Greg Gutfeld had to tread carefully this week, a change of pace for the outspoken funny man.
The host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” got fired from the cable news juggernaut last April, and we’ve yet to hear a full explanation as to why. Neither Carlson nor Fox News have offered a rationale for the decision.
Gutfeld shared his take on the matter with Brand, the rebel comic whose YouTube footprint now stands at an impressive 6.72 million subscribers.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) January 12, 2024
The right-leaning comic didn’t throw Carlson or his employer under the bus. He did suggest a critical reason for Carlson’s dismissal, one that makes sense given the tenor of the times.
“Galvanizing advertisers against you … is meant to destroy you. It’s meant to censor you. [The pressure on Carlson] was building and building. Media Matters and other groups were targeting him,” Gutfeld said, adding a professional divorce may have been inevitable. “For him to survive, and everybody who is interesting and has an original point of view, for them to survive it has to be untethered from advertising.”
Advertisers had been fleeing Carlson’s high-rated show for years before his dismissal for content they claimed didn’t match their corporate beliefs.
Disney, Papa John’s and Poshmark are among the advertisers who said they would ensure their commercials would not appear in Carlson’s program in the future. In a Twitter post, the CEO of T-Mobile, Mike Sievert, even appeared to dismiss the idea that his company’s money would ever support Carlson’s program again: “Bye-bye, Tucker Carlson!”
“Advertisers are now the censors,” Gutfeld said.
Yet some advertisers have no qualms with shows like “The View” that spout some of the most unhinged conspiracy theories in the culture. Siding with the Left has its perks, Gutfeld noted.
“They embrace the wokeism as a Trojan Horse to protect themselves from their profit-making, their rent-seeking” Gutfeld explained. “They can point to the fact that, ‘Look we have DEI. We have equity hires. We’re good. We have these special days in our company.’ Meanwhile, they’re doing exactly what a corporation does, which is to grow their influence and their power.”
The host of “Gutfeld!” said neither he nor Carlson were censored at Fox News, but the story didn’t end there.
“Fox never told him what he couldn’t say, but you could tell from the advertising and the pressure on him, that was the leading pressure on his exit,” Gutfeld said.
That chain of events didn’t surprise Gutfeld, who toiled in the men’s magazine space before joining Fox News.
“I knew this in magazines. Advertisers hate the customer, which is so strange. They think you’re stupid, They don’t want to be near the editorial that the customer likes,” he said.
It’s not just a magazine problem.
“You see that in broadcasting. Those with the most advertising tend to have the emptiest editorial. There’s no perspective. There’s nothing that interests you. Once you get interesting or dare to get outside that circle, then it flips on you and then they come after you,” he said, praising how Brand, Carlson, Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan have created independent platforms to preserve their authentic voices.
“People can go and create their own thing, get their own subscriber base and make a living and a career without having to think about upsetting a soap company or a shoe company … meanwhile, the shoe company is having shoes made by 12-year-olds, but they’re lecturing you on diversity and equity. But who make their shoes?”
Later, Gutfeld grilled modern journalists for weaponizing woke against ordinary citizens or anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the narrative du jour.
“They focus not on just people like you, but regular people and the people they hate …so if a plumber decides he’s pro-Trump, then somebody will pick up that Tweet and go, ‘does American Plumbing Supply realize that Joe Stevens actually said Make America Great Again, and they CC the company and then this guy gets swarmed,” Gutfeld said. “What [journalists] do is they amplify it, and the regular people that they despise learn never to touch that stove again, and that’s the self-censorship … The media has become an engine of censorship on behalf of whoever they’re working for, and also it becomes their work, too.”