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Tucker Carlson announced plans this week to crisscross the country with a 15-city arena tour.

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New York CNN  — 

Ticketmaster is linking arms with right-wing extremists, boosting their ability to reach mainstream audiences and profiting off their dangerous and hateful rhetoric ahead of the November election.

The ticketing sales giant is the distributor of the forthcoming live speaking tour from Tucker Carlson, who announced plans this week to crisscross the country with a 15-city arena tour, inviting fellow conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones and Marjorie Taylor Greene to join him along the way.

On the Ticketmaster website, Carlson is referred to as “the leading voice in American politics” and “an alternative to corporate media dedicated to telling the truth about the things that matter — clearly and without fear.” While it is hard to imagine that Ticketmaster conjured this glowing description of Carlson itself, it is remarkable the company would approve it and promote it on its site.

That is because there is not a morsel of truth to how Ticketmaster is presenting Carlson to its customers. Carlson, a former mainstream conservative who over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency traveled to the fringes of American politics, has for years promoted dangerous disinformation and damaging conspiracy theories. Carlson lied about the Covid-19 vaccines, discouraging his fans from receiving the life-saving shots. He sowed doubt about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, suggesting that it was rigged by sinister forces against Trump. And he reprehensibly peddled the false notion that the January 6 insurrection was a so-called “false flag” operation staged by the “deep state.”

In addition to those corrosive lies, Carlson has been one of the top promoters of the Great Replacement Theory, the idea favored by White supremacists that falsely accuses the Democratic Party and wealthy Jewish figures, such as George Soros, of importing third-world migrants into the U.S. to shift the country’s demographics to win elections. For his repugnant promotion of such lies, The New York Times noted that while Carlson was at Fox News, he “constructed what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news.”

Ultimately, Carlson grew to be too much of a problem even for Fox News, and the Rupert Murdoch-controlled right-wing channel dispensed of him last year. Evidently, Fox News has higher standards for whom they will do business with than Ticketmaster, a remarkably low bar for the events giant to trip over.

Asked for comment this week, representatives for the Live Nation subsidiary chose not to respond. In fairness to the company’s public relations division, it is difficult to see how they can defend such conduct. How can any decent person not only participate in enabling Carlson’s poisoning of the public discourse but also justify profiting off of his hateful rhetoric in the process?

CNN also posed questions to the venues hosting Carlson, which include the Honda Center, T-Mobile Center, Delta Center, Dickies Arena, Intrust Bank Arena and others. Spokespeople representing each respective venue did not provide a comment.

These are uneasy questions that major businesses will be confronted with in the years ahead as the Republican Party veers further and further toward the fringe. Far-right and conspiratorial figures like Jones, the founder of Infowars who openly fantasized this week about executing Dr. Anthony Fauci and other Trump critics, were once banished to the shadows of the conservative movement, mocked by people like Carlson. Now, Carlson and others openly celebrate Jones, fully aligning themselves to assail the nation’s institutions.

Companies with basic ethics should, of course, reject doing business with dishonest figures who profit by dumping toxic waste into the country’s information environment. But doing so puts them at risk of being targeted by those very same people who, like Trump, have tremendous sway over the vast majority of Republicans and a lightning rod for painful boycotts.

But, while the politics of 2024 makes for a thorny business environment for companies to navigate, from an ethics perspective, the questions that lie before them come with clear and obvious answers. Those uncomfortable decisions risk catapulting them squarely into the center of the information wars, where grifters like Carlson thrive.