More advertisers ditch Tucker Carlson amid controversy over illegal immigration comments

December 27, 2018

More advertisers ditch Tucker Carlson amid controversy over illegal immigration comments Gage Skidmore / CCL

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is still feeling the heat for comments he made on a Dec. 13 episode of his acclaimed news and analysis program.

Some two dozen companies pulled their advertisements for Tucker Carlson Tonight after he made a controversial statement on illegal immigration, and he continues to hemorrhage sponsors two weeks later, with companies like SanDisk, Samsung, SodaStream, and Pfizer Inc. all ditching the cable news icon.

The boycott continues

Carlson’s self-titled show has long been an advertiser’s dream. Fox News dominates the cable news cycle, and Carlson stars in the second highest-rated program on the network. 

But the left has put immense pressure on otherwise apolitical companies to ditch Carlson’s show over comments he made earlier this month. Following an interview with a Tijuana official who told Carlson that his city was littered with garbage and human waste in the aftermath of Central American migrant train, the Fox News pundit said accepting undocumented immigrants into America would make the country “poorer” and “dirtier.”

“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,” Carlson said.

The ugly truth

And he’s not lying. America’s current immigration policy favors family ties over training and education, which explains why 38 percent of immigrant children come from families where the head of household lacks a high school diploma.

Indeed, a quarter of all impoverished people in the U.S. are immigrants, despite first-generation immigrants and their families making up just one-sixth of the total population. Over their lifetimes, the six million legal immigrants lacking even a basic high school education will cost American taxpayers upwards of a half-trillion dollars.

But are illegal immigrants “dirtier,” as Carlson had the gall to suggest? Pedro Gonzalez, a Mount Vernon Fellow at the Center for American Greatness, argues that “although it is considered terribly gauche and ‘insensitive’ to say so, it also happens that the environmental habits of Latinos, as a matter of culture, are not exactly what one would call ‘green’ by default.”

While Gonzalez admits that population density is a factor when examining the causes of pollution, he points out that cities like Tokyo, Japan are unusually clean, while immigrant sanctuaries like New York and Los Angeles are choked with refuse. “Population density matters, but so does culture and, indeed, it probably matters more,” Gonzalez concluded.

The faithful few

But despite the undeniable truth behind Carlson’s misinterpreted statement, companies have continued to demonstrate cowardly acts of corporate virtue signaling. By pulling their advertisements, these giant American corporations are attempting to stifle a legitimate, academic argument simply because it contains some distressing, hard-to-swallow realities.

Fortunately, both Carlson and his employer appear impervious to this intimidation and will not be threatened by Fortune 500 companies who are fearful that their bottom lines will suffer if they continue sponsoring the show.

“It’s a tactic, a well-worn one. Nobody thinks it’s real. And it won’t work with this show,” Carlson said. “We’re not intimidated. We plan to try to say what’s true until the last day.”

“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,” Fox News wrote in a public statement last week. The network reminded its critics that just last month Carlson’s family was intimidated at home by Antifa-affiliated vandals.

Meanwhile, an indefatigable corp of advertisers have refused to jump on the anti-Carlson bandwagon and instead issued statements explaining how their sponsorship should not be construed as a political endorsement. Mitsubishi, Bayer, John Deere, AstraZeneca, Farmers Insurance, and Sanof continue to advertise on Tucker Carlson Tonight, which may be the reason Fox News has not lost any advertising revenue from the liberal boycott.

In American classrooms, on social media, and even on the airwaves, conservatives are witnessing organized attempts to define their ideology as hate speech. This is not a moment for Republicans to rest on their laurels and allow their beliefs to be subjugated and suppressed, and Fox News should be applauded for digging in and preparing for the long fight.

The stakes couldn’t be higher.

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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is a regular contributor at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.