DemDaily: Carlson Cancelled!

April 26, 2023

Fox News on Monday sent shockwaves across the media world with the announcement that it had abruptly fired its highest-rated host, Tucker Carlson.

The controversial pundit, who was at the center of the recent $1.6 billion defamation case against the cable news giant by Dominion Voting Systems, was reportedly told of his demise minutes before the network issued a short statement. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” read the perfunctory release.

Carlson, who started at the media empire headed by billionaire Rupert Murdoch in 2009, rose to fame as a ultra-conservative voice whose abrasive style, and inflammatory and hateful commentary on politics, represented what one former company executive called "the face of White grievance."

Carlson's extremist rants against the left appealed to a viewing audience of nearly three million, including supporters of former President Donald Trump, whom Carlson effusively promoted and informally advised.

The Dominion lawsuit, which was settled by Fox News for $787.5 milion last Tuesday, revealed private communications by Carlson that disparaged colleagues and Fox management with vulgar language. It also uncovered comments from Carlson that he actually "hated" Trump and doubted his claims of election fraud, despite his very public protestations to the contrary.

Carlson, as well as Fox, is also being sued by ex-producer Abby Grossberg who alleges rampant sexism and anti-Semitic behavior behind the scenes at Carlson’s show.

Despite the power of Carlson's platform, mainstream advertisers have opted to avoid a toxic association with the increasingly racist themes on his program, causing further economic damage to Murdoch's conservative juggernaut.

Carlson's firing this week was followed by news that CNN had terminated host Don Lemon over recent misogynistic comments on air and a history of mistreating female colleagues. The same day Comcast announced it fired NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell after corroborating a female employee’s allegations of sexual harassment.

We would like to think that the recent spate of firings is an indication of a more responsible trend in accountability by major networks. In the case of Fox, at least, that is highly unlikely.

The Dominion lawsuit revealed that Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro also knowingly and recklessly, with the approval of top executives, promoted conspiracy theories and false allegations against the voting company and others.

They all continue to report "the news." Tucker Carlson, meanwhile, is reportedly considering a run for president.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: AP, The Guardian, CNN, NBC

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