Media Matters President Angelo Carusone released the following statement amid reports that Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways.
Tucker Carlson is a dangerous misinformer. Tucker served as the bridge between Fox News and the most extreme parts of the right-wing base — laundering anti-trans paranoia, Infowars nonsense, election lies, and venomous rhetoric including the great replacement conspiracy theory nightly.
But even without Tucker Carlson, Fox News is still Fox News. It was Fox News that empowered Carlson to grow — they gave him the invaluable 8 o'clock prime-time slot and paid for him to throw red meat to his audience even as advertisers abandoned his show. When Trump lost in 2020, Fox News centered Carlson’s election lies and spread them into network-wide talking points.
And while Carlson was no doubt important to Fox News — especially as their most effective asset for converting viewers to Fox Nation — the network is still the central propaganda arm of the GOP.
The Fox News audience is primed and ready to believe whatever lies and vitriol the next 8 o’clock hour host comes ready to spew. Ahead of Carlson’s departure, Fox has already been leaning into toxic hate as a business model by elevating extremists like Jesse Watters and Jeanine Pirro who now stand ready to try to capture Tucker’s audience.
Without Carlson, the network will be scrambling to get their footing back as fast as they can, especially as the network is currently engaging in renewals with at least three major cable companies.
Bottom line: Tucker’s departure from Fox is mostly remarkable for what he was able to get away with and how long he was able to get away with it. If anything, that reign illustrates how committed Fox is to lies and extremism.
In 2022, Media Matters for America announced Fox News star Tucker Carlson as the “Misinformer of the Year,” a designation that has been presented annually since 2005 to the most influential or prolific purveyor of dangerous misinformation in the U.S. media. A noncomprehensive research file including 350+ examples of misinformation spread by Carlson this year is available at MediaMatters.org.
While Fox News is likely trying to grab even more money from consumers by renegotiating deals with major cable providers, consumers can take a stand and refuse to continue to line Fox’s pockets. Visit NoFoxFee.com to see how MMFA is encouraging consumers to tell their providers “Don’t let Fox News raise my bill."