Fox News Blasts ‘Intolerant Partisan Activists’ After Babbel Apologizes For Airing Ad on Tucker Carlson’s Show
Tucker Carlson’s ongoing advertising woes got a little bit worse on Tuesday when online language app Babbel said that it was “deeply sorry” for airing one of its commercials on his “repugnant” Fox News show, suggesting that it was done by mistake and no further ads will be shown during the program.
The network, meanwhile, responded in kind by blasting the company for not being one of their “top tier partners” that the Fox News audience is loyal to while complaining that Babbel was bowing to pressure from “agenda-driven intimidation efforts” to silence Carlson and other conservative voices.
If you saw our ad on Tucker Carlson’s show, you’re right to be upset. We are too. While we did place our ad with Fox, we did not know it would air on a show so repugnant and at odds with our mission and values. We are blacklisting the show going forward. We are deeply sorry.
— Babbel USA (@BabbelUSA) April 30, 2019
“If you saw our ad on Tucker Carlson’s show, you’re right to be upset. We are too,” Babbel said in a Tuesday tweet. “While we did place our ad with Fox, we did not know it would air on a show so repugnant and at odds with our mission and values. We are blacklisting the show going forward.”
“We are deeply sorry,” the company concluded.
“The millions of unduplicated viewers watching Tucker Carlson Tonight are extremely valuable to our advertisers,” a network spokesperson responded in a statement to media outlets. “Our audience is not only deeply loyal to the brand, but to our top tier partners as well, of which Babbel is not one.”
The Fox spokesperson continued: “We will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson’s to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the intolerant partisan activists Media Matters, Sleeping Giants and Moveon.org whose only goal is to silence conservative thought they don’t agree with.”
Carlson’s show has suffered from a sustained advertiser boycott since last December after he said that immigration makes America “poorer and dirtier.” More than two dozen companies soon announced that they would no longer air ads on Tucker Carlson Tonight, prompting Fox News to stand by the primetime conservative star while blaming the backlash on a concerted effort by progressive organizations Sleeping Giants and MoveOn.org and liberal media watchdog (and longtime Fox News nemesis) Media Matters for America.
A Media Matters spokesperson, meanwhile, didn’t allow Fox News’ shots to go unreturned. In response to the network placing blame on Babbel dropping Carlson at their feet while calling the organization “intolerant partisan activists,” spokesperson Laura Keiter told Contemptor the following:
“Fox News is furious that someone acknowledged Tucker Carlson’s misogyny and bigotry for what it is. This should be a clear warning to all advertisers and brands: Fox News is toxic and they will not hesitate to publicly attack you if you choose to stand up for diversity and inclusion. Companies should know that one cannot stand up for basic human dignity and also associating themselves with Fox News’ toxicity. Keep hugging that MyPillow, Tucker.”
Additional sponsors bolted from Carlson’s program in March after Media Matters unearthed the Fox News host making homophobic, sexist, and racist jokes during appearances on shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show years ago, resulting in the 8 PM show leaning heavily on direct-response advertisers and padding out ad time with Fox promos.
Carlson, meanwhile, isn’t the only highly-rated primetime Fox News program dealing with sponsor issues. Laura Ingraham has been struggling with a year-long sustained boycott that began when she publicly mocked Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg after several colleges rejected him. While some advertisers have returned, the Ingraham Angle’s ad load has still not reached pre-backlash levels.
And, adding to the woes, men’s personal health brand hims announced Tuesday night that they would be pulling their commercials from the program after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made a homophobic remark when he said Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was “light in the loafers” during an appearance on The Ingraham Angle.