Tucker Carlson speaks out for 1st time after being fired by Fox

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Tucker Carlson breaks silence on Fox firing, targets U.S. media and political system
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson made his first on-camera appearance Wednesday since his abrupt firing from the network this week, releasing a taped statement in which he criticized the state of political discourse on U.S. television – Apr 27, 2023

Tucker Carlson has emerged with his first public statement since he was abruptly fired by Fox News on Monday — though the two-minute, campaign-style monologue he released fails to address the reason for his new unemployed status.

Carlson posted a videotaped statement on Twitter Wednesday night around 8 p.m., the time when his Fox show used to air. Before his unexplained exit, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the highest-rated cable news program in the key age demographic on the most-watched cable news network in the U.S.

Carlson did not mention his former employer once in Wednesday’s video. Instead, he took aim at American media and the U.S. political system.

“Good evening, it’s Tucker Carlson,” he began. “One of the first things you realize when you step outside the noise for a few days is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country.

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“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,” he continued. “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years we won’t even remember we heard them. Trust me, as somebody who participated.”

He claimed that “undeniably big topics, the ones that will define our future, get virtually no discussion at all,” including “war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power (and) natural resources.”

“Debates like that are not permitted in American media.”

Until recently, Carlson was one of the biggest stars of the mainstream media landscape he’s critiquing. It’s unclear if he feels that debate was stifled on his own show or if he believes his program wasn’t affected by these outside influences.

“Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it,” Carlson added.

“Suddenly the United States looks very much like a one-party state. That’s a depressing realization, but it’s not permanent.”

He believes the status quo or “current orthodoxies” cannot last.

Carlson signed off at the end of the two-minute monologue asking: “Where can you still find Americans saying true things?”

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“There aren’t many places left but there are some and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.”

The former Fox star didn’t mention what’s coming up next for him.

Carlson and Fox parted ways less than a week after parent company Fox Corp settled for US$787.5 million a defamation lawsuit in which Carlson played a starring role.

The mystery about why Fox Corp. leadership, Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan, decided to suddenly dismiss Carlson lingers. The company has not explained it, although some media reports Wednesday centred on material uncovered during Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit but redacted from court papers.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that a tipping point for Fox executives may have been private messages containing what the paper called “highly offensive and crude remarks” from Carlson. The Wall Street Journal reported that Carlson called a senior executive the “c-word.”

A Fox News representative did not comment on the reports or Carlson’s reemergence, instead referring to Monday’s statement where the company said, “We thank him for his service.”

Carlson is also key to additional legal battles facing Fox, including a lawsuit filed by his former head of booking, Abby Grossberg, who said Fox coerced her testimony in the Dominion case.

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Grossberg last month accused network lawyers of pressuring her to provide misleading testimony and said Fox exposed her and others to rampant sexism and misogyny. Fox fired Grossberg, saying her legal claims were “riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees.”

— With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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