The Tucker Carlson show will move elsewhere
Fox News has just lost its greatest entertainer
Earlier today, Fox News announced that it was parting ways with its star host Tucker Carlson, effective immediately. There will be no long goodbye: the network’s press release stated that Carlson, 53, had broadcast his last episode on Friday. And just like that Fox’s leading man, and the most popular cable host on American television, was no longer theirs.
No clear details have yet emerged as to the reason for the termination of Carlson’s employment. Viewership certainly wasn’t the issue — as of last week, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the only cable show in the country pulling in over three million viewers. Perhaps it had something to do with the $787.5 million defamation settlement that Fox reached with Dominion Voting Systems last week (in which Carlson’s show played a large role), or with the advertiser boycotts, typically coordinated by Democratic-aligned NGOs that explicitly targeted at Carlson’s programme.
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Perhaps there was some element of palace intrigue, or displeasure among the suits at NewsCorp about Carlson’s continuous courting of controversy. Name your scary “conspiracy theory” — antivax, aliens, Great Replacement, JFK assassination, 2020 election theft, January-6-was-an-inside-job — and there was a good chance Carlson had floated it on air at some point in the last half-decade. Plus, there was that documentary on sunning your testicles.
Presumably all these details will come out in the next days and weeks, as will partisan polemics on Carlson’s legacy. For the Left, he was a terrifying Julius Streicher-type figure, a symptom of the Republicans’ alleged collapse from the noble party of business interests and Cold War hawkishness into conspiratorial, pro-Russian fascism (I say “alleged” because you can read the same things written about Reagan in the ‘80s). For the Right, he was either a dangerous demagogue or, more commonly, a noble crusader against both the crushing conformity of mainstream opinion and the Brezhnevian monotony of conservative counter-programming — and one that could channel the growing current of paranoia on the American Right.
For others still, Carlson’s show was, whatever his considerable flaws, one of the few places left on American television where one could count an alternative to the uniparty consensus on topics like Ukraine, Covid, and the increasingly brazen meddling of the American security apparatus in domestic politics.
All of which is true, or true enough in its own way. Speaking as a conflicted fan of Carlson, and one who generally has little patience for establishment liberal pearl-clutching, even I at times found his rhetoric to at times be incendiary, conspiratorial, and yes, even “irresponsible”; I also thought he was the only cable host worth watching, for the reasons listed above.
But mostly I thought Carlson was tremendously entertaining, in much the same way that Jon Stewart’s Daily Show used to be before Trevor Noah transformed it into yet another vehicle for dreary sermonising under the guise of comedy. Carlson’s show was a circus — ”the greatest show on Earth,” as an old roommate used to call it — and Carlson himself the latest and greatest in a hallowed American tradition of carnival barkers and hustling self-promoters who had a showman’s eye for the outré and grotesque and outrageous. This was a man who could serve as a truer expression of the American folk spirit than all the polished talking heads for whom “the news” is something grave and serious, and not what it is in fact: a vulgar and somewhat disreputable branch of showbiz.
Whether Fox News will be “healthier” in Carlson’s absence is uncertain — but it will definitely be more respectable and considerably less fun.
I’m not a fan of Carlson, but I’m sad to hear he’s leaving Fox. I don’t like him because I don’t enjoy his style of hucksterism. But, as the author notes, he is one of the few voices of resistance against the uniparty consensus.
The conspiracy theorist deep within me wonders if Carlson’s departure was a condition of the Dominion Voting Systems litigation settlement. I do hope he reappears, more popular than ever, on another outlet, if only to spite those Democrat-aligned NGOs organizing advertising boycotts (by the way, why don’t conservatives make greater use of that tactic?).
I would not be surprised if it some of it had to do with his opposition to the proxy war in Ukraine (don’t try to deny it, most Western officials have admitted it at this point). Years ago the same thing happened at MSNBC with Phil Donohue who was their #1 show at the time. He was a vocal critic of the Iraq war at the time and ruffled more than a few feathers. It could also have something to do with the Murdoch kids fighting over the future of the brand. Either way I think Carlson will be fine. He has the audience and much of them prefer to watch him online instead of cable.
