Tucker Carlson fans let out a huge sigh of relief after holding their breath for two weeks waiting for his next move after being ousted from Fox News.
They didn’t have to wait long. Earlier this week, Carlson announced he would be reinstating his popular primetime show on Twitter.
Within a few hours the Tweet had received over 21 million views and the video itself, over 5 million views.
This confirms the rumors that Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, have been in discussions cooking up a deal. While no details have been disclosed about the agreement, Musk was quick to respond to Tucker’s announcement with a reply Tweet saying there was no special contract or deal between the two.
“I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators. Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (coming soon), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with the content. I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform.”
Essentially, Tucker Carlson is striking out on his own and choosing Twitter as the platform to do so.
Regardless, the partnership is sure to ruffle some feathers, particularly those who will likely not be pleased with what Carlson is now free to say.
While most politicians don’t seem to give a rip about journalists’ commentary, given his huge audience, Carlson is in a unique position to shape the cultural narrative and political landscape. That will worry many, particularly those, namely some Republicans, who may have been protected because of what the host was not allowed to say on Fox.
As the failure to report on the Hunter Biden laptop revealed, such transparency is especially important during an upcoming election cycle.
Friends of the First Amendment
The two may seem an unlikely pair in an earlier time and a different cultural and political landscape. However, the First Amendment makes for unlikely bedfellows and both gentlemen seem to be adamant on fostering it to ensure it flourishes.
Carlson claimed in his announcement, “Free speech is the main right that you have. Without it, you have no others.”
Similarly, many have hailed Musk as a defender of free speech upon his purchase of Twitter.
The conservative pundit also took aim at traditional media saying, while they aren’t lying outright, by not offering context or “proportion and perspective” to stories or by omitting certain details, they are not telling the truth. Carlson called these “lies of the stealthiest and most insidious kind” claiming what many of us already know: “You are being manipulated.”
Tucker interviewed Musk on Thursday April 13, only about a week before his last show on Fox News aired on the 21st. Musk issued a dire warning about the future of AI, confirming Tucker’s perspective on the media. “What’s happening is that they’re training the AI to lie. It’s bad.”
Claims Against Fox
In his most recent showing on Twitter, Tucker Carlson also alluded to what went down at Fox.
“The best you can hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can. But there are always limits. And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it. That’s not a guess, it’s guaranteed.”
Fox News still has not disclosed the rationale for Tucker’s removal from the station and, technically, he is still under contract until January of 2025. The Murdoch family enterprise seemed to be willing to continue to pay Carlson on his contract in order to prevent him from starting a competing show. Or what might be equated to “hush money.”
According to a letter from his lawyers to Fox, Carlson claims that the non-compete provision in his contract is no longer valid due to Fox’s fraud and breach of contract. This would leave Carlson free to pursue other opportunities in media, including his own.
The letter alleges Fox broke an agreement with Carlson not to leak his private communications to the media and not to use Carlson’s private messages “to take any adverse employment action against him.”
The letter also accuses Fox of breaking promises not to settle with Dominion Voting Systems in a way that would indicate wrongdoing on Carlson’s part or harm his reputation. Carlson claims a member of the board told him he was removed from the station because of just that.
A Fox spokesperson called the Dominion claim “categorically false.”
According to the letter, Carlson is considering litigation against his old employer and his lawyers directed Fox news to take immediate steps “to preserve all existing documents and data” relevant to the relationship between the two.
Regardless of the outcome, it seems, just as Carlson has claimed in his most recent speeches after his removal from Fox, truth will prevail. And we will all be better for it.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.