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Guardian reaction to Tucker Carlson's sacking from Fox News

The reaction at the Guardian is so one dimensional they are unable even to speculate on why he was sacked, as that would give away the fact the right wing pundit was doing their job of holding government to account far better than them.

Tucker Carlson is not an antiwar populist rebel. He is a fascist

Jason Stanley

Tucker Carlson has lost his job – but the far right has won the battle for the mainstream

Owen Jones

The third one, by Emma Brockes is at the end: " The terrible truth about the sacking of Tucker Carlson: someone just as odious will replace him"

The real “terrible truth” is that there can be very little more utterly useless than these three Guardian articles, none of which mention Carlson’s criticisms on Ukraine, Russiagate, Hunter Biden’s laptop, Syria, the chemical attack on Douma, covid vaccines. That’s why any discussion of why Fox sacked it’s ratings winner is taboo.

Wtf is this: (from Brockes)

“‘It was Tucker Carlson’s very blandness, the Tintin hair and look of perpetual confusion, that made him more objectionable than all of his predecessors.’
Photograph: Jason Koerner/Getty Images”

So he’s he’s either a fallen star or he’s completely bland, or a fascist, or his hair/appearance were objectionable (what happened to Woke?) - what he is not allowed to be is a controversial figure that - uniquely for the mainstream - made many justified criticized criticisms of US government policy! And was likely sacked for doing so.

For a decent article on Carlson’s exit, see Jonathan Cook

Don’t miss the last video clip with Jimmy Dore and Aaron Mate.
Remarkable highpoints at 2m30s and 8m recommended!

Foreign policy is Cook’s forte; even he is reluctant to mention Carlson’s opposition to the covid narrative for some reason - perhaps as he hasn’t opposed it very strongly himself.

‘It was Tucker Carlson’s very blandness, the Tintin hair and look of perpetual confusion, that made him more objectionable than all of his predecessors.’ Photograph: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

OpinionFox News

The terrible truth about the sacking of Tucker Carlson: someone just as odious will replace him

Emma Brockes

Think of those presenters who reigned at Fox News before: Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck. There’s an endless supply of horror

Thu 27 Apr 2023 08.00 BSTLast modified on Thu 27 Apr 2023 14.11 BST

It is a truism of the US news industry that no one is bigger than the network itself, an insight that Donald Trump – binned by Rupert Murdoch last year – may still be painfully processing, and which this week became suddenly clear to Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson was Fox News’s biggest star. Then he became its biggest liability | Margaret Sullivan

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The former cable news host, who, it was announced on Monday, had “agreed to part ways” with the network, has hired an aggressive Hollywood lawyer – and in line with the preferred volume of the man generally, seems unlikely to go quietly. Even as the share price at Fox dropped in response to the news, wiping $500m (£400m) off its value in apparent flattery of Carlson, the question remains pertinent as to how much he, and those like him, matter as individuals.

If you are looking to fill a spare five minutes, it is an enjoyable thought experiment to rank in order of sheer flesh-crawling hideousness some of Fox News’s fallen stars. Where does Carlson place, for example, compared with Glenn Beck, the former Fox personality who, prior to his dismissal in 2011, had a shot at the title of America’s most awful man? Or Bill O’Reilly, a man who was given the boot in 2017 after news surfaced that the company had paid up to $13m in settlements to women accusing him of sexual harassment?

For a while, a sense has prevailed that these former giants – add to the list the former Fox News head Roger Ailes, ousted in 2016 in the wake of sexual harassment allegations – have been banished from frontline positions, and the hope prospers that Carlson might be among the last. The fact he has lasted this long, and the likely reasons for his departure, however, point in another direction.

For my money, Carlson – who is presently the subject of his own lawsuit, brought by Abby Grossberg, a senior producer who alleges he was responsible for creating a misogynist and hostile work environment – edges out even O’Reilly for pure anti-charisma. If O’Reilly was gross in a standard Fox News style, in Carlson’s case it was his very blandness, the Tintin hair and look of perpetual confusion, that made him more objectionable than all of his predecessors.

It is always fascinating to consider the tipping point at which behaviour previously tolerated by Fox becomes suddenly intolerable to the company – and for Carlson, it seems unlikely it’s the Grossberg lawsuit. It might not even be his role in fanning the flames of the January 6 riot that has just cost the company $787.5m in settlement money to shut down the lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.

