Fox News Parts Ways With Tucker Carlson Days After Dominion Settlement

Fox News on Monday fired its most popular primetime host, Tucker Carlson, who has been a vocal advocate for immigration, black civil rights activists, vaccines and national identity. His monologue has made him one of the most influential voices on the American right in recent years.

Carlson’s resignation surprised people within Fox News and the larger conservative media world. Mr. Carlson had the power to spice up candidates and controversies on the 8 p.m. show “Tucker His Carlson Tonight.” His last show was on Friday, said Fox.

The decision to let Carlson go was made Friday night by Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, briefing on the move. said an official who received the Carlson was notified by Scott on Monday morning, another person said.

Carlson’s program has become an ideological ally and a must-watch for conservatives during the presidency of Donald J. Trump, who emerged as a political force through the same populist culture war grievances that made Carlson a star. became.

After Trump’s inauguration, he was promoted to the primetime line-up in early 2017 and quickly emerged as one of Fox’s big names.

A conservative commentator on television, talk radio, and the Internet, who has a relationship with Trump and has the ability to sway Trump’s views, even temporarily, and speak directly to the concerns of the former president’s supporters. Very few other people have them. .

But the power Carlson, 53, wielded outside of Fox News could not shield him from the network’s ever-growing list of issues related to his on-air and off-air behavior. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corporation, who co-founded the network in 1996, according to two people familiar with the company’s decision.

Some on Mr. Carlson’s list of woes were dissatisfaction with Fox’s chief executive officer, Lachlan Murdoch, and his father, Rupert, the company’s founder and…David Paul Morris

The host, who was a polarizing and unpopular figure in the network outside of his own staff, often used profane and sexist language to target colleagues and sources as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems. Exposed as a bully who slandered and asked for his dismissal. of the Fox journalist whose coverage he dislikes. He has also drawn fire from the right and left for promoting a revisionist account of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.

Since the network’s turbulent times in 2016 and 2017, no one has brought more attention to Fox News. For sexual misconduct.

One of the early points of controversy was Carlson’s 2021 documentary “The Patriot Purge,” in which the attacks that day were a so-called false flag operation designed to discredit the former president and his political campaign. I advanced the conspiracy theory that it was. Lachlan Murdoch was said to have been caught off guard by the program, and two of his conservative Fox News contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, resigned in protest.

In March, Mr. Carlson edited tens of thousands of hours of footage of the attack given by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, showing what Mr. Carlson called “almost peaceful” bystanders innocently stepping into the riot. used to misrepresent the mob as Houses of Parliament. The broadcast drew criticism from Senator Mitch McConnell, a friend of Rupert Murdoch, who said Carlson made “offensive and misleading conclusions.”

The Patriot Purge conspiracy theory that the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 was a so-called false flag operation designed to discredit the former president and his political campaign. Did.

But an off-air fuss in recent weeks contributed to Mr. Carlson’s ouster. He was scheduled to be a star witness in a defamation lawsuit against the dollar.

And late last month, one of his former producers filed a lawsuit against Fox and Mr. Carlson, alleging the host ran a toxic workplace. , said she endured an environment where “unprofessionalism reigned, and the staff’s dislike and contempt for women permeated nearly every employment decision.” accused of making anti-Semitic remarks and of frequently speaking crudely and derogatoryly about women.

Monday, Fox made a brief statement It thanked Carlson for announcing his resignation, but provided no explanation. “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways.

Carlson did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Fox News host Harris Faulkner said on Monday’s broadcast that the interim show “Fox News Tonight,” which begins that night, will “rotate between Fox News personalities until a new host is named.” He said he would fill 8 p.m.

The expulsion was an ignominious change in the career of a man once rumored to be a potential presidential candidate within the Republican Party. When Trump was in the White House, Carlson listened when he wanted to. And long before he became a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic — Mr. Carlson’s political persona often shifted to suit the whims of audiences — he made his March 2020 debut in Florida. He visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence to personally urge the president to run for office. Make coronavirus more serious. He explained to Vanity Fair that at the time he felt “a moral obligation to help in whatever small way I could.”

Both Trump and Carlson have helped push far-right positions into the Republican mainstream on issues such as border policy and race, and have enjoyed pitting their political opponents against each other with bold and often untruthful attacks.

Mr. Carlson warns viewers that he is under attack from liberal elites and uncontrolled immigrants, borrowing some of his central themes from white supremacists and the far-right web to move to a more mainstream Polished up for the audience. When he feared Trump was undermining his campaign promises, such as deterring and deporting immigrants and enacting tougher policies to reduce America’s entanglement in foreign conflicts, he criticized him on his show. expressed concern. One night.

When Fox launched the streaming network Fox Nation to get more revenue from its most loyal fans, it was Carlson who became the new platform’s top personality. Duplicate elites and race-obsessed liberals.

During his time at Fox, he defied the network’s senior leadership while developing an impression among his colleagues that he was comfortable with the Murdoch family, especially Fox chief Lachlan Murdoch. However, Carlson said in affidavits as part of the Dominion lawsuit that the two men were not particularly close. , replied, “Rarely.” He added, “It’s not weekly, it’s not monthly.”

The Dominion case exposed Mr. Carlson as a controversial pro-Trump figure who didn’t always match up with what he said personally. When he told viewers after the 2020 election that they were right to question the reliability of the vote numbers, he was telling producers the opposite.

As part of Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against Fox, private messages were revealed with members of his staff who slandered Trump and his legal advisers with vulgar and sexist language after the 2020 election. rice field. In an exchange with a staffer, Mr. Carlson texted Mr. Trump, saying, “I hate him so much.” In another article, he called Mr. Trump, whom he often admired on the show, a “diabolical force, a destroyer.”

Grossberg’s recent lawsuit alleges that she was coerced into submitting misleading statements by Fox’s attorneys in the Dominion lawsuit, and she accuses Carlson of presiding over a misogynistic and discriminatory workplace culture. are accused of

In the lawsuit, Abby Grossberg accuses Carlson of presiding over a misogynistic and discriminatory workplace…Desiree Rios/New York Times

In a lawsuit filed in March, Grossberg discovered that on her first day working for Carlson, her workspace was decorated with a large photo of Rep. Nancy Pelosi in a bathing suit. said. .

“Mr. Carlson’s disparaging comments about women and his disdain for those who dare to oppose such misogyny are well known on the set of his show,” the lawsuit said.

Grossberg’s attorney Parisis G. Philippatos said on Monday that Grossberg had nearly 90 recordings from her time at Fox that backed up her claims of a hostile workplace culture, saying Fox voters It bolstered claims that it broadcast lies about. Fraud.

Fox said it would refute Grossberg’s allegations. After filing a lawsuit in New York, she was fired and filed another lawsuit against her company in Delaware.

Justin Wells, the senior executive producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is no longer employed by Fox News, according to two people familiar with the decision within the network. Wells has worked closely with Carlson since the primetime show began in 2016.

In recent years, Mr. Carlson has led people to believe he is invincible. In an interview with media outlet Semafor last year, he boasted that he runs virtual autonomy on his Fox. “I don’t clear anything with anyone. I’m late submitting the script,” Carlson said.

He’s not the first Star Fox personality to leave the network after gaining a huge following. Two years later, Fox broke up with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

A Fox executive said at the time that there was one factor that led to his departure more than anything else: No one is bigger than the network.

Nicholas Confessor and Jim Rutenberg contributed to the report.

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