Fox will miss Tucker; Tucker won’t miss Fox much at all. He is the Mark Twain of cable news: irreverent, suspicious of elites motives, extraordinarily well prepared, and just plain humorous.
He has done some of his best work with long interviews on Fox Nation, where he’s had interesting if not name grabbing guests. On his nightly show, he’s also had some interesting guests, most recently RFK Jr. Carlson let Kennedy have his say. After Kyle Rotten house’s acquittal, he masterfully let that traumatized young man talk. Carlson will allow guests he doesn’t agree with have their say, if they bring the receipts. But fail to bring evidence and he will call you on it, as he did in the Dominion case.
Whatever he does next, his audience will follow.
He will have less interference, his audience will grow and the elites, will wish he back at Fox, so that they could at least have some influence on the stories he covers and how he covers them.
Yes if you want stuff like Jewish Lasers in Space he’ll be your ‘go to’.
Whether who he works for can afford the insurance they best take out to cover for lies that he spouts that then rebound on them remains to be seen.
There is a job that becomes vacant in 2024
You heard it hear first
Could go on the campaign team as advisor.
No I’m too busy
He may do. But what’s now apparent from documents prepared as part of the Dominion legal process is he was mugging off many of his audience all along. He didn’t believe half of it himself and esp thought Trump a liability. Let’s see what happens as that registers. Folks don’t easily admit they’ve been mugged off, Buyers Remorse and all that, but they quietly start to distance themselves.
He wasn’t my cup of tea either, but then, neither are you.
Carlson was the only corporate news I watched. Entertaining, supersmart, curious, presented different opinions and information instead of just criticism, brought ordinary people and superheroes to his show. He leaves all others far behind in his wake.
When did we first start rolling our eyes at the thought that a conspiracy might actually be real? The Dreyfus Affair? Who benefits from this eye rolling?
Lack wits believe in all conspiracies.
Mid wits believe in none.
The rest of use believe that conspiracies have clearly happened on the past, are happening in the present, and will happen in the future. The point is to be selective about what you believe.
Blackrock’s interest in foxcorp
…Fox will be more respectable, now CT has gone!! Good God man, are you not aware of what’s going on and what’s at stake ?
“For others still,” including me, a retired Canadian reference librarian with ongoing concern for the reliability of information sources (who, as it happens, has always voted left), Carlson was one of the vanishingly small set of MSM figures still worth viewing and reading. Both his broadcasts and his books are substantive, well-researched and plausibly argued. Carlson is a loose cannon who savages the pretensions of Democrats and Republicans alike, and the relentless smear campaign against him is a testament to the accuracy of his criticisms. I have no doubt he’ll land on his feet somewhere on the internet and quite possibly increase his following. As for MSM, on the other hand, his eviction seems more likely to accelerate the credibility and financial death spirals.
I’m also a ‘conflicted fan’ of Carlson. For all his faults and over-the-topism he’s the only journalist on MSM to have the courage to ask the awkward questions to power that no-one else dares to ask.
Never seen him, but he seems analogous to Mark Steyn, loved and loathed for the same reasons, and also now cast into outer darkness
Carlson is wiser-ranging and more genuinely threatening to the bipartisan corrupt institutional consensus than Steyn, who is more strictly a culture warrior
He won’t be in the dark for long.
This was clearly a financial decision. I’ve not examined the evidence implicit in the lawsuit which Fox settled, but the implication must be that Carlson cost them $750m+ in damages. That’s a heck of lot of advertising revenue just to break even, isn’t it?
It just shows that even if your stories are mostly true, in the court room, that doesn’t matter if the evidence you have to justify your contention isn’t deemed sufficient to convince a judge/jury.
Maybe in future Carlson needs to consult more rigorously before broadcasting with good lawyers to determine the potential litigatory effects of running a particular storyline?
I hope he comes back stronger than ever – he’s one of the few voices in the media that actually thinks journalism is important….
