Fox News host Tucker Carlson refused to back down this week amid an advertising boycott pushed by progressive activists who are outraged about comments he made on the problems posed by illegal immigration in the U.S.
During a segment last week, Carlson warned that illegal immigrants make “our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
“Our country’s economy is becoming more automated and tech-centered by the day. It’s obvious that we need more scientists and skilled engineers. But that’s not what we’re getting,” Carlson said. “Instead, we’re getting waves of people with high school educations or less. Nice people, no one doubts that, but as an economic matter, this is insane.”
“It’s indefensible, so nobody even tries to defend it. Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this,” Carlson added. “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.”
It didn’t take long for liberal activists and mainstream media members to accuse Carlson of racism — and to claim he was referring generically to all immigrants, legal and illegal.
Although some companies have held firm against intense pressure from liberal activists to withdraw their advertisements from “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” at least nine companies have given in to the pressure.
These companies include Pacific Life, Bowflex, Indeed, SmileDirectClub, and Ancestry.com.
Fox News shared a statement with LifeZette on Tuesday about the latest developments: “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. 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. 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.”
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A Fox News spokesperson also noted that all advertisers are re-expressing — meaning moving their ads to other shows on the network — and that no revenue has been lost.
Additionally, Farmers Insurance, Bayer, Mitsubishi, John Deere, AstraZeneca, My Pillow and Sanofi (the parent company of Gold Bond) have all publicly committed to staying with the program or have not dropped their advertising.
Carlson doubled down on his warnings about unchecked illegal immigration during his Monday night show.
“We’ve talked a lot on this show about the threat to free speech. It turns out it’s very real,” Carlson said in his monologue.
After arguing that “it could be preferable to import” more immigrants with higher skill sets for a “fast-evolving economy,” Carlson said, “That was our claim. And it’s hard to argue with that. In fact, nobody on the Left did argue with it. They ignored it.”
“Instead, they zeroed in on the last line: ‘The Left says we have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, even if it makes our own country more like Tijuana is now, which is to say poorer and dirtier and more divided,'” Carlson added.
“But precisely because it is so obviously true, saying it out loud is a threat,” he also said.
Carlson accused those who “profit” from illegal immigration of trying to make sure “the rest of us” don’t “think about it too much.”
“They want us just to mouth the empty platitudes and move on. Nothing to see here. Shut up and go away,” Carlson said. “Those who won’t shut up get silenced. You’ve seen it a million times. It happens all the time. The enforcers scream ‘racist!’ on Twitter until everyone gets intimidated, and changes the subject to the Russia investigation or some other distraction.”
But Carlson said that this “well-worn” silence and intimidation tactic “won’t work with this show.”
“We’re not intimidated. We plan to try to say what’s true until the last day,” Carlson emphasized.
And “the truth is unregulated mass immigration has badly hurt this country’s natural landscape.”
He added that thanks to “illegal immigration, huge swaths of the [southwest desert] region are covered with garbage and waste that degrade the soil and kill wildlife.”
“We think you have a right to know” about this, he said. “No matter what they say.”
Carlson’s controversial segment last week occurred at the height of the struggle between Congress and President Donald Trump to reach a budget agreement ahead of a potential partial government shutdown this week.
Check out Carlson’s response in the video below:
This article has been updated.