As of Tuesday night, more than a dozen major advertisers have announced they are abandoning Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show after the host argued that immigrants are making America “dirtier” on an episode last week. His CNN competitors say he brought it on himself.
Chris Cuomo said he normally wouldn’t play “hateful speech” on his show, but explained that it was “important for people to see what someone’s trying to pass off as news.” The CNN host added, “I don’t know where his people come from but, ‘dirtier’? Is he really talking about human beings in that way?”
CNN’s Don Lemon added that he generally prefers not to criticize “colleagues” since “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks,” but given that Fox News is the “CNN, MSNBC criticism channel” he decided it was fair game.
Lemon said he doesn’t think anyone should be “boycotted for a one-off” but “for the most part Tucker Carlson uses his platform to demonize immigrants almost on a nightly basis, to demonize this network almost on a nightly basis, to spread false information, misinformation, to spread the president’s lies, to cover the president’s back, to carry his water on a nightly basis.”
“What he said about immigrants in this country, about making the country dirtier, and poorer, that is completely false,” he continued. “That is the opposite of what we do on this network every day.”
Unlike Lemon, Cuomo—who worked at Fox News early in his career—refused to call Carlson his “colleague,” explaining, “I think the Trump trio are in a different business than the one that I’m in.” (He seemed to be referring to Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.)
“They have different tactics, they have different reasons for doing it, and they have different goals of what they’re trying to do,” he said. “So I don’t consider him a colleague. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to say it, but so do advisers have a right to respond to what he said.”
In a statement earlier in the day, Fox News compared the advertiser boycott to the protests outside Carlson’s home last month. “Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home,” the network said. “He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives.”