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‘A much dirtier game’: Trump mulls making advertiser boycotts ‘illegal’

‘A much dirtier game’: Trump mulls making advertiser boycotts ‘illegal’
US President Donald Trump wants to personally “get involved” with advertiser boycotts that have hit American conservative speakers and outlets amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and make them illegal.

Trump touched upon the hot topic on Friday, speaking exclusively with the Daily Caller. The president accused activist groups calling for advertising boycotts of outlets they don’t agree with of playing “a much dirtier game.”

“A friend of mine bought a couple of conservative sites,” Trump said. “And he said, anybody that advertises on the site is being harassed.”

Trump added he perfectly understands those hit by the boycotts, stating that his business empire is constantly coming under similar pressure. For instance, he accused the Washington Post of hounding and harassing people who use his facilities.

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“People are going to have a wedding. They get calls from the Washington Post — you can report it if you want — ‘Why are you going there? Why are you doing a wedding with Trump?’ and these are reporters in the Washington Post,” the president said, insisting that such behavior “has to be illegal in some form.”

While calls for advertiser boycotts are more or less a persistent thing in the US media landscape, they’ve spiked recently in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests that have been gripping the county. Popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson was among those hit by the boycott, apparently over his comments on the protests. 

“This may be a lot of things, this moment we're living through, but it is definitely not about black lives,” Carlson said last week. “Remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.”

While Fox explained that he actually meant the Democrats and had not intended to warn whites of impending racial violence against them, the damage was already done. T-Mobile, for instance, vowed not to buy any air time on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ anymore.

Some, however, have gone even further, calling for advertisers to boycott those who simply dare to host Trump himself on television.

Unlike liberals, conservatives never engage in such games, Trump claimed, insisting they do not go after “liberal sites.”

“This is really a takeover of the whole system. Why is it that the conservatives don’t when they see somebody advertising on MSDNC, why is it that? It’s a different mindset. They don’t go after the advertisers,” Trump stated.

That might not be entirely true, given Trump’s own efforts to silence the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which promotes various forms of boycott against Israel over its policies toward Palestinians and enduring occupation of their lands.

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Last December, the president signed an executive order addressing the alleged “rise of anti-Semitism” on college campuses, which critics blasted as an attempt to shield Israel from any criticism. Earlier in 2019, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution denouncing the BDS movement altogether. Such moves appear to be quite similar to the calls for advertiser boycotts over a ‘wrong’ point of view – the only difference, they come with bipartisan support.

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