Fox News Channel was positively the last of the Mainstream Media that had any credibility left. Today they wasted it, by firing Tucker Carlson, shortly after the $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Services. (Or possibly to placate such legislative leaders as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., or Sen. Charles M. Schumer, D-N.Y.) As may be, Tucker Carlson has no more ties to the Mainstream Media – and Fox News has no more credibility. Fox is losing already – and if the latest reports are accurate, Tucker Carlson has already found a new home.
What it really means for Tucker Carlson to get fired
No one, aside from those of us still capable of logical deduction, cared to utter the verb to fire in connection with Tucker Carlson.
The etymology of the verb to fire, meaning to discharge from employment, is interesting in itself. It derives from the former custom of carrying an executive’s desk out into the street outside the company headquarters, and setting fire to it. John C. Patterson, head of the National Cash Register Company, did this to Thomas H. Watson. Watson went on to buy the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and rename it International Business Machines.
All of which to say that Tucker Carlson need have no worry about his sudden discharge. He has an asset – his fan base – that he can leverage for a success of which Thomas Watson scarcely dreamed. And Rupert Murdoch, as owner and head of Fox, will have more egg on his face than John Patterson ever thought of having.
How do we know Tucker Carlson didn’t simply walk away? We have that from the Los Angeles Times – and Fox News hasn’t contradicted that. Moreover the order came from Rupert Murdoch. The word comes from a number of “Messrs. PFWTS,” who cite two cases – and not the Dominion Voting case. (For what it’s worth, Dominion specifically denied that they demanded that Tucker Carlson go from the network.)
If not the Dominion case, then what case?
Actually the case turns out to be related to the Dominion case. Abby Grossberg recently lost her own job as a producer at Fox. She is suing for discrimination and intentional emotional distress. She further alleges that Fox pressured her into giving false or misleading information at deposition in the Dominion case. Fox accuses her of disclosing company confidential information.
Tanvir Rahman, counsel for Ms. Grossberg, told the Times:
Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News is, in part, an admission of the systemic lying, bullying, and conspiracy-mongering claimed by our client, former top producer, Abby Grossberg. Mr. Carlson and his subordinates remain individual defendants in the [Southern District of New York] case and we look forward to taking their depositions under oath in the very near term.
In fact, Tucker’s senior executive producer, Justin Wells, has followed him out.
Tucker Carlson also exclusively handled the security camera footage from the January 6 Event after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Speaker of the House, granted him that access. His analysis clearly showed that Capitol Police shepherded some “protesters” into the Capitol. These included the so-called Q-Anon Shaman. Elon Musk urged early release for this man after reviewing Tucker Carlson’s coverage; this actually happened. According to the Times’ Messrs. PFWTS, Murdoch took exception to this turn of events and punished Carlson for it.
The bullies and Me Toos pile on
Fox News said in an email to other media outlets (including The Western Journal):
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. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.
But according to Mediaite, people in the company knew better. Tucker Carlson did not make his Friday show a good-bye show. The news shocked Carlson as much as it did anyone outside the company. Nor, apparently, did anyone at Fox give Carlson the courtesy of any notice. He heard about it on-line, same as everyone else.
But only Sunday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said to former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, now the hostess of her own TV show, that Dominion shouldn’t have settled with Fox.
What would have been best for the country, would have been to demand [an apology] and to not settle until we got that.
Then she accused Tucker Carlson of inciting violence in his programming.
We have very real issues with what is permissible on air,” she said. “We saw that with Jan 6 and we saw that in the lead up to Jan 6 and how we navigate questions – not just a freedom of speech but also accountability for incitement of violence. This is the line that we have to really explore through law as well.
I believe that when it comes to broadcast television, like Fox News, these are subject to federal law, federal regulation in terms of what’s allowed on air and what isn’t.
When you look at what Tucker Carlson and some of these other folks on Fox do, it is very, very clearly incitement of violence — very clearly incitement of violence. And that is the line that we have to be willing to contend with.
Senator Charles M. Schumer (D-N.Y.) had made a more forthright demand:
But the stock market punishes Fox
Fox evidently tried to pretend that nothing untoward was happening. But its stock closed at $29.91 per share, down 91 cents or 2.95 percent on the day. The chart shows a precipitous drop between 11:24 and 11:48 a.m. EDT. Its Performance Outlook short-term predicts a drop over the next two to six weeks.
Fox watchers made other dire predictions:
Tucker Carlson is only the second big-name host to leave Fox News in a week. Dan Bongino left the network, saying he and they couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. But that came directly after the Dominion settlement. So perhaps Mr. Bongino was being uncharacteristically charitable – and perhaps on advice of counsel.
The Western Journal notes that former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who also is a former Speaker of the House, sits on the Fox board. This leads many to call Fox “Ryan’s Fox.”
Tucker Carlson already has another gig
Noon had barely passed when Glenn Beck apparently offered Tucker Carlson a gig on Blaze Media.
Tucker Carlson and I have become friends, and hopefully I’ll be able to talk with him today. I don’t know what the situation is, but Tucker, come to Jamaica. We would love to have you here, you won’t miss a beat, and together, the two of us would tear it up, just tear it up.
The direct quote from Glenn Beck is the strongest evidence yet that he truly did offer Tucker Carlson another gig. He could join Blaze Media, or he could found his own network.
In the meantime: Rupert Murdoch and his two sons have by now shown they have no regard for the truth. Any actual trial of Grossberg v. Carlson et al. should prove interesting for the pre-trial discovery. Aside from that, Murdoch chose what he thought was a limit on liability exposure. Let’s assume that Carlson couldn’t sue him for breach of contract or breach of promise. What will he have to say to the shareholders as the ratings continue to slide, and the stock with it? In the British Commonwealth they have an expression for that: penny-wise and pound-foolish.
For his part, Carlson will no longer have to deal with “having to be careful.” Now he can say exactly as he pleases. That cannot please the likes of AOC and Chuck the Schmuck. What will they do then? Stay tuned.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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