The biggest story in media right now is Tucker Carlson’s abrupt exit from Fox News.
The move was announced Monday and subsequent stories suggested Carlson was indeed fired by Fox News CEO Lachlan Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Since the news broke, media reporters have been trying to find out why Fox News would ditch their most watched, highest rated host.
There’s already a million conspiracy theories as to why it happened: Carlson opposed the Ukraine War, Carlson talked about God at the Heritage Foundation, something to do with the Dominion lawsuit, etc.
But at this point, no one in the public really knows. Carlson hasn’t said anything, and Fox News hasn’t either.
Yesterday, a report surfaced on Twitter that’s gained quite a bit of traction. It hasn’t been verified by other news outlets, but it makes a lot of sense. (See tweets below.)
The report suggests that Carlson still has 18 months left on his contract and that Fox News is attempting to rubber-room him, i.e. keep him paid and off air, effectively preventing him from growing and monetizing an audience elsewhere. Stuff like this has happened in the past.
In addition to keeping him from starting an independent brand, Fox News, a.k.a. the Murdochs, would also be preventing him from covering the 2024 election. That alone would significantly alter the media playing field during the presidential election, taking away one of the biggest conservative/libertarian voices in American politics.
The Twitter thread also includes a link to Rolling Stone reporting that says Fox executives kept a blackmail folder on Carlson. It’s Rolling Stone, a magazine that has been known to make things up, so take it with a grain of salt. But if that report is true, then something is rotten at Fox News.
Long considered the 800-pound gorilla in American conservatism, Fox News may be at the start of an enduring crack up. Most people I’ve talked with say they will have no reason to watch Fox without Tucker. And if the brand can no longer support genuine originality like what Tucker offered, then it might as well be CNN with a different logo.