Over a dozen advertisers said goodbye to Fox News host Tucker Carlson in the past week following some controversial comments he made about illegal immigration. On his program he said immigrants make the United States “poorer and dirtier.”
Most of the boycotting companies gave just brief statements about their pulled advertising without much in the way of an explanation, with a few exceptions.
"We embrace diversity and inclusion, and work with advertising partners who share our core values," said a spokesperson for Western Digital/SanDisk.
“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," said IHOP.
This sticky scenario echoes what Carlson's colleague Laura Ingraham endured earlier this year after she mocked Parkland student David Hogg. Dozens of advertisers dropped her show too, but she survived the boycott and her ratings remain high.
Politico's Jack Shafer said enough's enough. Even though he can't stand Carlson and his conservative views, he's not about to let the likes of Staples and Comcast tell him what he should and shouldn't watch.
I’ve been watching TV news and reading newspapers and magazines for a lifetime. The notion that an advertisement should constitute an automatic endorsement of a program or news article comes as a novel argument to me. My understanding has always been that advertisers buy space because they want to attract the attention of the eyes and ears drawn in by news. If we’re going to interpret ads as forms of validation for content the ads are adjacent to, does that mean Staples and Comcast, both of which advertised in today’s Washington Post, endorse the Post’s news coverage and opinion columns, or that Bloomingdale’s and Johnson & Johnson approve of the editorial drift of the New York Times because they just took out full-page ads? Not in my media universe. (Politico)
Shafer was especially offended that a pancake place wanted to filter his news for him.
"Seriously, I barely trust IHOP to make my breakfast," Shafer wrote. "Why would I expect it to vet my cable news content for me?"
Carlson addressed the controversy on his show Monday night, with no signs of backtracking or apologizing.
“You’ve seen it a million times, it happens all the time,” he said. “The enforcers scream ‘racist’ on Twitter, until everyone gets intimidated and changes the subject to the Russia investigation or some other distraction. It’s a tactic, a well worn one. And it won’t work with the show, we’re not intimidated. We plan to say what’s true until the last day.”
The president himself made some very unorthodox remarks about illegal immigrants when he first jumped into the 2016 election. At the time election experts predicted it would upend any chance he had at the White House. We now know they did little to negatively affect his campaign.