Fox News' Tucker Carlson has gone full white supremacist. Now he's losing advertisers and the network is hurting.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is losing advertisers who no longer want to be associated with his program's racist content.
Immigration, Carlson said on his show, "Tucker Carlson Tonight," makes America "poorer and dirtier." The comments were in line with months and months of racist, xenophobic rhetoric on his show, reflecting the overall attitude of Fox News.
At least 16 advertisers have dropped the show, with many of them singling out Carlson's attacks on immigrants as their justification. These include companies like IHOP, TD Ameritrade, Jaguar Land Rover, Ancestry.com, Voya Financial, and Pacific Life Insurance.
Pacific Life was the first to quit, saying in a statement, "As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson's statements. Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson's show in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our relationship with his program."
IHOP told the Hollywood Reporter, "At our core, we stand for welcoming folks from all backgrounds and beliefs into our restaurants and continually evaluate ad placements to ensure they align with our values. In this case, we will no longer be advertising on this show."
There are fewer ads appearing on Carlson's show now, and ad slots are also being taken up by advertising for other Fox programming— meaning the network likely makes no money for those time slots.
But Fox News is standing behind their host and his racist content. In a statement, the right-wing propaganda network went on the attack: "We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants."
What those activists have done is shine a light on Carlson and his program's repeated use of the same language as white supremacists. Carlson has aligned himself with Trump and his supporters by demonizing immigrants and denigrating nonwhites.
But major companies understand that aligning their brands with hate is bad for business. A similar backlash happened to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who saw advertisers run away from her program after she attacked the teenage survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High mass shooting.
Like Carlson, Ingraham is a Trump supporter. The network helped to launch Trump as a political figure and has been a nonstop source of pro-Trump propaganda for years. Promoting racism is a key component in their work to bolster Trump and the Republican Party.
Fox News isn't naive or innocent. They understand what racism is. Earlier in the year they pulled a Trump ad because its content was overtly racist. But now they are standing by Carlson and attacking progressives because racism is core to their brand, their message, and their entire existence.
As part of the pro-Trump movement within conservatism, Carlson has gone all-in for racism and bigotry of the worst kind. Thanks to activists shining a light on his tactics, the network is suffering, again.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.