A recent report published in Variety has shed light on the underlying cause behind Tucker Carlson’s firing from Fox News. According to the article, sources with knowledge of the matter disclosed that Carlson’s removal was an unspoken agreement between Fox News and Dominion.
The report, written by Tatiana Siegel, stated that Carlson was informed about the cancellation of his show on April 26 during a conversation with a Fox News board member. While the board member remained unnamed, they told Carlson that his dismissal was a prerequisite for the settlement with Dominion. However, this condition was not explicitly documented in the official court papers.
It was alleged in the Variety report that Dominion had communicated to Fox News that failure to remove Carlson would result in the termination of the settlement, leaving Fox News to face the uncertainties of a jury trial. The report further suggested that Fox News aimed to avoid going to trial to prevent the exposure of “more embarrassing details about the operation of Fox News and fallout from its 2020 presidential election coverage.”
According to the report, Carlson understood Dominion’s intentions to inflict long-term damage on Fox News, hoping they would lose viewership by silencing the network’s top-rated show. Siegel’s article quoted an unnamed source familiar with the matter, stating that Dominion’s objective was to penalize Fox, with Carlson being mere collateral damage. Siegel wrote, “Dominion wanted to punish Fox, and it’s working.”
Dominion and Fox Corp. have refuted the claims made in the report. In a statement, Dominion asserted that no demands were made regarding Tucker Carlson’s employment, whether orally or in writing, and dismissed the allegations as false and an attempt to harm Dominion. Similarly, Axios reported that a member of Fox’s board informed Carlson that the Dominion settlement was the reason for his departure.
Siegel’s report also speculated on potential further damage to Fox if the network opposes Carlson’s plans to launch his own show on Twitter, as he has previously indicated. One source mentioned in the report suggested that Carlson might take legal action or witness the network’s decline while challenging the concept of free speech. Carlson’s attorneys have already accused Fox of leaking unaired footage to undermine Carlson’s reputation, which they argue releases him from the restraints of his contract with the network. Despite ongoing payment from Fox, they claim Carlson is now free to pursue his endeavors.
Furthermore, the report suggested that if Fox were to enter into a legal battle with Carlson, additional text messages from Fox hosts could emerge, potentially embarrassing the network. Additionally, some Fox anchors have reportedly expressed interest, directly or indirectly, in joining Carlson on Twitter after their contracts with Fox News expire.
As neither Fox News nor Carlson has officially disclosed the reasons behind his departure, several alternative theories have surfaced; the New York Times published a report suggesting that Carlson’s private musings on violence and societal divisions played a pivotal role in his dismissal from Fox News. Another Vanity Fair report, citing unnamed sources, claimed that Carlson believed his show was canceled and he was fired due to the Murdoch family’s intention to sell Fox News. The report linked Carlson’s departure to his alignment with religious views similar to those of Ann Lesley Smith, a former partner of Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Fox News.