Dem strategist: Corporate America ‘only’ entity standing up to rhetoric on right-leaning networks

Democratic strategist Adrienne Elrod said Tuesday that large corporations are one of the few entities that have the ability to potentially influence rhetoric on right-leaning networks.

“Corporate America seems to be the only sector that can maybe influence some of these right-wing comments on networks like Fox,” Elrod said Tuesday on Hill.TV's "Rising."

Elrod said if hosts aren’t willing to step up and make a change, advertisers will.

The strategist weighed in on news that several companies have pulled advertisements from Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonPoll: 24 percent of voters want military action against Iran Hannity promises Trump would 'bomb the hell out of' Iran following downing of US drone Tucker Carlson: GOP tax law 'far better deal for corporate America' than middle class MORE’s show over a recent segment about immigration.

Carlson has been facing backlash over his remark last week that immigration makes the U.S. "poorer and dirtier and more divided." He later tried to defend those comments by providing statistics to back up his claim. 

So far, four of the show’s advertisers, including Pacific Life Insurance and Mitsubishi, announced that they are pulling their advertising and said they are in the process of evaluating their relationship with the program.

Carlson has blamed the moves on liberal activism.

“The left would very much like you to stop talking and thinking about bad decisions they’ve made over the years — 'Shut up,' they’re screaming, including to this show," Carlson said during his show on Monday following the announcement from advertisers. 

A Fox News spokesperson made similar comments in a statement to The Hill, saying it was standing by Carlson amid these “unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”

Elrod said Tuesday that Carlson, like fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham, often push the boundaries when offering commentary before pulling back and apologizing.

But she noted that in the case of Carlson, the host hasn't apologized for his comments but has instead doubled-down.

Elrod argued that such comments can put corporations sponsoring the show in difficult positions, with them having to reconcile the rhetoric with their values as a company.

“If you’re a Fortune 500 company and you’re advertising on a show where a host makes comments like this, and clearly has these beliefs — it’s not a good place for you to be,” she said. “If hosts are not willing to take a stand and make a change, the advertisers are coming in.”

—Tess Bonn