Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been spouting white supremacist rhetoric, racist-inspired fake news, and pro-Trump lies for years. Yet his ratings remain strong, because there are an unfortunate number of pathetic people who are comforted by the fiction he peddles. Fox will never get rid of him simply for being horrible. There’s only one thing that can finish him off – and it’s finally in full swing.
If you’re a cable news host, you have to keep turning a profit during your hour, or you get canceled in favor of someone who can turn a profit. You have to keep your ratings high, so your network can sell advertising blocks during your show at a high rate. But it doesn’t matter how high your ratings are, if you’re so radioactive, advertisers are afraid to be associated with you. In that regard, Tucker Carlson just suffered a major blow. Three of them, actually.
It’s bad enough for Tucker Carlson that Nestle and Babbel both announced yesterday that they were pulling their ads from his show. Fox News can always find new advertisers to take their place, but generally at lower rates, as it ends up having to sell the ad blocks to bottom feeding companies. What’s even worse for Carlson is that Long John Silver’s has announced that it’s pulling its ads from all Fox News problems.
Considering the timing, it’s not difficult to parse that Tucker Carlson’s recent rant about white supremacists being a “hoax” was a contributing factor in Long John Silver’s decision. So not only is Carlson’s show becoming less profitable in its own right, he’s now costing Fox News advertisers around the clock. As we saw in the case of Bill O’Reilly, this is the kind of thing that gets a Fox News host canceled, regardless of ratings. Carlson is heading into a real danger zone.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report