KATY TUR (ANCHOR): And joining me now is Media Matters President Angelo Carusone. Angelo, thanks for coming on. What does it mean to have Tucker Carlson no longer on Fox News?
ANGELO CARUSONE: I mean, it really is a big deal. It's good news for America, it's obviously bad for Fox. Let me give you an analogy to illustrate the significance. For a quarter century, Rush Limbaugh was the single largest get-out-the-vote operation in the country until 2022. He was the center of gravity of this large right-wing echo chamber. Tucker, when Rush Limbaugh died, Tucker sort of filled that void. That was a really big gap, and that is the significance here. It's almost as big a deal as if Rush Limbaugh suddenly disappeared in the late '90s, early 2000s. That's what we're talking about, because without sort of having that center of gravity, that agenda-setting power, what you have is basically a right-wing echo chamber that doesn't know what to echo, and Tucker was providing that clarity for this massive sort of media manipulation machine. So that's the significance here. Obviously, there's a lot for Fox, but for all of us, right now, they're basically a chorus without a conductor.
TUR: We've seen a lot from Tucker Carlson over the years on his show. We saw Patriot Purge. He got a lot of pushback for that, for it being not accurate and also potentially dangerous, but over the years, you've documented and uncovered other audio from Tucker Carlson. So I just wonder if you can tell us a little bit about what he's put on the air, just to draw a line about what could possibly have led to Fox News doing this if it wasn't what he was saying on the air.
CARUSONE: Certainly not anything that he did on-air would be the issue here because obviously it's well known, right? In fact, they kind of like — they supported him, whatever advertisers walked after these major moments, Fox News reinforced their support of Tucker Carlson. So let me give you a couple of examples. He laundered radical conspiracy theories about white nationalism, in particular, this idea of the “great replacement” theory which was that Democrats, the media, perhaps some other forces were all working in cahoots in order to empower people of color to engage in a white genocide and wipe out white people or at minimum replace them so that they couldn't exist anymore. That was a constant theme of Tucker Carlson's show was “great replacement” theory. It wasn't just a one-off offensive comment that he made. It was a theme. He just did it two weeks ago. I mean, it's a common refrain.
The other things that he was putting on air was laundering Infowars conspiracies on a somewhat regular basis. So he'd take whatever Alex Jones was talking about at least once a week and he'd sort of boost it on his air, and then Alex Jones and that universe would get excited about it So those are two things, and then the last thing, I thought the worst was sort of the bloodthirstiness. So after the Club Q shooting, for example, Tucker did a whole bunch of stuff about how “maybe they deserved it, this is what you get for sexualizing children.” So not only was he lying and saying that members of the LGBT community by default are always sexualizing children, but he sort of suggested repeatedly that they had it coming and that maybe they should stop doing what they're doing which, of course, was based on a lie. So I think those three things together, if you were to watch Tucker on any regular basis, they basically summarize what Tucker was doing on his program.
TUR: Has this been discussed, this firing, on Fox News today?
CARUSONE: Not yet as far as I'm aware.
TUR: Angelo —
CARUSONE: It's weird because they were talking about Tucker earlier. Yeah.
TUR: Angelo, thank you for coming on, talking to us. I appreciate it.