Added to that, despite being the most popular news program on cable TC didn’t attract any big advertisers, which is interesting
And the ADL hate him too, which is never good if you want to work in the media
Mostly true? Let me quote one of TCs text messages “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There really isn’t an upside to Trump.” Or perhaps ‘ “Sidney Powell is lying,” to one of his Producers. And yet what he told the MAGA faithful each night was the complete opposite.
This text messages are ‘on the record’.
Now explain who exactly is the mug here?
I was regularly watching the show at that point, on the opening of one of his shows after Jan 6th he called out Sydney Powell for refusing to come on and present her evidence of voter fraud, he spent 5-10 minutes on it. So you’re very wrong there, his viewers knew he thought she was a liar.
He did try to downplay the riots though, and started chasing ratings with looney QAnon-approved guests after that. And I agree he should have been tougher on Trump, most of his supporters were disappointed with his presidency to an extant but Tucker should have voiced this more regularly.
Tucker Carlson never once entertained the Dominion hoax. In fact he was the only voice at Fox that said over and over that it was a Hoax.
Carlson to Powell:
““You keep telling our viewers that millions of votes were changed by the software. I hope you will prove that very soon,” Carlson wrote to Powell a day later. “You’ve convinced them that Trump will win. If you don’t have conclusive evidence of fraud at that scale, it’s a cruel and reckless thing to keep saying.” There was no indication that Powell replied.
“Fox attorneys noted that Carlson repeatedly questioned Powell’s claims in his broadcasts: “When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her,” Carlson told viewers on Nov. 19, 2020.”
Carlson was not a Dominion Hoaxter and it’s galling that the media is portraying that he was…
Those were his texts to Powell, unknown until the suit. Yet his on air comments promoted Powell’s theories.
No they didn’t. Avid watcher of the show, he always did a mea culpa.
How would you like to present your side of an argument in Delaware – -in a civil suit where all that is necessary to “convict” is a majority of a very liberal jury?
The think about Carlson is that very often he seems to hit the nail on the head or be willing to say what most of us are thinking even if we are afraid to say it.
Sure, he came with a price and some of his material was a little edgy, but I cannot think of another TV commentator that a) I actually was interested to hear what they had to say and B) Had the guts to say things nobody else in the media would have the b***s to say.
Tucker Carlson, Don Lemon, Susan Rice, Buzzfeed. A changing of the guard…
Not a changing of the guard. A slow collapse of a decaying institution.
Tucker Carlson has b***s
I pulled the plug on Fox when they hired Donna Brazille, a liar, cheat, and sleazebag. They have been bought by the zillionaire left and Fox will go down the same road as the Washington Post after another sleazebag, Jeff Bezos, bought it. Over time it will degrade to just another propaganda site. I wonder if there will be a boycott of Fox by the same folks that are boycotting Anheiser Busch. That will be interesting, the right/moderate/dragon may have been awakened. I certainly hope so.
It’s already begun I hope it doesn’t let up.
He could be very refreshing when he spoke the plain truth about our colluding in mass killing with abortion, and disappointing in his failure to rally with the Ukraine whatever the corruption levels of both states. Invasion is invasion. We have a duty to protect others whatever their warts.
I view classic moral law principles as the heart of true liberalism, not conservatism though left and right would disagree with me. It all presupposes one’s notion of what rational free willed beings exist by and for and our subsequent duties and rights which are divine in origin.
So I will miss his often refreshingly clear resounding voice in sometimes cackling delight at some leftist trope (the left are anything but liberals) and hope he’ll get a little more reflective and ordered in his assessments. A flawed but very interesting fellow.
As an insightful poster stated below, the recent very expensive lawsuit payout could very credibly be the main cause of this action.
I wonder where he’ll pop up.
“Invasion is invasion. ”
Except when the western countries do it.
No, not “when” whoever does it — eastern or western — but for what purpose. Was the liberation of Auschwitz an “invasion” from the western powers?
I’d be interested in learning which country was invaded by a Western state in the last 100 years for the purpose of taking it over and occupying it?
Lots if you remember that occupying it can mean putting a Quisling type in charge and then stepping back and supporting with money, info and threats.