Had it gone to trial, Carlson would surely have been a liability, given the way he encouraged viewers to regard the presidential election as rigged. At the same time, behind the scenes, he was lambasting Trump’s lawyers for selling a line to the public that Carlson himself seems not to have believed. “You’ve convinced them that Trump will win,” he wrote to an attorney for Trump in November 2020. “If you don’t have conclusive evidence of fraud at that scale, it’s a cruel and reckless thing to keep saying.”

More irksome to his employers, however, might have been his off-the-cuff comments about Trump at a time when Fox officially still backed the former president. In early January 2021, in an exchange with members of his staff, Carlson wrote: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” and: “I hate him passionately.”

I dare say Murdoch hated Trump, too, at that point, but for a network like Fox, it is dangerous to show the workings of the sausage machine too closely. There comes a point where the gap between the true feelings of network bosses and the line they are selling to viewers becomes so large that even those at the back who aren’t paying attention may catch a whiff of the true venality of the operation.

The most surprising thing to have come out since Carlson’s departure, however, is the breakdown in viewing figures. At the time of his ousting, Carlson was the highest rated cable news host in the US, pulling in more than 3 million viewers nightly. By contrast, Chris Hayes over on MSNBC attracts around 1.3 million viewers and Anderson Cooper, the most boring man on television, scores around 700,000 on CNN in that time slot.

These are decent figures. But dig down into the details, and among viewers aged between 25 and 54 – the most attractive demographic – Carlson hovered around the 330,000 mark. This is more than his rivals, for sure, but is still a tiny number of people relative to the sheer amount of oxygen this man has taken up over the last five years.

He will write a book. He’ll launch a podcast. He may accept a flippantly offered $25m job opportunity from the far-right news channel OAN. As with his predecessors, the memory of Carlson will fade quickly to irrelevance as we’re reminded it’s the platform that pulls the strings, not the person. Someone equally odious will replace him.

  • Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

The Guardian really has become a despicable “news” paper. I cancelled my subscription to the Weekly Guardian about 18 years ago, but never dreamed it would sink so low. I am still amazed by the number of people I know that still think the Guardian is a liberal paper.


Yeah it certainly exploits its image as the liberal voice to stall progress, sometimes used, along with the BBC, to lead the attacks on progressives and to smear opponents of policy, like Corbyn, Assange. And of course those who didn’t immediately agreed to participate in medical experiments.
Apart from that much of a muchness I think across the board. I was shocked to find how bad was inews - then I learned it had been bought by the Heil.

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Evvy, apologies if I missed it in your post, yet I believe Carlson was being paid $1.2 million a month.

I would use the analogy of GB News in the UK. These huge media companies know that what they put out is complete propaganda bullshit, and now very few people still buy into it, so they put out a brand (be it Carlson or GB News) that appears to be ‘edgy’ and truth telling, but is actually pushing the same old crap.

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Not a Carlson supporter, but it’s clear he was a threat to the lotus eaters plans. Too many folks waking up.

I don’t trust the man. For many reasons. But he’s always been thought provoking on camera. And that’s why he is history. There’s an article this morning about footage (dirt) of Carlson in the Gruniad. It’s nothing.

What’s wrong with this (apart from lack of PC which isn’t a crime (yet));

“I can never assess my appearance. I wait for my postmenopausal fans to weigh in on that.”

I’ll let you guys hunt out the rest if your interested

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Hi @LocalYokel and @RobG . I agree Local that trust in the guy takes a while to be earned. However, it seems to me that he maybe one of those who has slowly woken up to the real world. You only have to look at all those persona non-grata’s he has had on his show which has the biggest ‘news’ viewing audience in the US. That is on Fox News, which if we can still apply labels to left and right, was about as right as one could get without joining the KKK.

The Jonathon Cook link posted by @Evvy_dense above is well worth a read

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I think it’s likely to be nearer $20m, a figure I’ve seen, probably due to ratings (that advertisers like) bonues. I’m not sympathetic to his personal plight. But he is a good draw and will pop up for sure somewhere else; but going by past Fexiteers, this will be an appreciably smaller platform. His continued presence at Fox, whose proprieter hates everything good, was anomalous.
He was telling more and more of the truth - the government of the day is so awful that it can be easily criticized to the point of ridicule by someone with opposite views, yet with hardly ever needing to get a fact wrong.
But also, he shone by contrast to the rest of the Democrat-friendly dross on the major platforms.

