Tucker Carlson Breaks Silence in First Video Message Since Leaving Fox

Tucker Carlson Breaks Silence in First Video Message Since Leaving Fox
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Tucker Carlson during 2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on November 17, 2022 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Melanie Sun

“Good evening, it’s Tucker Carlson!” Tucker Carlson has proclaimed again to America in his first monologue since parting ways with Fox News.

Carlson broadcast his monologue on Wednesday night at his usual 8 p.m. ET time slot—when he would have addressed the nation from Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight”—but this time from his Twitter account.

The conservative current affairs commentator and host revealed his observations after taking a couple of days off since his sudden split from Fox News on April 21.

“One of the first things you realise after you step outside the noise for a few days is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country, kind and decent people, people who really care about what’s true. And a bunch of hilarious people also; a lot of those. It’s got to be the majority of the population, even now. So that’s heartening.

“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. They’re completely irrelevant ... trust me, as someone’s who’s participated.”

He then went on to say that big topics that will define our future get “virtually no discussion at all”—topics like war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, and natural resources.

“When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues?” Carlson asked, saying that both of America’s main political parties and their donors have agreed to “shut down any conversation” about them.

“That’s a depressing realization, but it’s not permanent ... It won’t work. When honest people say what’s true—calmly and without embarrassment—they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who have been trying to silence them shrink, and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe—true things prevail.

“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? 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,” Carlson said.

The video of the now-former prime-time host received more than 5 million views within the first hour.

In recent days, Carlson had done some popular programming, including interviews with Tesla founder Elon Musk and former President Donald Trump. Last month, he also broadcast never-before-seen Jan. 6 footage of Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, who has since been released from jail.

‘Parting Ways’

Neither Fox News nor Carlson have commented publicly on the separation.

A news release issued by the company on April 24 said the two had “agreed to part ways.”

“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” it said.

Anchor Harris Faulkner commented on her Fox News program that the two parties had come to a “mutual” agreement. She did not elaborate.

During Carlson’s final Fox News broadcast on Friday, April 21, he told viewers he would be back on Monday, April 24, indicating that he hadn’t expected the split and that it was likely initiated by Fox.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Carlson and Fox News for comment.

Popular Voice on Cable

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” was one of cable news’s consistently top-rated programs for years and a leading program among the 25–54 demographic.

Carlson began hosting it in 2016 and often attracted millions of viewers per episode. In March, the program drew the highest audience on cable TV, averaging 3.251 million viewers per show, according to Nielsen data shared by Fox News.

Following the announcement, Fox Corporation took a nearly $1 billion hit—around 3 percent—to its market value on Monday, trading at a low of $29.27, adding to its more than 16 percent decline in the last 12 months.

Fox also suffered a ratings loss on Monday night without Carlson. Host Brian Kilmeade was the first of a rotating slate of hosts who will replace Carlson on Fox’s temporary program “Fox News Tonight,” until a new host is named, the company has said.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that Fox’s Monday show was still ranked top across the board. He said it grew from the last show hosted by Carlson on Friday, pointing to Nielsen data that showed it pulled in about 2.6 million viewers.

MSNBC at 8 p.m. on Monday night saw 1.51 million viewers, while CNN had 728,000 viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Meanwhile, conservative news outlet Newsmax grew the viewership for its 8 p.m. ET time slot, with “Eric Bolling the Balance” picking up 531,000 viewers.

While Kilmeade had more viewers than Carlson on Friday, it was less than Carlson’s average Monday viewership across the last two months, which averaged 3.3 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Carlson demonstrated an average viewership of around 3.2 million viewers in the first quarter of 2023, according to Nielsen Data.

America Responds

Besides the ratings, many analysts are saying they believe Carlson’s exit will have a sizable impact on Fox News.

“It’s a huge deal,” said Matthew Tuttle, the head of Tuttle Capital Management, an investment firm that is betting against Fox Corporation shares, according to Reuters. “The 8 p.m. slot is important and they will lose viewers in that spot.”

Megyn Kelly, who left Fox News for NBC in 2017 over displeasure with the network’s managerial decisions, said on Monday on her conservative-leaning podcast that Fox had made a serious mistake letting Carlson go.

“I don’t know what drove Fox News to make this decision. And it was clearly Fox News’ decision because they’re not letting him say goodbye,” Kelly said. “That’s my supposition. That’s not inside knowledge … talk about misjudging your audience yet again.”

