Advertiser Rethinking Tucker Carlson Slots After Segment Calling Jill Biden 'Illiterate'

Fox News host Tucker Carlson's recent disparagement of incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has led at least one advertiser to reevaluate its sponsorship of Carlson's program.

The advertiser, ButcherBox, is still advertising on Fox News, but has pulled their ads from Tucker Carlson Tonight, a spokesperson for the network told Newsweek. A ButcherBox ad ran during Thursday's Hannity.

Biden received her doctorate from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation focused on retaining students at community colleges. An op-ed piece published in December by the Wall Street Journal asserted that Biden's lack of a medical degree precluded her from using the "Dr." prefix. Some observers criticized the article for taking a misogynistic tone.

Carlson took aim at Biden's dissertation, which he described as "incredibly embarrassing," on Wednesday by pointing out a number of typographical errors.

"Dr. Jill needs reading glasses," Carlson said. "Either that, or she's borderline illiterate."

Food subscription service ButcherBox took exception to Carlson's description of Biden. "Tucker Carlson called Jill Biden 'illiterate' on last night's show," tweeted Washington Post media reporter Jeremy Barr. "A @butcherbox ad ran."

"'Carlson's views and comments are in no way a reflection of ButcherBox's beliefs,' a rep says, 'and we will be evaluating how we can restrict this particular time slot from future ad buys'" the tweet continued.

Tucker Carlson called Jill Biden "illiterate" on last night's show. A @butcherbox ad ran.

"Carlson's views and comments are in no way a reflection of ButcherBox’s beliefs," a rep says, "and we will be evaluating how we can restrict this particular time slot from future ad buys"

— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) December 17, 2020

Carlson further described Jill Biden's dissertation as "pure nonsense like pig Latin or dogs barking" and referred to her paper as "our national shame." Carlson also alleged that Jill Biden was "a lot smarter than the man she married," President-elect Joe Biden.

tucker carlson ad spots jill biden
Controversial comments by Fox News host Tucker Carlson have led to advertisers choosing to spend their money elsewhere. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Some public figures came to Jill Biden's defense following the op-ed piece, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Her name is Dr. Jill Biden," Clinton tweeted on Sunday. "Get used to it."

JIll Biden reacted to the op-ed piece published by the Journal in a Sunday tweet. "Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished," she wrote.

Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.

— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) December 14, 2020

In June, Carlson's remarks concerning protests over the death of Black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers caused some major advertisers to abandon Carlson's program. Carlson appeared to blame advocacy group Black Lives Matter for a number of demonstrations. Carlson said that the protests were "definitely not about Black lives. Remember that when they come for you and, at this rate, they will."

Papa John's, Disney, T-Mobile and Poshmark stopped running ads on the program in response to Carlson's remarks.

Amid the controversy, Carlson's program continues to be a hit. According to ratings firm Nielsen Media Research, Tucker Carlson Tonight received its highest ratings ever in 2020 while grabbing an average of 798,000 viewers in the 25 to 54 age range demographic.

Newsweek reached out to ButcherBox and the Biden transition team for further comment.