How about Iraq? Or Grenada?
Ukraine was never our fight. Dems just have a hard on for Putin. At this point I don’t give a sod about the Ukraine, they should have negotiated long ago. We can’t afford it.
Is he going to pop up on another network or will he end up on Rumble with his own show and maybe a Substack to boot?
The show had really gone downhill since 2020 and the Dominion discovery process revealed he was no longer being honest with his viewers. There were way too many cranks appearing regularly and he did little to attempt to reign in some of loonier conspiracies that conservatives have been lapping up the past several years.
Assuming he re-emerges on TV, I hope it’s a long-format weekly show and nutcases like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alex Berenson will not be regular guests.
One note, the great replacement is not a conspiracy theory, Democrats openly cheer the demographic change brought about by dissolving borders, you have to delusional to believe that it wasn’t a concerted plan at this point.
Your conspiracy theory is my theory. And they one after another turned out to be fact.
As you say there is no doubt that the Great Replacement is happening in the US and almost all of Europe. It may or may not be an intentional plan to replace the Western population but it looks like it is.
I thought his Michael Jackson resurrection conspiracy theory stretched credibility too far.
I wouldn’t miss his show and will no longer watch Fox. UnHerd will go down the same way if you continue to write on these controversial topics.
UnHerd has talented writers. UnHerd is better than this. Find other subjects.
Correct! Because we simply can’t allow any outlet with a different point of view from what is authorized by the ministry of propaganda.
You are good an loyal Apparatchik, Elle.
Exactly Warren – write on any topic but propaganda.
(?) When you’re only free to write on “any topic but” the ones that, in somebody’s judgment, nobody should, you aren’t really free to write on very much.
Fox got caught lying about a really big issue, repeatedly and knowingly to a large audience fanning division and in some cases violence and threats to individuals. It essentially admitted it too and is now paying the financial consequences, which with other legal cases in the pipeline is far from finished yet. The repercussions of this have only just started and Carlson’s demise no surprise. (Apparently the latest is Murdoch summarily sacked him for his role in pressurising another employee to lie, but no doubt more will emerge).
Carlson played to a cognitive bias where people like to hear an echo of their innate prejudices. His ego and notoriety needed constant stoking with fresh red meat. So cliche’d it became a big yawn to anyone who thinks for themselves for half a second.
Tucker’s “demise”? If by that you mean getting fired by Fox, then prepare for his second coming on some other platform.
I don’t know about his “ego” or if his audience is “people who like to hear an echo of his innate prejudices”, and I am no great consumer of media, but I can tell you I’ve never heard of Tucker content except from outraged people who loathe him, and in whose Twitter and YouTube feeds his clips constantly appear and are eagerly viewed.
Is it possible a good portion of his online audience is made up of those who “love to hate” him?
On your last point PH, yes possibly. Bit like booing the Wrestler on WWF everyone loves to hate I guess. It’s light entertainment and not proper News broadcasting then is it and should advertised as such. That fair?
Tucket for President?
It now seem that Carlson was fired by his supreme boss, the nonagarian Rupert Murdoch!
I think Murdoch will get a bloody nose for doing this. Hope he lasts long enough for us to witness it.
Not really. You need to grow up.
Are you referring to CNN or MSNBC?
I’ll believe lying, fanning division, cognitive bias and humouring people’s prejudices are the true concerns here when people like Rachel Maddow, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Reid also disappear from our screens. If you think any of the failings you list can be defined politically (or ethnically, racially, religiously, nationally, etc.), then you’re unwittingly part of a longstanding historical problem, not the solution.
Please take a hard look in the mirror. The planet would be better served if self-righteous crusaders, unable to discern the log in their own eye, meditated on the meaning of the phrase, “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” a bit more often (even once would be nice). From heretic and witch burners, who thought they were saving souls from Satan, to Nazis who genuinely believed they were rescuing the Fatherland from the malign influence of homosexuals, communists and Jews, tribalistic moral purists with selective vision have been (and today’s cancel culture warriors remain) symptoms of the very diseases for which they fancy themselves the remedies.
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