Since getting fired from Fox News in April, Tucker Carlson has been slowly rebuilding his media empire. Last month, the conservative talk show host reportedly signed a revenue-sharing deal with X (formerly Twitter) that will mean a whole lot more Carlson content on Elon Musk’s dying platform. Then, in late October, Carlson signed his first advertising deal since leaving Fox with Public Square, an online marketplace company backed by Donald Trump Jr. that claims to promote “patriotic small businesses” as an alternative to “woke” corporations with socially conscious investment policies or diversity and inclusion policies.
Starting this month, Public Square will be advertising on Carlson’s website, and his X show will include product placements for Public Square and its products. As Carlson turns his media company into a right-wing home shopping network, I wondered what sorts of ads viewers might expect while watching his show.
Naturally, I first checked to see whether Public Square offers any red-light equipment for consumers interested in tanning their balls, given Carlson’s promotion of the practice in his documentary End of Men. Alas, that gear must be made in China, as the only patriotic tanning products I found were high-waisted bikinis and self-tanning lotions. A search for “testicle” did turn up an expensive supplement that promised “enhanced libido” and the potential of bigger balls. The website claims that rats fed the stuff show an increase in testicle size of as much as 15 percent!
Other Public Square offerings Carlson might soon be plugging include pro-life baby products; “Carnivore Snax” and various meat products (no soy boys here!); tactical gear for “moms who carry,” plus body armor, ammo, and laser sights for concealed weapons. But Carlson will be able to cover all the bases: Not only does Public Square feature a wide variety of mass-shooter accessories, it also offers a range of triage and medical equipment marketed to people who are either wounded in a mass shooting or responding to one.
For $1,599, TacMed™ offers its “Critical Event Response System,” which includes tourniquets, occlusive dressings for chest wounds, and of course, more body armor. I was reminded that Kyle Rittenhouse was carrying a medical kit like this when he shot three people during the racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020. Rittenhouse went on Carlson’s Fox show as soon as he was acquitted of murder charges. Perhaps he will make a repeat visit to help Carlson peddle tourniquets on his X program.
Indeed, Carlson will need to find a special sort synergy to work such things as body armor and testosterone into a show about politics. But perhaps Public Square does at least offer him a bigger range of advertising products than what he had at the end of his tenure at Fox. After years of promoting white nationalists and attacking immigrants and generally alienating most mainstream businesses, by 2021, Carlson’s biggest advertiser was Mike Lindell’s MyPillow, which doesn’t seem to sell on Public Square. The rest of the ads on his show were from a variety of obscure companies touting ear wax removal or toenail fungus abatement products, the sort of things found in popup spam at the end of a New York Post story.
With his new deals with X and Public Square, Carlson has a chance to reboot. And Musk clearly hopes he will also revive the ailing social media site as he does so. But the promise of a lot more Tucker content on X, larded with product plugs for dodgy supplements and American flag socks, may also be the last straw for millions of users who were already leaning toward quitting the platform altogether.