Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to receive backlash over his comments regarding immigrants, which many called racist and xenophobic. This time the pushback came in the form of a guest on Carlson's own show, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on Carlson's show to discuss the legal implications for retired General Mike Flynn. But before that commentary began, Dershowitz stated he needed to say something to Carlson.
"I hate boycotts and attempts to censor free speech. I’m in favor of complete dialogue, but as such, I feel compelled to tell you that I, with due respect, disagree with the way you categorize mass immigration. That’s all. I just want to say that."
The Tucker Carlson Tonight guest referred to the exodus of many of Carlson's show sponsors. Spurred by public outcry over Carlson stating immigrants make the United States "poorer and dirtier," advertisers began pulling their campaigns from Carlson's show almost immediately.
Dershowitz later stated:
"I wish you hadn’t used that language. Language like that was used to describe my grandparents and great-grandparents and probably some of yours. So let’s move on."
But Carlson responded, once again trying to backtrack from his own comments, and shift blame to the "American Left":
"Well, actually, just in point of fact since you brought it up, as noted on Monday, that was in the context of a conversation with an elected official in Tijuana about the filth of his city, and he was complaining about how dirty it had become, which was a byproduct of the policy decisions pushed by the American Left."
"I would never describe people as inherently dirty. I don’t think that they are."
Tucker Carlson coming close to a mea culpa on his "dirtier" comment on tonight's show: "I would never describe peop… https://t.co/a1067VdjLA— Jeremy Barr (@Jeremy Barr) 1545268331.0
Watch the interview here.
Reaction to Dershowitz's remarks was mixed, with some applauding Dershowitz.
@Salon No @AlanDersh, Tucker Carlson's grandparents were UBER rich, his G-Grandparents were UBER rich. He knows not… https://t.co/3SE575iuU3— RBChessi (@RBChessi) 1545324362.0
@jeremymbarr Tucker would need the ability to think to defend his thoughts.— Billy (@Billy) 1545274359.0
@jeremymbarr Sounds like Tucker needs more prayers, than thoughts.— “Nancy” (@“Nancy”) 1545313667.0
@jeremymbarr When you want your advertisers to come back but you also want your base to know you're still with them— JulieS (@JulieS) 1545314264.0
Tucker Carlson appears determined to feed the advertiser-pressure campaign against him: https://t.co/jpvsPkaq9a— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) 1545270292.0
While others felt both men were equally contemptible.
And some took exception to Dershowitz use of the term censorship.
Advertisers are free to choose what personalities to endorse. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.
@jeremymbarr Dershowitz - of all people - should know better. Boycotts aren't a restraint on free speech. They ar… https://t.co/2lnnrMGxBy— Billy (@Billy) 1545274540.0
@jeremymbarr "censor" is really not the right word here.— NRA & Fox News Boycott (@NRA & Fox News Boycott) 1545268302.0
Although Carlson did have his defenders.
But Alan Dershowitz point to Carlson was reiterated to them as well.
While Carlson's program continues to lose sponsors, he stands behind his words. But now claims they were in an entirely different context.
Whether that will bring sponsors back remains to be seen.