An article in The Daily Beast explains the grim reality that smarmy racist and hate monger Tucker Carlson is probably safe in his multimillion-dollar white supremacy gig for the foreseeable future. But there are things that can be done.
You may have noticed I’m not much of a supporter of advertiser boycotts against Carlson. One reason is, as The Daily Beast notes, he already has no advertisers. Another reason? The Murdochs.
In January, 2017, Gabriel Sherman reported in New York Magazine that Rupert Murdoch “is a big Carlson fan” and “personally made the decision to promote Carlson” to his current prime-time gig. It’s not as if Murdoch didn’t know what he was getting. As Media Matters noted, Carlson “had already amassed a staunch following among white nationalists for his denunciations of diversity and fervent airing of white grievances.” Recently, Carlson got Lachlan Murdoch’s explicit support after endorsing white supremacists’ “great replacement” theory. In old recordings, Carlson called himself “100 percent [Rupert Murdoch’s] bitch” and said, “Whatever Mr. Murdoch says, I do.” We can probably assume the flip side: that if Murdoch disapproved of what Carlson does, he wouldn't be doing it.
The Daily Beast explains another reason why Fox shrugs off ad boycotts:
While much has been made about the ad boycotts targeting Carlson’s show, Fox News as a whole continues to rake in money not only via advertising revenue but due to the carriage fees it charges cable and satellite providers. Currently, the network brings in $1.8 billion a year just from being included in cable television bundle packages.
I know there is a movement afoot to pressure cable and satellite providers to drop Fox as a news source and charge a premium, like for HBO. I think the providers would be very loath to take action against a station that's very popular with a big chunk of their customers.
According to The Daily Beast, Fox insiders are “disgruntled and frustrated with Carlson’s toxic far-right persona.”
“It’s so stupid,” a Fox News employee said. “I’m at a point where I can’t even be outraged anymore for the sake of my mental health. He’s just a trash human being.”
“He is not only incredibly out of touch, but this is dangerous on so many levels,” a Fox News insider said, adding: “We already know people are prone to believe lies—the Capitol riot and Q—so for someone with his platform, it’s highly irresponsible to encourage something like calling the police.”
Frankly, I’m at a point where I can’t feel very sorry for the disgruntled and frustrated insiders. The fact is, it’s not just the Tucker Carlson Tonight show but his expanded platform on Fox Nation and elsewhere (he made his infamous "great replacement" remarks on Fox News Primetime, e.g.). His rhetoric is bleeding into the GOP, too. At this point, remaining on the job signifies complicity.
I don’t blithely urge anyone to quit their job but a large walkout would certainly send a PR message to the elitist Murdochs and Carlson.
That will probably not happen anytime soon, either. But a 2008 Peter Maass article in The Intercept suggests a way we may be able to apply real pressure: Demand the Murdochs be ostracized. After outlining how the Murdochs could lead the U.S. into civil war (which is quite possibly Carlson's goal), Maass writes:
Rupert Murdoch and his heirs are welcomed into the halls of power and money even though their network has done irreparably more damage to America than Breitbart News, the media platform Bannon once controlled. Few doors (if any) are closed to the Murdochs, with little questioning of whether they should be shunned rather than solicited by the various nonprofit organizations they patronize and support.
Media coverage of the Murdoch sons has been inexcusably indulgent. Lachlan was a featured guest at the New York Times DealBook conference in New York on Thursday, where he was welcomed with applause and had a generally amiable chat with DealBook founder Andrew Ross Sorkin. This is in contrast to what happened when it was merely announced that Bannon would appear at the New Yorker Festival not long ago; after a surge of protests, editor David Remnick was forced to withdraw the invitation.
What would ostracism of the Murdochs look like? To begin with, it would probably involve the rescinding of invitations to all the conferences and galas they regularly attend. They would become as toxic to business-as-usual as Bannon has become. Their presence and their money would not be accepted by any organization that aspires to stand against the poison that Fox News continues to unleash on the country…
Maass goes on to single out James and Kathryn Murdoch but since then, James has severed his ties to his family’s business. So I’d say it’s the other family members who deserve the ostracism.
And, by the way, that goes for Rupert Murdoch’s wife, Jerry Hall. A fawning article in Harper’s Bazaar, in 2019, painted her as a big supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. So long as Hall stays married to a guy who makes money waging war on racial justice, public health and safety measures and democracy, itself, she has no right to pretend she stands for anything other than Fox News' and Tucker Carlson's values.
In other words, we can put pressure on any people or organization that lends any respectability or shows acceptance of the Murdochs. They are the enablers of Tucker Carlson and they should be treated as pariahs.
(Carlson image via screen grab)
While your at congress.gov, go to the main page and just peruse around at the “bills currently proposed” You will be shocked at some. The phrase “and for other purposes” is their “Blank Check” to do anything they want. Cheers