All change at Murdoch Towers: Tucker Carlson has hosted his last primetime show at Fox News. His departure was clearly a shock: his 8 p.m. show was being trailed on Fox & Friends this morning.
In a rather neutral press release, the network announced that “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.”
The reasons for Carlson’s shock departure are unclear — Cockburn understands from a source with knowledge that no reason was given. People at Fox are said to be “blindsided” and “upset.”
Rumors had been circulating the Fox offices that a big dismissal could follow the $787 million settlement of the Dominion case — but most had assumed that Carlson was invulnerable. According to Cockburn’s sources, that may have all changed when the content of various Fox hosts’ text messages was revealed as part of discovery. “Tucker’s texts actually looked worse because they came across as hypocritical: that he was smarter than the audience, that he actually dislikes Trump,” a source told Cockburn.
“Murdoch cleans house after these things. See News of the World. He doesn’t mess around.”
“This could only have happened with Murdoch in the driving seat,” another source told Cockburn. “He hates when any of his ‘employees’ get too big for their boots.
“Dominion discovery showed Carlson talking about share price, profits, et cetera. ‘What the F has this got to do with him,’ Murdoch would have said.
“There will be a cleaning of house now, led by Murdoch. Lachlan, languishing most days in Sydney because his wife hates America, is just a spectator.”
Carlson gave the keynote address at Friday’s Heritage Foundation gala, in which he talked about, among other topics, the value of the truth.
“The truth is contagious. Lying is, but the truth is as well,” he said. “And the second you decide to tell the truth about something you are filled with this power from somewhere else. Try it! Tell the truth about something. You’ll feel it every day. The more you tell the truth, the stronger you become.”
In a Q and A after the speech, Heritage chief Kevin Roberts joked that “if things go south at Fox News, there’s always a job for you here.”
“Well, you’ve saved me before,” replied Carlson.