Angelo Carusone details how Tucker Carlson leaves a legacy of “bloodthirstiness” for extremism at Fox News

Carusone: “Fox, as we saw from the Dominion revelations, is going to aggressively work to make sure they can satiate that”

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Citation From the April 24, 2023, edition of MSNBC's TheReidOut

JOY REID (HOST): I've never heard people able to be as racist as he has been on TV and gets away with it and was rewarded for it. Finish your thought from earlier. 

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): Yeah, I mean, I think that's basically the point. He was a bubble within a bubble. And I agree completely, he's a uniquely destructive force that was enabled by the Murdochs. In fact, he repeatedly thanked them for keeping him on air despite all the controversies and blowback.

And to your larger point, you know, even though Fox itself won't change, and I think in part it's because Tucker helped fuel and build this bloodthirstiness, this appetite, that audience is going to want to be satisfied. And Fox, as we saw from the Dominion revelations, is going to aggressively work to make sure they can satiate that.

But part of the reason he was so uniquely destructive is that he pulled in all these things that were otherwise on the fringes, the fever swamps, right on the edges, and he laundered them through those Fox News apparatus not just into the right-wing echo chamber, but then directly into the Republican Party.

So that's the conduit, is that he built this pipeline and then he leveraged the tools at his disposal to actually reshape and transform our politics. Great Replacement Theory is now totally acceptable within the Republican Party because Tucker Carlson talked about it several thousand times while he was on Fox News. 


REID: And so Angelo, I mean, first of all, the way that you know that he got fired -- you know, I had a show canceled. I was asked to do a final show. When you don't get to do a final show, as Brian Stelter today, it's the equivalent in TV of a death penalty. So he was fired. He got fired. 

CARUSONE: He was supposed to do an interview with Vivek Ramaswamy tonight that Fox News was promoting most of the morning. So this was totally abrupt and he didn't get to do a last show, he didn't get to say goodbye, and it's about as significant as Rush Limbaugh being fired in 1996.

REID: Real quick, Angelo, before we go, what do you make of the speculation that this is because of the Abby Grossberg suit -- because they have fired people before, they fired Bill O'Reilly because of sexual harassment suits -- that it could be because of that or things he might have said? There's a lot of speculation of what was in those, you know, those other text messages that weren't released, but that the Abby Grossberg suit might've been the final straw? Last word on that.

CARUSONE: I mean, look, we got a small flavor of what he says about Trump, his colleagues, directly. Once you sort of pierce that veil, it's not that much of a stretch to realize that there's a lot more trash talking that Tucker Carlson probably did. And if you're Fox right now, you're doing a really big risk assessment to try to get your handle on how you're going to course correct and he's a massive liability. So, even if there are no more tapes, the fact is you have to have reason to believe these are not aberrations, that is his personality, that is who he is. And, so, just imagine, a little more discovery, a lot more damage.