Thursday, April 18, 2024

Fox News parts ways with Tucker Carlson

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Fox News and Tucker Carlson, the right-wing extremist who hosted the network’s highly rated 8 p.m. hour, have severed ties, the network said in a stunning announcement Monday.

The announcement came one week after Fox News settled a monster defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over the network’s dissemination of election lies. Fox News said that Carlson’s last show was Friday, April 21.

Carlson was a top promoter of conspiracy theories and radical rhetoric at the network. Not only did he repeatedly sow doubt about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, but he also promoted conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccines and elevated white nationalist talking points.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, praised Fox News’ decision, saying it is “about time” and that “for far too long, Tucker Carlson has used his primetime show to spew antisemitic, racist, xenophobic and anti-LGBTQ hate to millions.”

Tucker Carlson was a key figure in Dominion Voting Systems’ mammoth defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which the parties settled last week on the brink of trial for a historic $787 million.

In some ways, Carlson played an outsized role in the litigation: Only one of the 20 allegedly defamatory Fox broadcasts mentioned in the lawsuit came from Carlson’s top-rated show. But, as CNN exclusively reported, he was set to be one of Dominion’s first witnesses to testify at trial. And his private text messages, which became public as part of the suit, reverberated nationwide.

Dominion got its hands on Carlson’s group chat with fellow Fox primetime stars Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, and a trove of other messages from around the 2020 presidential election.

These communications revealed that Carlson told confidants that he “passionately” hated former President Donald Trump and that Trump’s tenure in the White House was a “disaster.” He also used misogynistic terms to criticize pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and reject her conspiracies about the 2020 election – even as those wild theories got airtime on Fox News.

The lawsuit exposed how Carlson privately held a wholly different view than his on-air persona. A Dominion spokesperson did not comment on Carlson’s departure from Fox.
Carlson was also one of the biggest promoters of conspiracy theories in right-wing media, sowing doubt about the 2020 presidential election, the January 6 insurrection, and Covid-19 vaccines. (CNN)

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