A media earthquake just hit: Tucker Carlson has left Fox
For anyone who pays attention to politics and the media, there was an earthquake just a short time ago: Fox News announced that Tucker Carlson was leaving the network effective immediately. Neither Fox nor Tucker has given further details about the breakup, so everything right now is speculation. Meanwhile, few noted another departure: Don Lemon is out at CNN.
The announcement from Fox News media about Tucker’s departure was very simple:
FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.
Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st.
Tucker himself has not yet made a statement about his break-up with the outlet. It’s notable, though, that his swift departure from Fox follows immediately on the heels of Dan Bongino’s decision to sever ties with the network.
It’s certain that, at least in the short term, the break-up will hurt Fox’s bottom line, given that Tucker Carlson’s show is the second most watched cable news show on Fox and, for a while at least, it was hauling in more viewers in the key 25-54 demographic than both CNN and MSNBC.
Thomas Lifson speculated that it was possible that “Tucker will start his own streaming platform. I can’t imagine him going to Newsmax unless they cut him in on revenue increase. They could multiply their audience share if they got him.” That’s true, especially given that, “he’s a huge part of Fox Nation’s streaming service via his ‘Tucker Carlson Originals’.”
Image: Tucker Carlson. YouTube screen grab.
My own thought is that, with Dan Bongino and Tucker Carlson leaving, we’re watching the breakout of an internecine battle between the management, which serves as the media’s only Republican party outlet, and popular hosts who have become disenchanted with the GOP. Dan Bongino has long been openly MAGA—and at this point, that doesn’t have to mean supporting Trump himself (and I don’t know whether Dan does or not). Instead, it means arguing for a more robust, proactive conservativism than the GOP seems to support and promote.
Tucker Carlson has never allied himself with Trump or the MAGA banner. However, it’s become increasingly clear that he’s dissatisfied with the GOP’s delicacy in advancing conservative policies and, more importantly, in dealing with the grotesqueries coming from the left. This is true whether that involves Biden’s official policies or the less official activities on the left, ranging from the culture wars to its continuing push for election laws that make cheating easy (e.g, ballot harvesting, mail-in-only voting, the abolishment of “racist” IDs, etc.).
The Babylon Bee, of course, immediately came out with the faux story that must be Fox News’s worst nightmare:
Fox News Fires The Only Reason People Watch Fox News https://t.co/x8qz6THmy5 pic.twitter.com/YZPbZzOBEI— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) April 24, 2023
Meanwhile, CNN had its own parting of ways with a host who, rather than becoming increasingly popular, has instead retreated into obscurity: Don Lemon. Within a short time of the bombshell announcement about Tucker leaving Fox, Lemon posted his own farewell letter:
April 24, 2023
Maybe CNN is trying to revitalize its brand and made Tucker an offer so good he couldn’t refuse. Leftists, of course, are speculating that Tucker was fired, just as Lemon was:
Congrats to Tucker Carlson upon becoming the first tv host in history to be fired by CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News - the cable tv Triple Crown! https://t.co/vC2zzlbOov— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) April 24, 2023
Tucker Carlson has been fired! https://t.co/8WybBb1UAA— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 24, 2023
Given the revenue stream Tucker’s show provided for Fox, I find that hard to believe.
What’s clear is that there is a great reshuffling happening in the American media scene. Given that I’ve been disenchanted with the media for decades (although I was too young to realize that Walter Cronkite’s Tet offensive opinionating immediately on the heels of his hard news report was already revealing media corruption), I hope that these shake-ups eventually benefit Americans by leading to more honest reporting…that is, reporting that manages to keep a clean line between “just the facts” stories and editorial opinions.
UPDATE: This post was barely published before Anony Mee sent me a link that supports my sense that we're witnessing a war between MAGA and GOP factions within Fox. And as I said, while Tucker isn’t MAGA, I think he really dislikes the GOP:
Nobody in main stream media talks like this…pic.twitter.com/y3o8xzNJEQ— Rob Wood (@coachrobwood) April 23, 2023