Tucker Carlson, the controversial host of the 8 p.m. slot on FOX News, has lost more than 30 advertisers in the past three months, according to Media Matters for America. This list includes the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. That corporation, the maker of the heartburn drug Nexium, dumped him last week after the progressive media watchdog unearthed radio archives capturing some of Tucker Carlson’s vulgar comments about women.
Also last week, more than 150 people attended a “Drop FOX” rally at the New York headquarters of NewsCorp, with many calling for Tucker Carlson to be fired from his job at FOX, which reportedly pays him more than $8 million per year. Carlson, the stepson of the heir to the Swanson TV dinner fortune, also has a 2017 book deal worth up to $10 million with publisher Simon & Shuster.
Newsweek reported that in the first half of last year Tucker Carlson Tonight took in nearly $100 million in ad revenue for FOX, but the full effect of the advertiser boycott has not been publicly tallied.
He is facing ongoing calls for his remaining advertisers to boycott his show, with activists targeting his eight main sponsors. These firms include StarKist Tuna, which pleaded guilty to criminal price-fixing last October and faces a fine of up to $100 million, and Jenny Craig, which dumped Laura Ingraham’s FOX show last year. It also includes ads for My Pillow, whose founder Mike Lindell claimed that Donald Trump “was chosen by God” to run for President, so his company is unmoved.
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson has refused to apologize for his offensive quotes, which also include many anti-immigrant and white supremacist comments.
Here are five more facts people should know about him.
1. Tucker Carlson Has a Pattern of Unapologetic Misogyny. As Harper’s Bazaar recapped, Media Matters captured Tucker Carlson calling women “’c*nty’ and ‘whores’ and ‘extremely primitive,'” but “[t]he part that should really jump out for listeners is when Carlson defends child rape.” He also made sexually degrading claims about Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. And, just this past week, Joan Walsh wrote about how Tucker Carlson called her the c-word, too, and made disparaging suggestions about her sex life, in one of his office tirades–and then denied he did so. That was less than ten years ago.
Meanwhile, for nearly a decade Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller operation has routinely published content that objectifies women, as Erik Wemple reported for the Washington Post. Wemple also detailed how one of the Daily Caller’s writers, Chuck Ross, had a long paper trail of sexist and racist writings, which Ross tried to distance himself from. But Carlson did not; he refused to answer whether he knew of Ross’ past when he was managing the Daily Caller.
Additionally, for years the Daily Caller has relied on the Koch-aligned Independent Women’s Forum to give a female face to the war-on-woman agenda, while using swimsuit models as clickbait to help drive traffic on the website.
2. Tucker Carlson’s Outlet Was Secretly Funded by the Trump Presidential Campaign. As this author discovered during an investigation of the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s outlet was secretly getting sponsorship payments from the Trump campaign during the 2016 election season. But Tucker Carlson did not ever disclose to FOX viewers how he benefited from selling the Daily Caller mailing list to the campaign, even as he landed prime interviews on FOX with candidate Trump and as the Daily Caller attacked Hillary Clinton relentlessly.
3. Tucker Carlson’s “Charity” Has Provided Most of the Stories for His For-Profit. The results of that investigation were broken by Callum Borchers in the Washington Post: “Charity doubles as a profit stream at the Daily Caller News Foundation.” That part of the investigation documented how Tucker Carlson’s tax-free charity, the Daily Caller News Foundation, provided most of the political or policy stories for his for-profit Daily Caller.
As the Post noted: “’It really does look like the reason for the existence of this 501(c)(3) organization is to provide benefits to the for-profit company, and that should be a private benefit that is not acceptable,’ said Linda Sugin, a law professor at Fordham University. ‘You can’t have money going into the foundation being used for purposes that are really to support the for-profit organization.’”
The other noteworthy element of this arrangement is that the charity discloses that it pays Tucker Carlson no salary, while whatever salary, benefits, and bonuses are paid to him by the for-profit arm are kept secret. Additionally, at the time of the investigation in 2016, very little content that was posted to his charity site was promoted on social media but much of that same content was heavily promoted on the advertiser-driven, for-profit Daily Caller.
4. Tucker Carlson’s “Charity” Has Been Funded by the Dark Money ATM DonorsTrust. A review of foundation giving shows that Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller News Foundation has accepted money from DonorsTrust, the secretive funding operation that is now led by longtime Koch operative Lawson Bader. Because of its close ties to the Koch network of billionaires, Mother Jones dubbed DonorsTrust the “Dark Money ATM” of the right-wing.
DonorsTrust has given Tucker Carlson’s foundation at least $40K, but there is no public data from 2018. His foundation can also accept unlimited and undisclosed personal and corporate checks.
5. Tucker Carlson’s Charity Received a Huge Check from Charles Koch’s Foundation in 2016. In the presidential election year, Tucker Carlson’s foundation received $946,127 from the Charles Koch Foundation. That year, the Daily Caller published hundreds of stories attacking Hillary Clinton and aiding Trump. That nearly million dollar gift came as Trump was running for President and constitutes more funding in a single year from foundations controlled by Koch than in all prior years combined, which tallied $805,512.
How much, if anything, the Daily Caller News Foundation received from the Koch charities during the mid-term election year is not yet known. What is known is that Tucker Carlson’s outlets have consistently pushed the Koch agenda on carbon, thwarting efforts to mitigate climate change and pushing “deregulation” in numerous stories on its sites.
Although Tucker Carlson stepped away from managing the Daily Caller when he succeeded sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly’s spot at FOX, there is no disclosure of how much he continues to benefit from the activities of the Daily Caller, which has continued to echo his claims and his approach on issues involving women, race, immigration, our environment, and more.