Advertisers are fleeing Tucker Carlson's show, eponymously named Tucker Carlson Tonight. As is the case in these kind of transactions, it is not that the advertisers suddenly had an attack of social conscience. Instead, it was Mister Carlson who finally went too far. Last week he insisted on his television program that illegal immigrants were making our country "dirtier." He also placed the blame for the country becoming more divided at those same immigrants' feet. Apparently there is a scarcity of mirrors and video playback in Tucker Carlson's world. He went on to bray, "Huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Nope, cynical shakedown artists who have been watching too much CNN.”
Bowflex cancelled its advertising after this outburst. Then there was Ancestry.com, which probably has a business related concern considering the number of ancestral ties we all seem to share with immigrants of one sort or another. And the International House of Pancakes, who must have been relieved to have a rational response to get involved instead of claiming that they were no longer going to call themselves the International House of Pancakes. The focus, instead, leaped to that International portion of their name.
Fox News, for its part, called these "unnecessary distractions," and blathered on this way: “It is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech,” their spokesperson said. “We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
By week's end, the companies that no longer wished to advertise their product on anything named after Tucker Carlson. Which makes us wonder just how awful do things have to get on Fox News, which is a business, for Mister Carlson to be asked to go broadcast from his mother's basement? What is worse is the corresponding thought: What other advertisers will rush in to fill the void? Dirtier? Poorer?
Huddled masses to be certain.