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Was Tucker Carlson fired to damage Donald Trump’s re-election chances?


TUCKER Carlson has been fired by American broadcaster Fox News after 14 years. The popular anchor courted controversy and bucked the censorship trend and to many, he was a no-holds-barred truthteller, as well as a proud supporter of Donald Trump. This may have been his downfall.

Carlson joined Fox as a contributor in 2009 and began presenting Tucker Carlson Tonight in 2017. In Friday’s show, he gave no indication that it would be his last and told viewers, ‘See you on Monday.’

According to US journalist Kim Iversen, Rupert Murdoch made the decision last Friday after consulting board members. Iversen discovered that Carlson and his producer Justin Wells, who was also fired, were given just ten minutes’ notice.

These days when employees are fired they are normally escorted from the building by security. It is likely that Carlson would have been given a few minutes to clear his desk and then marched out of the office into the street.

But why?

Iversen, who has her own controversial alternative news show, The Kim Iversen Show, broadcast on Rumble, gives five possible reasons for the shock departure. She thinks we may never be sure of the real reason as Carlson is likely to have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) but has some good theories. You can see her full broadcast here. We summarise Iversen’s theories below, including her favourite.

THEORY ONE: Carlson was sacked after Fox lost a defamation lawsuit which cost the company $787.5million in compensation.

Dominion Voting Systems sued after Fox made claims about the way the firm handled the 2020 presidential election which Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden. Dominion said that Fox pushed the theory that the election was rigged.

Iversen said: ‘This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Tucker was actually sceptical of the vote-rigging claims. On his show, he said: “We don’t know how many votes were stolen on Tuesday night. We don’t know anything about the software used. We ought to find out. Here’s what we do know, our system isn’t what we thought it was and not as fair as it should be, not even close. But false claims of fraud can be every bit as destructive as the fraud itself. The fraud that we can confirm does not seem to be enough to alter the election result itself. We should be honest and tell you that.”

‘Carlson texted several people in the network, his producer, and other hosts, to say he thought it was a lie, and he was not a prominent voice pushing the theory. There were lots of other names in the network who did more to push the claims than Tucker did.

‘To me there’s not really a connection but it may be good timing and a good way for the media to say this is why he’s gone. It’s not a good excuse and there are other reasons.’

THEORY TWO: It was his anti-war stance that got him fired. Carlson was not convinced by the war in Ukraine. There are anti-war voices who definitely get censored, and anti-war voices who get the boot from positions in mainstream media.

Iversen does not think this is the reason. She said: ‘He was calling it how he saw it and telling it how he saw it. He was very hawkish on China but pretty much in lockstep with others on that point.

‘It’s unclear how much his anti-war is responsible for his ouster. He’s been anti-war for years. He was in lockstep with Trump on foreign policy. Trump was more anti-war than the current president and previous presidents. Carlson went to North Korea with Trump so you would think if they were worried about his anti-war stance, they would have fired him a long time ago.’

THEORY THREE: The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post are saying that it’s because of a lawsuit that he’s named in. Carlson is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by TV producer Abby Grossberg who is alleging that Fox News is rife with sexist, misogynistic and abusive behaviour. Iversen said: ‘She was claiming a hostile environment and says she has many bits of evidence. She was saying that she was denied opportunities for promotion, she was treated significantly differently from her male counterparts, including those less qualified. That the work environment subjugates women based on vile sexist stereotypes, typecast religious minorities, and has no regard for those suffering mental illness.

‘The thing about the lawsuit is that there are a lot of people named in it. If the firing was truly about the lawsuit, then others would have been fired too.

‘It doesn’t really stack up as a reason for him to be fired.’

THEORY FOUR: Another rumour is that Rupert Murdoch was particularly upset about Carlson’s reporting relating to the January 6, 2021, invasion of the Capitol Building in Washington DC after Donald Trump’s election defeat.

Iversen said: ‘This is maybe more likely. Reports had been around for a while that Rupert Murdoch was very upset about the reporting coming from Tucker Carlson.

‘The tapes that were given to him from Kevin McCarthy [McCarthy was House Speaker and provided Fox News with surveillance tapes from January 6, 2021], even though he was showing video evidence that countered the narrative, people were claiming that he was spreading misinformation and saying that you shouldn’t watch the video.

‘There’s a lot of reporting around January 6 that made people uncomfortable, including Rupert Murdoch, so it’s possible he was fired over that.

‘Maybe Tucker was planning a further exposé and the higher ups decided to get rid of him because of that.’

THEORY FIVE: Iversen’s favourite theory rests in Carlson’s support for Donald Trump. ‘The powers that be are so completely frightened by the second rise of Trump and the possibility that Trump could again take over the White House that they are willing to do anything it takes to stop that from happening.

‘One thing we’ve learned now about Trump’s 2016 election win is that the media largely blamed themselves afterwards. That they said we covered his campaign too much; he was in the news all the time and that boosted his numbers and he beat Hillary Clinton. Many of us don’t really buy that but that’s what the media thinks and that’s maybe part of the reason.

‘It makes sense to me in the never-ending witch hunt against Trump getting back into the White House that they would do everything possible to remove the prominent voices to stop them lifting Donald Trump up.

‘What happened two weeks ago? Tucker had a big interview with Donald Trump. He’s promoting Donald Trump; he shares many of his views. Tucker Carlson is the greatest asset to the Donald Trump campaign. I don’t think that’s arguable. If you want to remove Trump, get rid of the prominent voices who are elevating him. The prominent voices echoing his ideas that are becoming insanely popular.  

‘That to me is the real reason why Tucker Carlson was ousted. They are deeply afraid, including Rupert Murdoch, of Trump’s return to the White House, so if you want to stop Donald Trump, get rid of anyone and everyone who could be weaponised to help him get there.

‘In Tucker Carlson we finally had a news personality who was saying things no one else was saying, who had ideas and opinions completely different to those we’re used to hearing from Republicans. This is a real loss to all of us.’ 

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Sally Beck
Sally Beck
Sally Beck is a freelance journalist with 30 years of experience in writing for national newspapers and magazines. She has reported on vaccines since the controversy began with the MMR in 1998.

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