The popular Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” is losing advertisers because its host charged that some of the immigrants who have been trying to break into the United States illegally are “cynical shakedown artists who have been watching too much CNN.”
The Huffington Post reported the companies boycotting Carlson’s show include Pacific Life, Bowflex, Indeed, Minted, NerdWallet, SmileDirectClub, Voya, Ancestry, Land Rover, Zenni, IHOP, Just for Men, United Explorer, ScotteVest, TD Ameritrade and CareerBuilder.
CareerBuilder said in a statement it would advertise on programming that aligns “with who we are and what we value.”
Bowflex said that along with pulling its ads, it has “no other association or affiliation with Mr. Carlson.”
The Post explained Carlson was “rapidly losing advertisers over his comments.”
Last week on his show he said Americans are being told, “We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
He said regarding some of the foreigners trying enter the country illegally: “Huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Nope, cynical shakedown artists who have been watching too much CNN.”
While the Post described the reaction as a widespread backlash, Carlson has the support of his own network as well as many of his major advertisers.
“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,” a Fox News spokesman said. “We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
The network also vowed it would 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.”
“Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home. He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives,” the network said. “While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view.”
The Washington Times reported major firms such as Farmer’s Insurance, Mitsubishi and John Deere blew off demands from activists to censor Carlson.
“In a statement to the Daily Beast, Farmers Insurance said it ‘invests in advertising across a broad range of networks and programs that reflect the diversity of opinions and viewpoints found across the nation,'” the report said.
Mitsubishi said demographics and psychographics drive its advertising strategies, “not politics.”
Bayer, the German pharmaceutical conglomerate, said: “Opinions or views expressed by the network’s news programs or their hosts are solely those of the network, and do not necessarily reflect those of Bayer. Given the wide diversity of media today and wide range of public opinion on any given issue, it would be an impossible task to find a major television or radio network whose entire programming schedule appeals to all audiences.”
And the Associated Press reported many of the companies that boycotted Carlson placed their ads elsewhere on Fox News, “meaning the network is under no broad pressure.”
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the biggest advertiser for Carlson’s show, said, “I make all of my advertising decisions based on what is best for MyPillow, my customers and my employees.”
Some of the advertisers who have boycotted are re-evaluating, including Pacific Life and NerdWallet.
The job-search company Indeed said it withdrew its advertising before the controversy arose.