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Tucker Carlson and Fox News ‘part ways’ days after network settles major defamation suit

April 24, 2023

Tucker Carlson’s primetime show has been axed by Fox after the network paid $787.5m to settle a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems…

Fox News says it has agreed to part ways with its top-rating host Tucker Carlson days after the network agreed to pay $787.5m to settle a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems.

The right-wing network told The Independent in a statement that Carlson’s last show was on Friday.

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

“Mr Carlson’s last programme was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8pm starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named.”

Fox News had been severely embarrassed by revelations in pre-trial court filings from the Dominion lawsuit about its coverage in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential elections.

Carlson and fellow hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham privately mocked regular guests such as Donald Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, while continuing to promote their lies and conspiracy theories to their audience.

Carlson called Mr Trump a “demonic force”, and said that hated the former president “passionately” in text messages to an unknown Fox employee two days before the January 6 riots, court documents showed.

“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” he added. “I truly can’t wait.”

The hosts were spared having to testify at trial when Dominion and Fox News reached a last-gasp $787.5 settlement on Tuesday, after a jury had already been sworn in.

Carlson, 57, began hosting his 8pm Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight in November 2016, after previous Fox host Bill O’Reilly was forced out over a string of sexual harassment allegations.

He quickly became a ratings juggernaut for the network, and by June 2020 was the most watched show on cable news attracting an average of four million viewers.

The show was heavily criticised for amplifying racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic and transphobic themes.

In 2018, Carlson told viewers that immigration had made the United States “poorer, dirtier and more divided”.

Advertisers began fleeing the show, but Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch resisted calls to reign him in.

After the invasion of Ukraine last February, Carlson took a stridently pro-Putin position and regularly parroted Kremlin talking points.

According to the Washington Post, it was Carlson’s comments about Fox management revealed during the Dominion lawsuit that sealed his fate.

Minutes after news of Carlson’s departure broke, Fox Corporation’s stock price plunged by 4 per cent.

Host Harris Faulkner appeared stunned as she announced the news to Fox viewers in the 11am hour, repeating the company’s statement and thanking him for his service.

The fallout from the Dominion settlement saw Fox contributor Dan Bongino last week abruptly leave the network.

Further damning revelations about the network could yet be revealed in a series of pending lawsuits.

The network is facing a $2.7bn defamation lawsuit brought by the Smartmatic voting software company for allegedly spreading election lies.

Former Tucker Carlson Tonight producer Abby Grossberg is also suing the network, alleging it was a “big corporate machine that destroys people”.

Carlson had previously been a co-host on Fox & Friends Weekends from 2012 to 2016 prior to joining the primetime lineup. (Independent)




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