After being cancelled from NBC in 2018, Kelly has since gone on to host her own satellite radio show and podcast.

Kelly said she thinks Carlson might “go independent like I have,” in comments to Newsmax on Monday. “He will no longer answer to a corporate master. He will be free to say whatever he wants to say, within the bounds of defamation law, of course, and he’ll be totally unleashed.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald credited Carlson with holding several views that conservatives are divided over. Greenwald, who had appeared regularly on Carlson’s show, wrote on Twitter that Carlson “was the cable host who most: Opposed US proxy war in Ukraine; Denounced CIA, FBI and DHS for its systemic lies and corruption; Devoted himself to a pardon for Julian Assange; Objected to regime change efforts in Cuba; Criticized Trump Admin’s militarism.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democrat running for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, linked Carlson’s departure to his coverage of information that was unfavourable to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Kennedy has been a prominent critic of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“Fox fires @TuckerCarlson five days after he crosses the red line by acknowledging that the TV networks pushed a deadly and ineffective vaccine to please their Pharma advertisers,” Kennedy wrote on Twitter. “Carlson’s breathtakingly courageous April 19 monologue broke TV’s two biggest rules: Tucker told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content and he lambasted obsequious newscasters for promoting jabs they knew to be lethal and worthless.”

Meanwhile, Carlson has received offers from conservative news networks like Newsmax, OANN, and The Blaze.

Glenn Beck, founder of The Blaze and another former Fox News host, said on his Monday show that Carlson could easily join his network.

“We would love to have you here, you won’t miss a beat, and together, two of us will tear it up—just tear it up,” Beck said.

OANN founder and CEO Rob Herring has also invited Carlson to begin discussing terms for joining his cable network.

Elon Musk has also said he wants to turn Twitter into a platform where Carlson and other independent content creators could prosper.

On the other side of the political spectrum, left-leaning voices have been celebrating Carlson’s departure.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) claimed Carlson’s Fox News program “was a sewer of countless lies and hate,” and that Carlson is “one of the leading election deniers and opponents of democracy in America.” Pascrell said it’s “a good thing” that Carlson will no longer have his Fox News platform.

Some Republicans also criticised Carlson for his opinions.

“After all Tucker’s lies and defamation, it’s about time,” former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) wrote on Twitter in response to the announcement.

CNN to MSNBC to Fox

Carlson was a host for both CNN and MSNBC earlier in his career, before signing on as a Fox News contributer in 2009. He landed a co-hosting position in 2013, replacing Dave Briggs on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” In 2017, be quickly became Fox’s most popular personality after replacing Bill O’Reilly in the network’s prime-time lineup.

Carlson lives in Florida with his wife. The Daily Mail found him driving a golf cart with his wife outside of his Boca Grande house on Tuesday, telling the outlet that, “Retirement is going great so far.”

“I haven’t eaten dinner with my wife on a weeknight in seven years,” he said. He then joked when asked about his future plans, “Appetizers plus entree,” and drove off.

In the wake of his surprise exit from Fox, a speech that Carlson gave the night before the separation for the 50th anniversary celebration of conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, went viral.

The speech provided a good outline of Carlson’s view of the current state of society, in which he described widespread moral decay and issued warnings about the future of Western civilization if things don’t turn around.

“I have concluded it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will,” Carlson said in the keynote speech.

“You look around and you see so many people break under the strain, under the downward pressure of whatever this is that we are going through,” he said.

“And you realize that the herd instinct is maybe the strongest instinct. I mean, it may be stronger than the hunger and sex instincts, actually. The instinct, which again, is inherent to be like everybody else and not to be cast out of the group, not to be shunned.”

“But you look around and you see these people and some of them really have paid a heavy price for telling the truth and they are cast out of their groups, whatever those groups are, but they do it,” he said later in his speech. “Anyway, I look on at those people with the deepest possible admiration.

“I’m paid to do that. I face no penalty,” he said. “Someone came up to me, ‘You’re so brave.’ Really? I’m a talk show host. It’s like I can’t have any opinion I want. That’s my job. That’s why they pay me.

“It’s not brave to tell the truth on a cable news show and if you’re not doing that you’re really an idiot, you’re really craven. You’re lying on television? Why would you do that? You’re literally making a living to say what you think and you can’t even do that, please.”

Lorenz Duchamps, Ryan Morgan, Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
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