• Home
  • Blog
  • News

Tucker Carlson Fired from Fox News Amidst Dominion Lawsuit Revelations and Allegations of Offensive Behavior

Tucker Carlson, the former host of Fox News' “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” has been let go from the network after disclosures made during Dominion's lawsuit against Fox News.[0] The defamation lawsuit resulted in a settlement of $787.5 million, and Carlson's private messages were among the thousands of internal communications made public. Allegations surrounding Carlson's staff culture and comments about Fox colleagues, as partly revealed in the Dominion case, are also believed to have played roles in his sudden departure from the network.[1] Carlson had been at the heart of false 2020 election claims and Fox's very embarrassing dispute with Dominion Voting Systems.[2] A series of texts and other internal correspondence from Carlson as well as other Fox hosts such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham proved crucial to Dominion's scathing defamation case against Fox over Donald Trump's insistence the 2020 election was stolen from him.[1]

Carlson's departure has spawned rampant speculation but no clear facts yet.[3] The LA Times is reporting that Fox Corp chair Rupert Murdoch was behind the decision to fire Carlson, purportedly over a lawsuit filed by a former employee and Carlson's on-air assertions that Ray Epps, a man who was part of the January 6 riots, was an FBI informant, which the FBI has denied.[3] The night before Carlson's firing, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Epps where he said Carlson's statements led to death threats.[3]

The decision to part ways with Carlson has come as a shock to many, including Carlson himself. In a video missive posted online just after 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m.[2] ET Wednesday, Carlson spoke about how “unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are.”[4] There was no reference to Fox News or the circumstances leading to his exit from the network by Carlson, who was the network's top-rated anchor. The sudden termination of Carlson on Monday has led to a lot of speculation concerning the reasons behind it.[5] Dominion Voting Systems released court documents showcasing his prominent involvement in spreading misinformation about the 2020 election on his show.[5] The documents also disclosed that Carlson frequently criticized Fox executives in private.[5]

The straw that may have broken the camel's back may have been a number of private texts sent by Carlson that Fox leadership only learned of the day before the trial was set to kick off.[6] According to two individuals familiar with the messages, which have been censored in legal documents, their contents exceeded the offensive remarks that Carlson had already made on his show.[6] The cache contained multiple occasions where he referred to women using the c-word, as previously reported by The Daily Beast.[6] According to an individual with inside knowledge of the censored messages, one of them was considered extremely inappropriate by those in charge. This information was shared with the Times.[6] Several people told the newspaper that the executives' discovery of the texts was a catalyst in the decision to ultimately terminate Carlson, who says he was given no reason for his firing.[6]

The departure of Carlson caused a seismic impact on the cable news and political media industry.[7] It came days after Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, and just before a defamation trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by the company against the network was set to begin.[7] Accusing Fox News of knowingly broadcasting false claims that Dominion assisted in rigging the 2020 presidential election against ex-President Donald Trump, the company lodged a complaint.[7]

Carlson has been fired from jobs in the past, setting a precedent.[3] He departed from CNN in 2005 and bid farewell to MSNBC in 2008.[3] On both occasions, his shows Crossfire and Tucker were cancelled due to low ratings, which were then followed by his termination.[3] At Fox News, Carlson did not face this problem.

The decision to part ways with Carlson has raised questions about the future of Fox News and its commitment to journalistic integrity. As news organizations face increasing scrutiny over their reporting practices and adherence to truth, the departure of a high-profile anchor over allegations of spreading falsehoods and offensive behavior sends a message about accountability in the media industry.

0. “Fox News' sudden firing of Tucker Carlson may have come down to one simple calculation” CNN, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/25/media/fox-news-tucker-carlson-reliable-sources/index.html

1. “Before Tucker Carlson's Fox rise, Jon Stewart ripped him live on CNN” The Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2023/04/25/tucker-carlson-fox-cnn-jon-stewart

2. “Tucker Carlson Speaks Out For The First Time Since Fox News Exit, Railing Against “The People In Charge” Of American Media” Yahoo Entertainment, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tucker-carlson-speaks-first-time-004245640.html

3. “Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News: What we know about his departure” Vox.com, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.vox.com/technology/2023/4/24/23696065/tucker-carlson-fox-news-fired

4. “Tucker Carlson breaks silence after Fox ouster: ‘See you soon’” The Hill, 27 Apr. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/3974399-tucker-carlson-breaks-silence-after-fox-ouster-see-you-soon

5. “MAGA's New Culprit in Carlson's Firing: RINO Globalist Paul Ryan!” The New Republic, 25 Apr. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/172213/far-right-blaming-paul-ryan-tucker-carlson-exit

6. “Even Crazier Texts From Tucker Carlson Were Catalyst for Fox News Firing, Report Says” The Daily Beast, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/even-crazier-texts-from-tucker-carlson-were-catalyst-for-fox-news-firing-report-says

7. “Tucker Carlson breaks silence after Fox News departure with Twitter video: “See you soon”” CBS News, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tucker-carlson-video-fox-news-departure-see-you-soon