- Tucker Carlson has parted ways with Fox News, the media network announced Monday.
- Carlson previously worked at both CNN and MSNBC.
- Comedian Jon Stewart may have influenced the cancellation of one of his shows, according to the NYT.
Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News and no definitive reason has been given by him or his former employer.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the network said in a Monday statement. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
He has now parted ways with three major cable news networks — but for many different reasons.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch was “concerned” about Carlson’s insurrection coverage and that it was a factor in his firing. But The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Axios reported that Rupert’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corporation, and Fox News’s CEO Suzanne Scott made the ultimate decision.
Sources told The New York Times a reason Carlson was told to take a walk is due to a discrimination lawsuit filed by former Fox producer Abby Grossberg, who was fired by the network last month. In her lawsuit, Grossberg suggests Carlson created “a work environment that subjugates women based on vile sexist stereotypes.” A Fox News representative told Insider the company would “vigorously defend Fox against all of her legal claims which have no merit.”
Grossberg also alleges Fox News lawyers coached her to potentially perjure herself during her deposition in the Dominion case. The New York Times reported on Monday that Grossberg’s legal team would depose Carlson “in the very near term.”
The Washington Post, however, reported the firing had to do with private messages criticizing Fox News executives discovered during the Dominion suit.
Insider reached out to Carlson through his booking agent but did not immediately receive a response.
Carlson joined CNN in 2000 and the next year was made a co-host of the network’s long-running debate show, “Crossfire.” Changes in the show’s length and time slot were already costing it ratings, but it was an appearance by guest Jon Stewart — then the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” — that appeared to seal Carlson’s fate at the network.
Stewart — who took “The Daily Show” to new heights during the Bush administration, making his own analysis must-watch for political junkies — used almost the entirety of his October 15, 2004, interview to critique the show, calmly excoriating both Carlson and co-host Paul Begala for reducing political discourse into partisan talking points: “It’s hurting America. Here is what I wanted to tell you guys: Stop.”
At one point, Carlson — clearly unnerved by a comedian who he thought would be a lay-up to interview — said to Stewart: “I do think you’re more fun on your show. Just my opinion.”
Stewart replied, “You know what’s interesting, though? You’re as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.”
A few months later, a January 6, 2005, story in The New York Times announced that then-new CNN President Jonathan Klein was canceling “Crossfire.”
“There are outlets for the kind of show Tucker wants to do and CNN isn’t going to be one of them,” Klein said, according to the Times. Klein also pointed out that he agreed with Stewart, wanting to move the network away from “head-butting debate shows.”
“I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s overall premise,” Klein said, adding that after the 9/11 terror attacks, viewers were more interested in unbiased information than opinion.
Carlson later said he resigned before the announcement and had a deal for a solo hosting gig on MSNBC.
The Situation at MSNBC
Eventually renamed simply “Tucker,” Carlson made the move in June 2005 to the more openly liberal MSNBC, notably launching the career of Rachel Maddow, who was a frequent guest. The low-rated show lasted a mere three years before David Gregory took over the time slot
During that time Carlson was also selected to be a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars.”
He was the first to be eliminated.