With Tucker Carlson Gone, This Time I’m Really Done with Fox News
This time I’m really done with Fox.
I’ve said that before, at least to myself, especially after their premature call of the Arizona results on election night 2020.
But getting rid of Tucker Carlson was the last straw. Given the new technologies, does anyone truly need Fox News Channel any longer?
Full disclosure: I’m on the payroll of Newsmax – the streaming service, N2 – and I work out of their offices for more half the year. But like everybody else I know I still watched Fox, or at least Tucker, until he was summarily axed last week, while at the absolute top of his game, and more importantly, the ratings.
My own theory is that Tucker was the victim of a Deep State hit. All the stories about Rupert’s fiancé, or the corporate emails, or the second-string producer’s lawsuit – nonsense, cover stories.
Tucker’s problem was that he had drifted off the reservation. Someone got to Rupert’s kid, Lachlan, who is to the Murdoch clan what Fredo was to the Corleones.
But why would even a pampered puke with a woke wife like Lachlan want to demolish the last remaining relevant show on Daddy’s channel?
Well, consider Tucker’s recent roster of guests – Elon Musk, RFK Jr., Kanye West, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Wolf, Alex Berenson, Riley Gaines, etc.
How many of the above do you think you’ll ever see again on Fox? But when it comes to Mitch McConnell, going forward seldom will be heard a discouraging word. Lisa Murkowski and Willard M. Romney, ditto.
Should you decide not to cut the cord on your cable TV, stand by to hear a lot of this on Fox from now on:
“Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Vice President Pence!”
“A new poll shows Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida rapidly closing in on the evil former President Donald Trump….”
“Ambassador Haley, your amazing speech yesterday to the Council on Foreign Relations has gone viral….”
With Tucker’s departure, here’s some of what is now verboten at Fox: skepticism about the Ukraine war and the 2020 election. The Democrats’ COVID-19 disaster may be addressed, but only gingerly. Don’t want to offend Big Pharma, after all.
Tucker Carlson will survive, stronger than ever, for sure. (I hope the TMZ speculation about taking over Newsmax is true, although I doubt it.)
What’s sadder to see is Rupert Murdoch going out like this at age 92. He used to be a real swashbuckling character back in the day, a disrupter in all the good ways. But like Richard II, Rupert wasted time and now time doth waste him.
I met him a long time ago – when he was only on his second wife. He was buying this newspaper, and I was introduced to him as the guy who had been the Herald’s lead columnist but quit to go into TV because the paper was about to fold.
“You made the right decision,” Rupert told me.
Later, when I went back to print, he used to fly into Boston every Christmas for a boozy dinner with Herald management. At the time, Murdoch was setting up the Fox television network, but he wanted everyone to know he hadn’t forgotten his newspapers.
“Whatever happens,” he would say, “print people will always be the backbone of this organization. You must have a background in print to succeed in any media endeavor.”
We didn’t totally believe his reassurances. But there was truth to what Rupert Murdoch said. He was an ink-stained wretch himself, after all. He loved laying out the front pages of his papers.
I mention this because for all intents and purposes, Tucker was the last print guy at Fox. He started out at a regional newspaper. I met him when he was working for the Weekly Standard and doing a story on Patches Kennedy’s lackluster pre-Congressional career as a state rep in Providence.
I was the curator of the videotapes showing Patches stumbling around drunk on the floor of the House. Nobody at the Providence Journal was interested in them – it was a “serious” newspaper, and you know what that means. So the pols down there would send me videos of his drunken escapades, anonymously.
Hey, I worked for Murdoch, I knew what to do with them. In print and on broadcast media.
I met Tucker at the State House press gallery and handed over the videotapes. He did a great job with the material. He always does.
Now who’s left at Fox? I get along with all the talent, but they’re mostly hired hands, lifers. You can sum up the remaining Fox News hosts the way they used to describe journeyman ball players:
“Won’t make waves, also won’t make All-Star team.”
In the old days, before time doth wasted him, Rupert didn’t bow to pressure. In some cases, he still doesn’t.
There’s a major Brit media personality named Jeremy Clarkson. He had a huge hit show on the BBC until he was fired in 2018 – for assaulting one of his producers over a mix up in a catering order.
Clarkson got picked up on waivers by Murdoch. Last December he wrote a column for the Sun about how much he hated Meghan Markle. He said that he dreamed of the day “when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chat ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
Seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it, no matter what your feelings about the gold-digging Duchess of Sussex?
Was Clarkson fired by Rupert Murdoch? Hell no. He just tweeted out a simpering, half-assed apology, blaming it all on a flawed Game of Thrones reference:
“Oh dear, I’ve rather put my foot in it… I shall have to be more careful in the future.”
He’s still on the payroll. So is Tucker Carlson, of course – for $1.9 million a month, but only as long as he keeps his mouth shut. The difference is, Clarkson is still working.
I just checked out his weekend column – he came out against unisex bathrooms and Bud Light. Very edgy stuff indeed.
On Monday after the news I texted Tucker. I mentioned how he had stolen the thunder of his old foil on CNN, who got canned an hour or so after Tucker.
“Look at it this way – you ruined Don Lemon’s day. It’s like Aldous Huxley on Nov. 22 1963. Some people probably still don’t know he’s dead.”
Come to think of it, Tucker was probably the last guy on Fox who would even get that joke.
Tucker’s out, so am I, and so are millions of others. It’s a Brave New World.