The Real Reason Fox News Fired Tucker Carlson, Insiders Say
Some claim it was a personal issue with Rupert Murdoch, others his leaked text messages.
On Monday, April 24 Fox News announced that the organization and long-time anchor Tucker Carlson had "agreed to part ways." The news came as a surprise to the public and the industry, considering the host had the most popular show on the network and regularly drew in over three million viewers. "We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor," the network's statement continues. It also indicates that Carlson's firing was immediate, noting that the last episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight was the April 21 episode, and that replacement show Fox News Tonight will be manned by guests hosts until Carlson's permanent successor is named.
The statement does not, however, give any reason for why Carlson was ousted from the network, and the controversial political commentator himself has not offered one either. But in the days since the announcement was made, insiders have come forward with claims ranging to his personal relationship with boss Rupert Murdoch to texts of his that were made public in the recent Dominion lawsuit. Read on to find out why Fox News fired Carlson, according to sources close to the situation.
READ THIS NEXT: Katie Couric Just Revealed Why She Really Left the Today Show.
Murdoch may have been upset by a recent speech by Carlson.
On April 25, Vanity Fair published a report in which a source claims that Murdoch was disturbed by a recent speech Carlson gave about his Christian faith and conservatism. In the speech, given on Friday, April 21 at the Heritage Foundation's 50th Anniversary gala, the anchor described those who oppose his views as "advocating for…evil." He suggested that it would be more productive to "say a prayer" every day than to debate the hot political issues of the day with the other side.
The unnamed source told Vanity Fair of the speech, "That stuff freaks Rupert out. He doesn't like all the spiritual talk."
Murdoch's ex-fiancée may have also been a factor.
The Vanity Fair report goes on to explain that her thoughts on Carlson may have been why Murdoch broke up with ex-fiancée Ann Lesley Smith earlier this month. The former couple were recently engaged for two weeks and had planned to wed this summer, according to The New York Times.
Per Vanity Fair, Murdoch called off his engagement to Smith because she believed that Carlson was a "messenger from God." A source said that the three all had dinner together in March and when Smith pulled out a Bible to read passages from it, "Rupert just sat there and stared." The report notes that by taking Carlson off the air, the 92-year-old would also be cancelling Smith's favorite show, which is one theory for why Fox may have cut ties with Carlson.
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Some incendiary texts came out of the Dominion case.
Fox News recently settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems after the company sued the network for defamation in regards to claims that its technology was involved in "stealing" the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. Fox News agreed in a settlement to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million.
Carlson was one of the Fox News anchors who had accused Dominion on the air, but something else that came out during the case may have affected his standing at Fox News.
As reported by The Guardian, texts of Carlson's were revealed in court documents that include him speaking poorly about others at Fox News and the network, voicing his doubts about the election fraud claim, and criticizing former president Donald Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports that he also called a Fox executive the c-word.
And he's implicated in another lawsuit.
Former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that she was set up to be a scapegoat in the Dominion Voting Systems case. She also claims that she was harassed and that Fox News is a misogynistic workplace, as reported by NBC News.
Grossberg had worked on Carlson's show. The New York Times reported earlier this week that her lawsuit includes claims that male producers on the show made anti-semitic jokes and used vulgar words to describe and refer to women.
A Fox News spokesperson told NBC News that Grossberg's claims are "unmeritorious" and "riddled with false allegations against the network and our employees."
In response to Carlson leaving the network, Fox News directed Best Life to its original statement. Best Life has also reached out to Carlson for comment.