As ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson attempts to bully his former employer into releasing him from his contract in order to create his own media empire, other right-wing media figures are supporting his cause by urging their audiences to boycott Fox and hyping up the network’s demise.
According to a May 7 Axios article, Carlson is reportedly “preparing for war” against Fox News in hopes of pressuring the network into releasing him from his $20 million per year contract, which is not set to expire until 2025. One source close to Carlson told Axios that the former host “knows where a lot of bodies are buried, and is ready to start drawing a map.”
Carlson is also reportedly angling to create his own “direct-to-consumer media outlet” and has discussed teaming up with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who he recently interviewed on his former Fox prime-time show. (During his appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the conspiracy theory-hawking billionaire riffed on abortion, arguing that access to birth control endangers civilization.)
Following Carlson’s abrupt departure from Fox, and the subsequent release of a trove of embarrassing behind-the-scenes videos and racist private texts, other right-wing media figures have villainized Fox and even called on their audiences to boycott the network for firing its most popular (and virulently racist) host.
Right-wing figures urge viewers to “Boycott Fox News” and abandon the channel
- On his War Room podcast, Steve Bannon told his audience to stop watching Fox because watching the network is “an insult to your intelligence” and described the Murdochs, the family who controls Fox News and who are from Australia, as a “bunch of foreigners” who are “pure evil” and should be “run out of this country.”
- On his podcast, Daily Wire host Matt Walsh urged Fox viewers to question their allegiance to the network: “If you’re still a Fox News viewer, you should just ask yourself: Do I trust these people?” On Twitter, Walsh lamented that Fox previously hired Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, while it supposedly “fired Tucker Carlson because he's religious.” Walsh also posted a Twitter poll asking: “Will you ever watch Fox again after they canceled Tucker's show and teamed up with Media Matters and the New York Times to smear him?”
- On her streaming show, former Fox host Megyn Kelly suggested that Fox is trying to “keep him [Carlson] silenced” and told her audience they are “lapdogs” if they return to Fox, saying, “You’re going to tune into the Fox News prime time, you lapdogs. It’s what you always do, it’s how they have billions. That’s what’s happening here, keep him silent on the sidelines for as long as possible.”
- Anti-Muslim activist Brigitte Gabriel tweeted “Boycott Fox News,” along with a cartoon of Carlson leaving a sinking “Fox News” ship on a lifeboat.
- Pro-Trump internet personality Alex Bruesewitz urged his Twitter followers to “Stand With Tucker Carlson, Boycott Fox News!” After Carlson was initially fired, Bruesewitz blamed the “globalist Murdochs” for turning on him.
Right-wing personalities suggest that Carlson’s departure will accelerate the death of Fox News
- Former Fox host-turned-BlazeTV founder Glenn Beck and Salem media host Charlie Kirk mocked Fox’s ratings following Carlson’s firing. Beck said that “the voices that people want to hear generally are online. The only ones that are really watching Fox are the, you know, 70-plus,” and “when that dies, it’s over. It’s over. And I think this is the real death knell for Fox.”
- On his streaming show, BlazeTV host Steve Deace noted a decline in “linear television” and the age of Fox’s audience, saying, “Fox's audience is dying. I mean, your — the average Fox News viewer for several years now has been 68-and-a-half-years-old.” Deace also asserted on Twitter that Fox is “trying to smear Tucker Carlson because” the network “wants you to know it hates you.”
- Daily Wire reporter Megan Basham tweeted: “Wow, Fox's entire primetime lineup down 30% in its first post-Tucker week. Not just Tucker's slot, the entire block. Fox did not have a single program in the top 10 for the week and only three in the top 20. This is indeed a blood bath.”
- Since Carlson's firing, far-right conspiracy theory rag Gateway Pundit has reported that Fox viewers “are leaving Fox News in droves” and tracking the "COMPLETE COLLAPSE" of Fox's ratings since Carlson's departure.
- Right-wing internet troll Catturd tweeted: “Fox News viewership is plummeting. Tucker is somewhere laughing.”
- Newsmax host and Turning Point USA influencer Benny Johnson tweeted: “Fox News has lost 2M viewers in the Tucker Carlson 8PM time slot. 3.3M was Tuckers average viewership. Last night’s show was viewed by a messily 1.3M[.] Every show in Prime Time has lost 20% or more of their audience. This is catastrophic. Was Fox News one man?”
Right-wing figures claim Fox is attempting to silence Carlson and keep him from moving to rival Newsmax or starting his own media outlet
- Megyn Kelly blamed the release of leaked footage from Carlson’s show on Fox PR chief Irena Briganti, claiming that she “fucking hates Tucker” and had leaked video as part of a “mission” by Fox to prevent Carlson from moving to conservative news rival Newsmax. Speaking to frequent Tucker Carlson Tonight guest Mark Steyn on her Friday stream, Kelly urged Carlson to breach his contract, saying, “He should not let them muzzle him for the entire election season, which is what they’re trying to do as they rebuild their audience.”
- On Newsmax, host Rob Finnerty commented that it was “fascinating to watch Fox News try and discredit” Carlson amid reports that the host might decamp for a rival network like Newsmax. “I’ll tell you who does not want that to happen: the Fox News Channel."
- Newsmax host Rob Schmitt speculated that the leak was the work of Briganti, who Schmitt said was “continuing her mission to destroy the most effective name in conservative news by teaming up with a watchdog group that wants nothing more than to destroy both Tucker Carlson and Fox. … Fox showing there’s no level that they won’t stoop to in their desperate attempt to prove to the audience that Tucker Carlson is deplorable and this bizarre shotgun firing was justified.”
- On Newsmax, host John Bachman asked Truth Social CEO and former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) if it was fair to characterize the leaks as “character assassination, an attempt by Fox News to sabotage any future endeavors by Tucker Carlson” to which Nunes responded, “One thing is clear: Someone is leaking multiple behind-the-scenes tapes — both video and audio tapes — to try to destroy Tucker Carlson.”
- Newsmax host Eric Bolling claimed the leaks were a "jihad, an all-out war of character assassination against Tucker Carlson.”