Most conservatives were shocked and surprised when Fox News took the Tucker Carlson program off the air last week. It was watched by 3.2 million mostly affluent viewers each night. It was the seventh most popular program on cable TV. It attracted nearly twice as many viewers as MSNBC and CNN combined. MSNBC had an audience of roughly 1.14 million viewers. CNN only had roughly 473,000.
However, Tucker Carlson’s program had been on life support since December 18, 2018. That is when “progressive” Democrats cancelled most of its sponsors.
On December 13, 2018, Tucker Carlson did a segment on the effects of massive, uncontrolled, and often illegal immigration from poor countries. Tucker showed videos of caravans of illegal immigrants coming to our borders, and of the piles of garbage they left behind. Tucker explained how this was hurting America in many ways. He criticized political leaders of both parties and business elites for ignoring the problem.
Tucker agreed that most of the immigrants themselves were “nice people”. However, he concluded:
“But as an economic matter this is insane. It’s indefensible, so no one even tries to defend it. Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
Everything Tucker Carlson said was true, undisputed, and reasonable. It had all been said many times by many political leaders and economic experts. In 2016, candidate Donald Trump won widespread, mainstream support by promising to fix these problems. Trump promised a border wall and strict enforcement of immigration laws. Tucker Carlson was correct to remind his viewers of how the leaders of both parties were ignoring this critical issue.
However, the Left used Tucker’s December 13, 2018 program to begin an orchestrated campaign to eliminate Tucker Carlson’s program, and possibly the entire Fox News network, from cable television.
For the next two days, various “progressives” made phone calls and sent letters and emails to every company and ad agency that bought ads on the Tucker Carlson program.
For the next week, the mainstream media reported non-stop that there was national outrage over Tucker’s remarks. They reported that advertisers and ad agencies were angry and embarrassed by what Tucker Carlson had said.
Within days, at least 26 mainstream corporate sponsors publicly announced that they would no longer sponsor the Tucker Carlson program.
Those sponsors included CareerBuilder, Takeda Pharmaceuticals (makers of Entyvio), TD Ameritrade, IHOP, the United Explorer credit card, Just For Men, Jaguar Land Rover, Ancestry.com, SCOTTeVEST, Zenni Optical, Voya Financial, Nautilus, Inc. for Bowflex, SmileDirectClub, NerdWallet, Minted, Pacific Life insurance, Indeed.com, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Red Lobster, Farmers Insurance, Lexus/Toyota, Mint Mobile, Graze snacks, Samsung, SodaStream, Pfizer’s Robitussin and SanDisk.
When these sponsors left, Tucker Carlson had only “second tier” sponsors paying much lower rates. They included My Pillow, Relief Factor, and Granite Stone pots and pans. The Tucker Carlson program may have had a superstar, prime-time audience. But it had the income of something like a 1970s late-night TV show sponsored by Veg-O-Matic and Ginsu Knives.
Money from “second tier” advertisers alone cannot sustain a prime-time TV program on a major network very long. Although Tucker Carlson was on the air until last week, it was doomed since December of 2018.
Was there real public outrage against Tucker Carlson because of what he said about immigration? Was the campaign to bully his advertisers planned months or even years in advance? Exactly how many phone calls were made and how many letters and emails were sent? Were they sent by just a handful of professional or radical agitators, as Rush Limbaugh often explained? Did any of those phone calls, letters, or emails include illegal threats or extortion? Did “woke” financial institutions like BlackRock use undue influence on corporations they invested in?
We may never know. All this happened when Republican Donald Trump was president. To the best of my knowledge, neither Trump nor anyone in his administration ordered any investigation to find out. Neither President Trump nor any national Republican official did or said anything to defend or help Tucker Carlson in any way. There were no investigations by Congress. Republicans had just lost their majority in the “Blue Wave” elections of 2018.
I suspect that a Democrat president would have handled things far differently if Christians or conservatives bullied advertisers of a popular “progressive” TV host on a network like CNN or MSNBC.
I suspect that the FBI would have subpoenaed phone records and every letter and email. I suspect they would have questioned everyone involved under oath. I suspect that people would have been indicted and prosecuted for making threats. And at some point, all the mainstream corporate sponsors would have been “persuaded” to continue their sponsorship.
However, most Republicans, including Trump, have been unwilling to push back against woke corporations and cowardly corporations bullied by “woke” activists. We see how they attack Florida Republican governor Ron DeSantis when he pushed back against Disney.
Fox News may have hoped that some of these corporate sponsors would have quietly returned to Tucker Carlson as time passed. However, Democrats were not about to let that happen.
In April of 2021, the ADL, a once mainstream Jewish group that now promotes a radical left agenda publicly called Tucker Carlson a “racist” and urged Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson. CNN and other news organizations dutifully reported the false accusations of the ADL as headline news.
On May 12, 2022, the New York Times and government-funded NPR falsely claimed that Tucker Carlson created “the most racist show in the history of cable news”.
Periodic attacks like these guaranteed that mainstream corporations would never return to Tucker Carlson.
Now that the Tucker Carlson program is gone from Fox News, Democrats are emboldened. I am sure that they are now ready to take down other hosts, or even the whole network. The Murdoch family and Fox News do not seem eager for a fight. I suspect they will soon do whatever Democrats demand as the price for ending the attacks, and getting corporate sponsors to return.
Conservatives who love and admire Tucker Carlson are angry. They are eager to boycott Fox News and turn to other conservative networks like Newsmax. However, Comcast and Direct TV already proved that they can drop networks like Newsmax at any time. Even if conservative networks like Newsmax keep their cable access, how long can they survive if they only have “second tier” sponsors like My Pillow and Relief Factor?
Originally posted at American Thinker HERE:
Image: Gage Skidmore
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