What happened: Yesterday, the top host at Fox News, Tucker Carlson, was forced out of the network without explanation. Fox released a statement saying they had “agreed to part ways,” and according to some reports, the decision came from the top—Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan, who is now CEO.
Why? Last week, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million for the network’s coverage of the 2020 election. During part of the deposition last year, Abby Grossberg, the head of booking for Carlson, was instructed to testify. She believed she was going to be sacrificially fired afterward. Getting ahead of being fired, she sued Fox and claimed she was bullied with sexist and antisemitic comments while working for Tucker Carlson Tonight. Some are reporting that Tucker was fired because of her lawsuit.
The scope: Carlson wasn’t just Fox’s biggest star; he hosted the most-watched cable news program on television. After announcing Carlson's departure, Fox Corporation lost $962 million in market value. Still, some have argued that this is a financial move to regain advertisers that stayed away from Carlson. Others think Fox is trying to rein in problematic hosts after the settlement.
Between the lines: Tucker covered stories that other hosts—on Fox and elsewhere—were hesitant to discuss, including the FBI’s involvement on January 6, issues with Ukraine funding, the CIA’s role in JFK’s assassination, cultural issues like transgenderism and immigration, and the scientific debate over COVID vaccines. He also took a strong stance against reporting on Sydney Powell’s election fraud claims and denounced Fox executives in private messages revealed during the Dominion lawsuit for causing a loss in network credibility.
Big picture: Despite his critics, his anti-establishment coverage consistently pushed boundaries and garnered a viewership that the other hosts at Fox could not. His departure from America’s most prominent news network is a win for the establishment and a loss for those who value opposition.