Media Matters for America President Angelo Carusone issued the following statement after Fox News attacked Media Matters, Sleeping Giants, and activists in an attempt to distract from advertisers leaving Tucker Carlson's show.
While Tucker Carlson has a well-documented history of racism, advertisers are abandoning Carlson after the Fox News host said that immigration makes the United States “poorer and dirtier”:
Don’t let Fox News distract, deflect, or deceive. This isn’t about Media Matters, Sleeping Giants, or activists. No one forced Tucker Carlson’s odious bigotry and fixation on white genocide conspiracy theories. And that’s what advertisers are rejecting. Rightfully so, too.
For months, Fox News executives have publicly admitted that it’s been increasingly difficult to sell ads on the network’s prime-time programming. Instead of improving the network’s product and reassuring advertisers that they have things under control, Fox News executives are dismissing advertiser concerns and implying that their advertisers are either pawns of Media Matters or were duped. That’s only going to make the situation worse for Fox News, not better.
I sometimes joke that some days it seems like I understand Fox News’ advertisers better than the network does. When Fox puts out bizarre and disconnected statements like the one released today, that sentiment feels more like reality than a joke.
I get why they’re lashing out, though. Fox News is trapped in a net of its own bigotry, lies, and rage. If it does what advertisers want and dials back the white genocide stuff, then its audience will cannibalize the network. If it stays the course, the network’s ad revenue will be decimated and shareholders will eventually sue.
Companies that do business with Fox News are financially supporting bigotry, dangerous lies, and harmful conspiracy theories. Fox News will not change unless forced, and Fox News' major advertisers must reject the network until it actually imposes and enforces some baseline standards.