In the tumultuous world of cable news, few names have garnered as much attention and controversy as Tucker Carlson. From his unexpected rise to becoming one of Fox News’ biggest stars to his abrupt departure, the Tucker Carlson News at Fox is a tale of political intrigue, media dynamics, and the power struggles within one of the largest news networks in the world. Stay tuned with Fixture Support Systems as we bring you details about Carlson’s shocking exit from Fox News.
The Unexpected Shift
Tucker Carlson, known for his fiery rhetoric and staunchly conservative views, had become one of Fox News’ most prominent figures, thanks to his unwavering support for then-President Donald Trump. However, a series of events in early 2022 began to unravel his once-unassailable position.
The Murdoch-owned Fox News had thrived during the Trump presidency, with Carlson as one of its leading voices. It had weathered the storm of the most corrupt politicians in the world and various US political scandals, including the ousting of its founder, Roger Ailes, amid a sexual harassment scandal. The network had also faced the loss of Bill O’Reilly, another prominent host, embroiled in a harassment scandal, and the departure of Megyn Kelly, who was seen as a potential moderate voice for Fox’s future.
However, Trump’s election in 2016 marked a turning point. Fox News became more successful than ever, and its prime-time lineup was reshuffled to accommodate the changing political landscape. Sean Hannity, a former ratings laggard who had embraced Trump wholeheartedly, was given a prominent slot at 9 p.m., catering to the MAGA base.
The most significant change came at 8 p.m., with Rupert Murdoch’s unexpected decision to appoint Tucker Carlson, a former magazine journalist, to the anchor slot. Murdoch had believed Carlson to be a moderate Republican who could counterbalance Fox’s growing Trumpism. Instead, Carlson became a firebrand, and the network’s ratings soared.
The Tucker Carlson News: Appointment Gone Wrong
However, Carlson’s success turned into a predicament for Murdoch. In April 2022, The New York Times issued a three-part exposé focused on Carlson and his role at Fox News. The series questioned Carlson’s programming strategy, portraying him as a champion of Trumpism while distancing himself from Fox’s traditional conservative identity.
Carlson’s attempts to disassociate himself from Fox’s overwhelmingly Irish Catholic right-wing identity, represented by figures like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, were brought to light. He notably claimed to be “anti-Catholic” and espoused a more traditional WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) ethos.
This revelation put Murdoch in a difficult position. While he had faced criticism from The New York Times in the past, this attack on Carlson challenged his perception of the anchor as a moderate Republican. Murdoch’s children, many of whom read the newspaper, were appalled by the exposé.
Defamation Suit Slammed on Fox
The controversy escalated as a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems extended to Fox Corp. and its top executives, including Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. Such lawsuits are typically resolved quickly to avoid exposing media companies’ inner workings and the potential for costly settlements. Still, Murdoch’s legal team appeared unfazed.
Divisions within Fox News and the Murdoch family deepened as the Dominion lawsuit loomed and the 2022 midterm elections approached. While Lachlan Murdoch advocated resolving the lawsuit, Rupert Murdoch seemed more focused on punishing Trump for his role in the network’s predicament.
Tucker Carlson’s future at Fox News became uncertain. He had transformed into a star but found himself isolated within the network. The prospect of being fired loomed, and Carlson contemplated becoming a Trump alternative in the 2024 presidential race, given his familiarity with the former president.
Conclusion: Carlson Pays the Price
The situation highlighted Murdoch’s dilemma: Fox News must maintain its dominant position and generate profits, but the network’s reliance on Donald Trump’s appeal posed a challenge. Murdoch’s desire to punish Trump clashed with the network’s need to retain its audience.
Ultimately, Tucker Carlson’s exit from Fox News marked the end of a tumultuous era, leaving a legacy of controversies and a media landscape in flux.
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