Defending Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly calls Fox News PR chief Irena Briganti “as vicious as they come”

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Citation From the April 26, 2023, edition of SiriusXM's The Megyn Kelly Show, streamed on YouTube

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): They are trying to destroy him. And it’s very obvious. And this is – I’ve been through this myself. It’s not enough that you part ways with the company. They want to destroy you. They want to ruin your career and your employability. It’s absolutely disgusting. Not every industry does this, you guys. Just ours. Just, like, media, and in particular, cable news and broadcast news. Trust me on that. Today, there’s a new piece, there’s one in the Wall Street Journal, of course, that’s owned by the same parent company as Fox News. 

“Tucker Carlson’s Vulgar, Offensive Messages About Colleagues Helped Seal His Fate at Fox News. Several weeks ago, as Fox News lawyers prepared for a courtroom showdown with Dominion Voting Systems, they presented Tucker Carlson with what they thought was good news: They had persuaded the court to redact from a legal filing the time he called a senior Fox News executive the c-word, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Carlson, Fox News’s most-watched prime-time host, was not impressed. He told his colleagues that he wanted the world to know what he had said about the executive in a private message, said these people. Mr. Carlson said comments he made about former President Donald Trump—“I hate him passionately"—that were in the court documents were said during a momentary spasm of anger, while his dislike of this executive was deep and enduring.”

“The private messages in which Mr. Carlson showed disregard for management and colleagues were a major factor in that decision,” to let him go, “according to other people familiar with the matter.” Here’s the next paragraph, “In recent years,” because here’s the tell about who they’re talking about, “battles between Mr. Carlson and Fox management got so bad that former Trump aide Raj Shah was appointed to be his internal advocate and an intermediary between Mr. Carlson and Fox’s communications department, according to people familiar with the arrangement and filings in the Dominion case. Mr. Carlson was livid that Fox News didn’t do more to protect him from the negative press coverage around the Dominion case that he was expected to testify in, given that the primary actors responsible for the false election fraud claims at the heart of the suit were other Fox hosts and commentators,” and so on. 

This is my guess, I don’t have inside knowledge of this, but they’re talking about Irena Briganti. Yeah, Abby’s shaking her head yes. She runs the Fox News Media Relations department and she is as vicious as they come. And, to some extent, it’s not her fault, because she does the bidding of her bosses. And Irena’s not running around rogue trying to take people down. She has the blessing of her higher-ups. That’s just the way corporations work. But this woman has terrorized enough people for long enough that there should be accountability. I went on the air at NBC, at NBC in my new job, and called her out by name. Because, let me tell you, it is a pattern that when you leave an organization like this, it’s not enough to try to say goodbye, to say, okay, we hope she fails, or he fails, they try to ruin you in the dirtiest and most disgusting ways possible. And that’s what I believe they’re doing to Tucker right now. 

KELLY: So, what? He was fired because of a private thought he had about this woman? Who is so bad I, too, at Fox News, had to hire my own outside communications department because I couldn’t work with this person anymore. And guess what, Fox paid for her. Fox paid for me to hire one of the top PR agents in Hollywood because I had to go outside of our industry because I couldn’t deal with this jackal for one more day. Because her job is to undermine the people at Fox News. So this is the same person who he may or may not have said a nasty word about. And if he can’t stand her, he’s not alone. Find me a person in the industry who has nice things to say about this person, and I’ll find you a journalist who’s desperate for her info, who needs to write copy based on what she says.