Thursday, May 30, 2024

Editorial: Tucker Carlson taken off air

Cardinal Points previously discussed the lawsuit between Fox News and Dominion, a company that created software used for the presidential election, where the former was accused of defamation. Fox News has since settled out of court, paying $787.5 million to Dominion compared to the $1.6 billion demanded in the lawsuit. 

In the fallout of this settlement, Tucker Carlson, a household name for many Republicans, has since been fired from Fox News. His last broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was April 21, and now will be replaced with a segment titled “Fox News Tonight” that will rotate hosts until it finds its next superstar personality.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the highest rated in the 24 to 54 age bracket and the most popular television broadcast in the nation. Each night, Carlson would attack “wokeness” or “the left,” criticizing left-leaning politics and ideologies and sharing with his viewers often bigoted views. 

Carlson may have been made fun of online for his takes such as his outrage over the desexualization of the green M&M character, but he did often hint at ideals such as making it more difficult for people of color to vote. At times, he brought up the “Jewish Question” — often called “JQ” — a common antisemitic dogwhistle. The “JQ” is a belief that Jewish individuals hold positions of power purposely, such as within banks or media, to infiltrate “normal society.”

Carlson has a history of being openly racist and bigoted. In 2018, Carlson managed to have more than 20 companies pull their ads from his segment after he claimed immigrants were making the nation “poorer and dirtier and more divided.” During the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Carlson often explained, in great detail, why unarmed Black Americans deserved to have been killed by police. Carlson has said on live television he believes white supremacy to be a “hoax.”

“[Tucker Carlson Tonight] may be the most racist show in the history of cable news,” Nicholas Confessore, a New York Times reporter, said in an interview with National Public Radio last year. “What we found was that the elements that he borrows from the far right are not isolated incidents on the show or things he pops into here and there. They are a constant theme, a drumbeat spanning hundreds of episodes of the show, hundreds of segments.”

Carlson has yet to make an official announcement on his departure from Fox News, but the company has seen a dip in its stocks. Carlson also faces a separate lawsuit from Abby Grossberg, Carlson’s former senior booking producer. Grossberg alleges Carlson created a sexist and hostile working environment. The messages Dominion uncovered in the lawsuit show Carlson calling Grossberg derogatory terms for a woman.

The response to Carlson’s departure has been explosive. His detractors are celebrating his firing, while important Republican politicians such as Matt Gaetz or Donald Trump mourn the loss. 

Trump lamented on Truth Social that Carlson’s leave is a “big blow to Cable News, and to America.”

Fox News will likely recover from the dip in stocks and viewers, as Carlson had taken over from the previous anchorman, Bill O’Riley, who was fired. Perhaps this is a step in the right direction for Fox News, shifting from bigotry and hatred to more accurate reporting. With less access to Carlson’s views, more true and accurate journalism can be cast on televisions across the nation.

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