universe” is owned by Donald Trump, and they’re dumbfounded that the network still has anything to do with him.
Trump has long been known as a colorful blowhard. That’s been part of his curious charm. But in 2012, Trump aligned himself with the nonsensical extremism of the “birther” movement and began drifting toward the scary fringe. On Nov. 6, Trump greeted (and tweeted) President Barack Obama’s re-election by calling it a “travesty” and writing, “We should have a revolution in this country.”
I’m no expert, but attacking the democratic process and calling for the violent overthrow of the government go beyond impassioned free speech and tiptoe closely to something called sedition. I’m willing to forgive Trump, but only on two conditions. First, he should apologize for his reckless outburst. Then he must spend a month working as a janitor at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, dedicated to the 168 victims murdered in 1995 by domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh. That would remind Trump there are real consequences to loose and stupid talk of violence against the United States government.
NBC has scheduled yet another season of “The Apprentice” for 2013 — another chance to reflect on the network’s craven corporate cowardice. And don’t forget the Donald Trump Signature Collection, on sale at Macy’s! Kriss Kringle would not approve!
Tonight’s other highlights:
• Penelope Cruz and Susan Sarandon star in the 2004 holiday movie “Noel” (7 p.m., CW), directed by Chazz Palminteri.
• “Nature” (7 p.m., PBS) repeats “Christmas in Yellowstone.”
• “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” (7:30 p.m., Cooking) visits a firehouse kitchen in Delmar, N.Y.
• “NOVA” (8 p.m., PBS) explores “The Riddles of the Sphinx.”
• Bel and Freddie consider an expose of the city’s vice underworld on “The Hour” (8 p.m., BBC America).
• Rumors of looting at a fire site spark an investigation on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC).
• Melodrama on the pompom squad on “Cheer Perfection” (9 p.m., TLC).