The constant opportunistic support of President Trump through distorted interpretations of reality, alternative facts, and outright fake news is finally hitting Fox News where it hurts: in their bottom line.
Advertisers have been abandoning at least one of the right-wing network’s most prominent programs in droves, refusing to have their advertisements appear on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show since last Thursday when the poster boy for white nationalist preppies railed against the immigration policies that created our nation, saying that immigration “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
Carlson stuck his foot further down his throat by claiming that liberals — the quaint name that he still uses to refer to people with compassionate, progressive views unlike his own — support illegal immigration as “a form of atonement” for the country’s past misdeeds.
Fortune magazine has reported that at least six advertisers have pulled their sponsorship from Tucker Carlson Tonight after the host delivered his vile rant.
Insurance company Pacific Life was the first company to object to Carlson’s despicable rhetoric and yank its ads off of the program, declaring in a widely-liked tweet that “we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements.”
Five more companies had joined the boycott by yesterday, including the job listing website Indeed; the online marketplace Minted; SmileDirectClub; Nautilus, Inc.; and NerdWallet. Another two sponsors, Just For Men and IHOP, pulled their ads today as well.
That the companies’ decisions were motivated by negative customer reaction was obvious from this Twitter exchange between Indeed and a consumer who had seen their name on a list of Carlson’s advertisers.
Hi, Diane Indeed is not currently advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonight and has no plans to advertise on this program in the future.
— Indeed (@indeed) December 17, 2018
Some advertisers like John Deere and Mitsubishi have yet to get the message and still remain associated with Carlson’s xenophobic agenda.
The pain that Fox News is feeling from the advertiser exodus was obvious by the vehemence with which both the network and Carlson himself responded to the boycott.
“The left would very much like you to stop talking and thinking about bad decisions they’ve made over the years.” Carlson whined on his program last night. “‘Shut up,’ they’re screaming, including to this show. Obviously, we won’t and you shouldn’t either.”
The management of Fox News specifically attacked the progressive organizations helping drive the boycott of Carlson’s white nationalist-themed broadcasts through their large and effective Twitter campaigns to publicize the companies still sponsoring his program.
New: Fox News issues statement as advertisers flee Tucker Carlson's show: ""We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts…" pic.twitter.com/yFlatJh8hC
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 18, 2018
The last sentence of Fox News‘ statement is particularly laughable, given their status as the unofficial state broadcaster for the Trump administration and the only full-time cable news network dedicated to propagating his constant barrage of lies.
The network could easily make “A grossly hypocritical double standard with intolerance to all opposing points of view” their new branding slogan, given how accurately it describes their own programming.
Hopefully, the peril of bleeding revenue will help Fox News reconsider their commitment to offering a platform for the bland regurgitation of neo-Nazi tropes by their prime-time “commentator” whose work does not deserve the appellation of “journalist.”
The network is talking tough and supporting Carlson now but remember that they did the same for Bill O’Reilly when he was under siege by boycotting consumers after his sexual misconduct was revealed.
Remember Bill O’Reilly? Fewer people do each day, and Tucker Carlson is likely to face a similar fate,
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Erin Corbett at Fortune.