Since we last checked, even more advertisers are fleeing Tucker Carlson's show after he (and Fox News) doubled down on his remarks about immigrants making the country "dirtier and poorer." Think Progress reports this as the most recent list of sponsors pulling their ads:
Just For Men
This has led the Very Deep Thinkers Of The Beltway (and POLITICO) to waggle their index fingers, like Jack Shafer did on Twitter:
Oh. Well, it's his right not to like it. I sort of understand this idea that you don't want a boycott war to break out, but really, this is just purity going a step too far, as Nate Silver also did.
By assuming that the logical endpoint of this is some kind of bothsiderism milquetoast middlegrounding, Nate Silver implies that left side media ALSO descends into the same kind of nativist, hate-filled soliloquies Tucker Carlson delivers on a nightly basis. Which they do not. EVER.
It's an oversimplistic analysis and knee-jerk reaction which does not take into account the societal harm and price of speech such as Carlson's.
Media Matters has an excellent analysis of the damage Tucker Carlson does with his nightly rants against The Other for the benefit of his aging, fearful, white, conservative audience. They note the following consequences of how he is poisoning the body politic:
- Naked white nationalist rhetoric has metastasized, facilitating radicalization and polarity. Carlson's segments, they write, "track with both the rhetoric and smear campaigns cooked up online by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, men’s rights activists."
- The entire spectrum of political discourse is shifted toward normalized fascism. "Fascists turn the oppressors into the oppressed as justification for reactionary attacks on women, immigrants, people of color, and anti-racist activists."
- Carlson's rhetoric encourages violence against members of marginalized communities who are deemed persona non grata. "The goal is to dehumanize those who oppose racism and authoritarianism or whose very existence is in conflict with white America. In a world where all human beings are not considered full human beings, there are no restraints on how poorly they can be treated."
These are the reasons why advertisers are fleeing Tucker Carlson. It isn't an effort to suppress his speech; it's a business decision by businesses not to associate with it. Tucker Carlson is free to spew whatever he wishes, but he is not owed a microphone, a platform and a fat paycheck to do it. There are consequences associated with his hateful speech. He and Fox News may be willing to live with them, and that's fine. The rest of us will spend our consumer dollars on businesses which choose to reject and de-fund what he is doing.