On Monday, a video produced by Media Matters for America showed Tucker Carlson “lashing out at Fox” over Fox News’ streaming platform, Fox Nation, while also helping “misogynistic” social media influencer Andrew Tate “repair his reputation.”
The video was supposed to bury Carlson for good. It did the opposite.
In August of 2022, Carlson is seen on the phone with a Romanian man in exile. In the leaked clip, Carlson welcomes him back into the journalist brotherhood. Although he doesn’t use his name, it is widely believed that he was speaking with Andrew Tate, the ex-MMA fighter who was accused of sexual assault and was hiding out in Romania.
Tate is an influencer many call a misogynist for his bombastic declarations about the culture. He is the embodiment of toxic masculinity. The fact that Carlson was being friendly to Tate on the phone made the world cluck their tongues and hate Carlson for his cordialness.
While on the phone, Tate asks Carlson to wear a sweater rather than a suit during their interview. Carlson declines, saying it will be aired at night and wants it to have more gravitas.
Michael Somebody at Fox News arranged for a leak to the media after Tucker Carlson was fired last Monday, as pointed out by Brendan Dougherty in an article for National Review.
In the video obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Carlson can be heard talking about his “postmenopausal fans” and worrying about their reaction to his on-air appearance. He is also overheard talking disparagingly about the Fox Nation website and streaming app, saying it sucks and that no one uses it.
The speculation as to why Carlson was fired is an ongoing national chat.
Dougherty was skeptical that just one clip of Carlson talking about how useless Fox Nation was would have any lasting effect on Carlson’s employment status at the network. Any CEO or high-level talent who saw the app as feasible, stable, and proper use of subscribers’ disposable income would be lying to themself.
One popular theory suggests that in the days or weeks before Tucker Carlson was fired, Rupert Murdoch spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the phone. Carlson has not been a fervent supporter of Ukraine.
Another article from Vanity Fair mentioned Carlson’s religious beliefs and a stirring speech he gave to the Heritage Foundation the Friday before he was let go, in which he discussed God, prayer, and the struggle between good and evil in the public realm. Fox News is a forum for independent conservative opinion, although it has been known to fire conservative commentators who become too outspoken for the Murdochs’ tastes.
The quality of Fox News hasn’t improved, and the video hasn’t changed the fact that Tucker Carlson was let go.
However, it’s funny and interesting to see Media Matters serving as a go-between for Fox News. They’ve long been Fox’s enemy. Now they’ve teamed up to try and bury an ex-employee.
If embarrassing Carlson was the objective; the plan flopped spectacularly.