What was the trigger? A new candidate has emerged following revelations in the Semafor (below) that Murdoch was being badgered about Carlson by top Ukrainians.
In particular there has been evidence of open disrespect to Zelensky - which the old goat may have taken personally.
Or maybe his fiance thought Carson was a bit dishy and the lovestruck nonagenarian is free to axe Carlson now that his engagement is off :wink:

The most rational explanation of the timing is probably the closure of the Dominion settlement (to the tune of $800m), which might have extended Carlson’s merry run.

One thing to bet on: Carlson won’t be joining Russia Today, lol.

The Murdochs’ Ukraine connection

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTER

The Scoop

Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch held a previously unreported call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this spring in which the two discussed the war and the anniversary of the deaths of Fox News journalists last March. The Ukrainian president had a similar conversation with Lachlan Murdoch on March 15, which Zelenskyy noted in a little-noticed aside during a national broadcast last month.

The conversations came weeks before the Murdochs fired their biggest star and most outspoken critic of American support for Ukraine, Tucker Carlson. Senior Ukrainian officials had made their objections to Carlson’s coverage known to Fox executives, but Zelenskyy did not raise it on the calls with the Murdochs, according to one person familiar with the details of the calls.

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Max’s view

The Murdoch’s have not revealed which of Carlson’s many provocations triggered his firing, and there’s no particular suggestion that Zelenskyy — whom Carlson had called a “dictator” — delivered the final blow.

But Carlson’s firing will immediately relieve pressure on key Capitol Hill Ukraine supporters whom Carlson had criticized on air — and sometimes pressed behind the scenes to change their positions on the war.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul has been one of the most outspoken Republican supporters of the US support for Ukraine, stepping out of line to occasionally reprimand figures in his own party who do not share his views on the subject.


In a segment last year, the Fox News host told viewers that the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had privately called his show “Russian disinformation.”

“In other words, not only are we wrong — which is fine — we are disloyal Americans. We’re doing the bidding of a foreign power,” Carlson said. “That is not fine, that is slander.”

According to two people familiar with the conversation, the then-Fox News host also made his displeasure to McCaul known in a tense private conversation in which Carlson criticized the congressman’s comments, describing the congressman as having a low IQ. (Both Carlson and McCaul’s office declined to discuss the conversation).

The populist Republican right remains hostile to the war effort and at times openly sympathetic to Russia. But none of Fox’s other top figures seem to share Carlson’s zeal.

“Clearly, he spooked a lot of members into not being fully supportive of Ukraine,” a senior Republican congressional aide told Semafor. Carlson’s ouster, the aide added, “probably reduces the loudest voice out there against U.S. support.”


Regardless of the reason for Carlson’s departure, more moderate pro-Ukraine members of the Republican caucus on the Hill are not hiding their relief.

“There have been some that have argued that he was setting foreign policy for the Republican Party, which I find to be bizarre. Certainly not for me,” Sen. Mitt Romney told the Hill. “To the primary [Republican] voter, the active participant, the grassroot voter, he’s a person they listen to and has a big influence.”

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Room for Disagreement

Washington has a long history of pushing out dissenting voices on issues of war and peace. “Cable news may struggle to find an entertainer equally skilled at skewering comfortable pieties on the left and right,” Lee Harris and Luke Goldstein wrote in the progressive American Prospect, before being drubbed by their colleagues for ignoring Carlson’s appeal to racists.

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The View From Moscow

Russia state media outlets have offered the outgoing host a job on their networks: RT tweeted that he could “question more” by joining the network, while Russia’s most popular broadcaster said he would “happily offer you a job if you wish to carry on as a presenter and host! You are always welcome in Russia and Moscow, we wish you the best of luck."

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  • The New York Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages, Murdoch family mouthpieces, have regularly criticized Republicans who oppose the war. The Wall Street Journal editorial board said DeSantis made his “first mistake” by characterizing the war as a “territorial dispute.”
  • Murdoch “was disturbed by Carlson’s stance on Ukraine. A graphic on Carlson’s show had referred to Volodymyr Zelensky, president of the besieged nation, as a ‘Ukrainian pimp,” the Washington Post reported

Link: The Murdochs' Ukraine connection | Semafor

I recommend everyone watches the clip of Tucker Carlson on the Highwire episode 318, from 42 minutes. Or you can see the full hour interview here

Tucker interviewed many from outside the allowable spectrum, including RFKjr, Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald. He was a lone voice airing non state corporate views on Ukraine, Covid, Jan 6, CIA assassinations…one doesn’t have to share his core ideology (conservative christian) to appreciate that he was a more or less lone dissident in the media space he worked.

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