Veterans associations, furious vets and military personnel are calling on their insurance company to yank ads from Fox News and Tucker Carlson’s program after he called Gen. Mark Milley, a “pig” for schooling Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) during congressional testimony.
Carlson went after the nation’s highest-ranking military officer on Thursday, saying Milley’s “not only a pig, but stupid” after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff put Gaetz in his place. Milley told lawmakers — most pointedly Gaetz — that it’s important for military personnel to be “open minded,” “widely read” and educated about issues, including about Critical Race Theory.
“What is wrong with understanding? Having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” an irritated Milley asked Wednesday during the House Armed Services Committee hearing, which left Gaetz shaking his head in disgust.
Carlson came back Friday to again attack Milley, slamming his remarks as “disgraceful.”
Now veterans, service members and other customers are calling on the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), a banking and insurance company which primarily serves vets and their families, to stop supporting Carlson’s show with advertising dollars.
Fox News has in the past maintained a reputation as strong defender of the military, making it an obvious choice for ads appealing to vets and service members. That reputation is deteriorating as Carlson has repeatedly attacked the U.S. military, calling it soft, woke and, to his disgust, femininized.
After the Milley attack, the nonpartisan Veterans for Responsible Leadership, went after USAA.
“So, USAA, is this who you advertise with?” asked a tweet by the group. “Asking for 18 million friends.” It later followed up: “USAA what are you going to do about this?”
— Veterans For Responsible Leadership (@VetsForRL) June 25, 2021
The founder of advocacy group High Ground Vets, Kristofer Goldsmith, also called on USAA to “Dump Tucker.”
Tucker Carlson has made attacking individuals in the military, including those of lower enlisted ranks, a major theme of 2021. They face endless targeted attacks and harassment from his followers every day thereafter. It’s time for @USAA to #DumpTucker. https://t.co/vsrsK4THF7
— Kristofer Goldsmith (@KrisGoldsmith85) June 25, 2021
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) June 25, 2021
USAA customers alerted the company on social media — and in phone calls — that they would cancel their insurance policies unless the company pulled its ads.
The company did not immediately respond to requests from HuffPost to comment.
USAA – I strongly recommend you suspend advertising on a channel that promotes blatant disrespect for military leaders and ridiculous misinformation!
— Positive Theory (@positive_theory) June 26, 2021
As a veteran, I see Tucker Carlson displays distaste and disrespect for the men and women who served this country.I plan to let USAA how offensive to me as a customer that Carlson who did not serve disparages those who did.His racist screeds against the military are offensive! https://t.co/ISRXJmaghV
— BD Smith (@TeacherSmith60) June 26, 2021
Furious. Decades with USAA. Military family: WWII Distinguished Flying Cross, WWII Purple Heart Marine, & WWII D-Day veteran. Husband Naval Aviator who is calling USAA today.
— Daughter of the American Revolution (@DaughteroftheA2) June 25, 2021
@USAA My family of veterans have everything insured by you. It is more expensive but, loyalty is more important to us. We've been loyal to your business. That will change if you continue to support FOX who maintains their coverage shouldn't be belived. https://t.co/9QRHzgwBnH https://t.co/Wph1YcDN4t
— Just Me (@myweiredworld) June 25, 2021
Good evening @USAA,Please accept this as my formal notice that you have until the end of June to cease all advertising during any @TuckerCarlson programming or I will move my insurance policies and accounts to a competitor that does not financially support Carlson.Thank you.
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) June 25, 2021
I'm working on getting away from @USAA as well. They've been unwavering in their support for Fox News. I won't support a business that condones these comments about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
— Joe H (@angryjoeIA) June 25, 2021
@USAA I’m so disappointed. Decades of home/auto insurance, my mortgages, and a credit card. (1990)It will hard to leave, but make no mistake, we will go if you keep supporting @TuckerCarlson. You say you support the military, I guess we’ll see if that’s true.
— Zingamomma 🎶🇺🇸😷🇺🇸🎶 (@tubawidow) June 25, 2021
@USAA I 100% agree. My dad was a WWII vet and long time @USAA member. The entire family is on USAA for all kinds of insurance and financial planning needs. Carlson and @FoxNews sickens me, attacking a decorated general and multiple war vet. Disgusting
— K Walters 🌊🌎 (@miagl11) June 26, 2021
It makes sense that a confederate sympathizer would hate the U.S. military. https://t.co/xDF9aTv57G