On Tucker Carlson

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Everybody is up in arms about Tucker Carlson’s and Fox News’ split.

Lots of rumors regarding why it happened are floating around, and as with all breaking news stories you should wait for a bit before you trust anything anybody says. “Inside sources” or outright speculations are unreliable. Was it Dominion? Was it Tucker wanting to defend himself? Was it something else?


I don’t know and only a small circle of people so far do. And even they will probably have diverging views.

What interests me is how Tucker is a very different kind of media voice and one who can’t easily fit at any cable news station. Not because they are changing, but because he has.

Tucker, who grew up within and as part of the Establishment has been breaking with it, and now has completely broken all ties.

Tucker comes from a very privileged background, which included growing up within the media ecosphere. He has been embedded in that world for his whole life. He has worked for all 3 major cable news stations at some point, and before that, he was embedded in the think tank world and in magazine writing. He was more a part of the Establishment than most people you see these days because he was born into it and remained totally embedded within it his entire life.

Over the past few years, though, and at an increasing rate, Tucker has concluded that the Establishment is not simply flawed, but an actual agent of evil. In this he is right, and I say this as somebody who grew up not as privileged as he, but was a child of academics, went to an elite liberal arts college, got a graduate degree at Duke, and taught at elite schools for years.

I, too, have concluded that the Establishment is doing evil.

Earlier today in my Monday rant I used a Tucker Carlson video from a speech at Heritage because it captured my own feelings perfectly.


Tucker tells the truth here. We are not in the midst of political or policy disputes in the United States. We are in a battle between good and evil. The Establishment has picked the side of evil.

That may seem harsh, but it is accurate nonetheless. Rather than repeating myself here, I will instead quote myself, since I already said it so well.

Most people are stuck in the paradigm of believing that the public disputes we are having are about how best to achieve rational policy goals. Often the Left uses language that seems to mirror that of earlier debates. “Justice,” for instance, is a term we all understand and have an idea of what it means, and we believe it to be a positive good.

Justice, to the Left, means people destroying things, stealing things, committing violence, and tossing people out of the public and economic square. Creating inflation in order to eliminate the middle class.

We live in a society now where killing babies and old people is considered a positive good, and paying people not to work in the midst of a huge labor shortage is considered just. Where performing sterilization on children before they even reach puberty is to be celebrated.

It is, literally, evil. The intentional destruction of our society. Wiping away not just social norms, or even lives, but the entire Western legal system in a headlong rush to destroy our social order, eliminate the next generation through killing and sterilization, and the social structure that undergirds everything. Destroying the family will destroy our civilization. And that is their goal.


None of the policies being pushed to achieve these goals can be seen as legitimately good for society or the people affected. Sterilizing children is not a positive good. Promoting crime is not a positive good. Destroying freedom is not a positive good.

Doing these things is an act of evil.

Tucker spoke about his transformation in a podcast that I wrote about a month ago, in which he was very open about his regrets. Whether he was also speaking of his participation in the 2020 election discourse is unclear, but he certainly was open about the inherent corruption of the media ecosystem.

Clearly, the way business is done these days offends him to the core, and it was unlikely he would stick it out much longer in any case. The media, including Fox, is inherently corrupt. I happen to think that Fox is on balance less so than other news organizations, who push about 10x as many frauds as Fox, but Fox is hardly perfect. I don’t watch it and stopped years ago. I don’t watch any cable news if I can help it.

The Los Angeles Times lists a number of potential reasons for Tucker leaving/being fired–all from unnamed sources that put Tucker in the worst possible light. Some, at least, are not entirely plausible simply because on Friday it was pretty clear that he was expected to return today. A firing based upon any longstanding disagreement would have happened more smoothly, presumably. Something acute sparked this departure.


Here is what the Times says about it all:

People familiar with the situation who were not authorized to comment publicly said the decision to fire Carlson came straight from Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Carlson’s exit is related to the discrimination lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, the producer fired by the network last month, the people said.

Murdoch is also said to be concerned over Carlson’s coverage of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in which the host has promoted the conspiracy theory that it was provoked by government agents.

Carlson has called Ray Epps — a Texas man who participated in the storming of the Capitol but did not enter the building — an FBI plant, without presenting any evidence.

Epps was interviewed Sunday on “60 Minutes” and said he has been subjected to death threats as a result of Carlson’s statements about him. The FBI told “60 Minutes” that Epps has never worked for the agency.

The decision is not related to the $787.5-million settlement Fox News agreed to pay to Dominion Voting Systems last week, according to a representative for Dominion.

However, some of the comments that Carlson had made about management in communications that turned up in the discovery process for the case may have also played a role in Carlson’s demise.

Some or all of this may or may not be true. I suspect that if Murdoch made the decision, it was some combination of factors including a general dissatisfaction with Carlson by Murdoch. But none of this is sufficient to cause such an abrupt departure. I suspect that some combination of chronic problems along with an acute conflict mixed.


I am pretty sure his participation in the Dominion smears had nothing to do with it, or several hosts would be gone. Fox didn’t cover itself with glory, and it’s clear that Murdoch himself wanted the pro-Trump spin out there because it drove viewership. Murdoch may be displeased by the settlement, but it was hardly caused by Tucker alone.

But it was bound to happen. Carlson, for all his missteps over the 2020 election coverage, was too honest to survive in the current media environment. He realized that the system was corrupt. Carlson clearly hated the pressure to back Trump, although he buckled to it. That podcast interview pretty conclusively shows he regretted it too and wanted no part of anything like that again.

I am not a Tucker partisan, although I like him more now that at any time in the past. My opinions were more guided by his past as an establishmentarian than his current incarnation.

Tucker is going to come out of this in a stronger, not weaker position. He is a sufficiently powerful personality that he will carve out a niche and expand his fan base.

The fact that Carlson no longer comfortably fits in the MSM, or even the more right-leaning Fox speaks well of him, not them. I wish him success.

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