Tucker Carlson Boycott Worsens Tension Between Fox, Twitter

(Bloomberg) -- An already-strained relationship between Fox News and Twitter is getting worse.

SodaStream joined a growing group of companies Wednesday in pulling ads from Tucker Carlson’s show following a campaign of Twitter activism highlighting the host’s comment that an immigration crisis made America “poorer” and “dirtier.”

Fox responded by taking Twitter to task. Carlson “is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives,” Fox News said in an emailed statement. “These same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view.”

Tucker Carlson Boycott Worsens Tension Between Fox, Twitter

Fox News hasn’t used its main account on Twitter since Nov. 8, after Carlson’s home address was shared on the social-media platform and protesters turned up at his house.

Earlier this week, Sleeping Giants, Media Matters and other activists encouraged hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers to pressure advertisers to renounce their financial support of the show. To accommodate them, Fox said it will place their ads with other shows.

Some firms, including Deere & Co., AstraZeneca Plc and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., said they’d continue to advertise in the time slot, according to reports in HuffPost and the Hollywood Reporter. Carlson’s is the third-most-popular program this year, as measured by total viewers, Fox says.

Other hosts, including Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, have faced advertiser boycotts this year, but the actions have yet to impact the network’s bottom line. Fox News depends more on subscriber fees and could survive without advertisers altogether, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group LLC.

Twitter declined to comment.

21st Century Fox Inc., Fox News’ parent company, doesn’t break down revenue sources, but S&P Global Market Intelligence has estimated that about 37 percent of its $2.7 billion in operating revenue came from ads in 2018.

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