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Young Turks Chief Defends Tucker Carlson After Boycott: ‘Let the Audience Make That Decision’

”I think the advertisers should not pull out of Tucker Carlson’s show,“ Cenk Uygur says

Tucker Carlson earned some unlikely support this week from the Young Turks, whose founder and longtime chief Cenk Uygur said he disagreed with the advertiser boycott against the Fox News host, stating that his fate should rest with viewers — not corporations.

“I have always believed in the marketplace of ideas,” Uygur said during a broadcast Tuesday. “I think the advertisers should not pull out of Tucker Carlson’s show. You could just say ‘hey just stop watching the show’ … let the audience make that decision.”

Uygur and co-host Ana Kasparian made it clear how they felt about Carlson’s remarks last week that immigration made the United States “poorer” and “dirtier” — calling them “odious” and “racist.” However, both appeared keenly aware that Carlson’s advertisers today could be a liberal media organization’s tomorrow.

“I’m tired of advertisers being the gatekeepers of what is and is not appropriate on news shows,” Kasparian said, before going on to plug a subscription for the Young Turks. “This is why membership — you guys, you have no idea how much it means to us — because you guys are the ones who get to hold us accountable and I would much rather serve you than serve advertisers, period.”

Both hosts have been ferocious critics of Carlson and Fox News in the past, but their position against the boycott now puts them at odds with the progressives leading it and in line with Fox News, which has now issued multiples statements denouncing the pressure campaign. Their most recent also included a forceful by-name denunciation of the liberal groups leading the charge.

“We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants,” a spokesperson for Fox News told TheWrap in a statement Tuesday.

“Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home. He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives,” it continued. “While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view.”

Despite their media dominance, Fox News has so far been unable to stem a growing advertiser exodus that has now ballooned to include at least 17 companies. Among them are heavyweights like like Pacific Life, IHOP, TD Ameritrade and employment giant Indeed.