By Ryan Morgan
Lawmakers, political commentators, and journalists were abuzz on Monday after news broke that Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson had cut ties with the network.
Carlson had been a fixture at Fox News since 2009 and hosted his own primetime show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” from November 2016 until his final show on Friday, April 21, 2023. Over the lifespan of his program, Carlson had attracted a large audience and led one of the most popular cable television news shows, which often attracted more than 3 million viewers per episode.
Fox News did not specify the exact reason for Carlson’s departure.
Fans of Carlson’s show shared their support for the television personality and political commentator, while critics of the show celebrated his departure from Fox News and the potential negative impact that may have on the reach of Carlson’s commentary.
Praise For Carlson
Support for Carlson came from his primarily conservative fanbase.
“Tucker Carlson is beloved by the base and a driving force in our movement,” Benny Johnson, a conservative columnist and political commentator affiliated with Turning Point USA, wrote on Twitter. “It will be absolutely impossible for anyone to fill Tucker’s shoes at Fox. Why would they get rid of the number one news host on the planet?”
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who is a member of the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote, “Wherever Tucker Carlson goes, America will follow! Thank you for being one of the greatest and most powerful voices in the conservative movement. Can’t wait to see what’s next!”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) a fellow House Freedom Caucus member, also credited Carlson and his show with offering a “consistent platform” for sharing views and highlighting political topics “that cut contrary to the prevailing thinking on something.”
Praise for Carlson did not come exclusively from the political right.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald credited Carlson with holding several views that conservatives are divided over. Greenwald, who had appeared regularly on Carlson’s show, wrote on Twitter that Carlson “was the cable host who most: Opposed US proxy war in Ukraine; Denounced CIA, FBI and DHS for its systemic lies and corruption; Devoted himself to a pardon for Julian Assange; Objected to regime change efforts in Cuba; Criticized Trump Admin’s militarism.
Greenwald carried on in a tweet thread that noted distinctions between Carlson and another Fox News primetime host, Sean Hannity.
“From 8pm to 9pm on Fox, there was extreme, even fundamental, disagreements between Tucker and Hannity on those key issues – the kind of internal debate unthinkable on any other network: in lockstep,” Greenwald wrote. “I’d wager the new 8pm host will be far more aligned with Hannity: standard GOP.”
Jimmy Dore, a left-wing political commentator and anti-war activist also wrote on Twitter, “No one else in all of Corporate news ever brings on anti-war voices, the one that did just got axed.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democrat running for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, also praised for Carlson. Kennedy, who has been a prominent critic of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, linked Carlson’s departure from Fox News with his criticism of the shots.
“Fox fires @TuckerCarlson five days after he crosses the red line by acknowledging that the TV networks pushed a deadly and ineffective vaccine to please their Pharma advertisers,” Kennedy tweeted. “Carlson’s breathtakingly courageous April 19 monologue broke TV’s two biggest rules: Tucker told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content and he lambasted obsequious newscasters for promoting jabs they knew to be lethal and worthless.”
Critics Celebrate Fox Departure
Rep. Bill Pascrel (D-N.J.) claimed Carlson’s Fox News show “was a sewer of countless lies and hate” and that Carlson is “one of the leading election deniers and opponents of democracy in America.” Pascrel said it’s “a good thing” that Carlson will no longer have his Fox News platform.
Carlson has questioned the validity of the 2020 U.S. election as well as claims that the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, constituted an insurrection. In March, Carlson’s show played security footage it obtained from the Capitol, which showed police officers escorting demonstrator Jacob Chansley—often referred to as the “QAnon Shaman”—through the building. The officers in the security footage did not seem threatened by Chansley and Carlson said the officers acted as Chansley’s “tour guides.”
The day before his Fox News departure, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) claimed Carlson and other figures at Fox News engage in behavior on the network that is “very, very clearly incitement of violence.” Ocasio-Cortez offered that comment during an interview on MSNBC where she and host Jen Psaki discussed Fox News’ recent settlement of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit over its coverage of negative claims about Dominion voting machines in the 2020 election. During her MSNBC interview, Ocasio-Cortez said cable news companies like Fox News should be subject to new federal regulations.
Ocasio-Cortez simply wrote on Twitter “wow” upon seeing news of Carlson’s departure from Fox News the day after her MSNBC comments.
Some Republicans joined in criticizing Carlson on Monday.
“After all Tucker’s lies and defamation, it’s about time,” wrote former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Twitter in reaction to news of his departure from Fox News.
Cheney and Carlson repeatedly traded barbs in recent months over his coverage of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. Last year, after Carlson raised the possibility of undercover agents being present at and even provoking the chaos at the Capitol, Cheney said there’s no truth at all to the claim and “it’s un-American to be spreading those kinds of lies, and they are lies.” Lawyers for several Jan. 6 defendants continue to allege the presence of dozens of undercover agents and informants within the crowds.
On Monday, Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), wrote on Twitter, “A fall from grace. Tucker used to be a deep thinking mainstream conservative with ideas. He became a monster pushing garbage and abusing the patriotism of his viewers. Good riddance.”
Kinzinger currently works as a political commentator for rival cable news channel CNN.
From NTD News