I have been wondering what to make of Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News. I liked his show very much and I often wanted to share and discuss clips from it here in the Forum. But I learned quickly from the first clip or two that I did share that the audience here was prone to such overreaction to the very idea of Carlson that it was useless to trade in any content bearing his name.
Robert Barnes — the bald fellow in the video — gives the best summary of Carlson’s departure I have come across. He argues that Carlson’s show was not a good ideological fit with Fox News’s otherwise milk toast conservatism. In effect, Carlson’s curiosity and openness to dissenting opinion appeared to management to dilute the brand. Thus, the firing of the network’s (and history’s) most popular pundit is best understood as a consolidation.
But consolidation for what? I’ve seen rumors this morning that the Murdochs are planning to sell Fox, although no prospective buyers are named. I’ve also seen speculation that Carlson needed to be sacked ahead of the 2024 presidential race because he would likely give air time to Robert Kennedy Jr., Donald Trump or other undesirable candidates, given the chance to do so.
Until we hear from Carlson himself I will remain uncertain in my view of his firing. I suspect, however, that when the facts become known they will tell us something unpleasant about intolerance in our era.