A new report claims that the settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems led to the Fox News decision to pull Tucker Carlson off the air. Dominion had sued Fox News over its coverage of claims about Dominion’s equipment that were advanced in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. On Tuesday, April 18, just as the jury trial of the lawsuit was expected to begin, a $787.5 million settlement was announced. Less than a week later, on Monday, April 24, as he was preparing for his show that night, Carlson was informed his show had been canceled. Due to the timing, initial speculation linked the two events. According to a report in Variety, dumping Carlson was an unwritten promise from Fox News to Dominion. Citing “multiple sources with knowledge of the conversation,” Variety reporter Tatiana Siegel wrote that Carlson learned the reason his show was canceled on April 26 during a conversation with a Fox News board member. The board member, who was not named, informed Carlson that booting him was a condition of the settlement but was not put down in writing as part of the official court documents. The Variety report claimed that Dominion told Fox that if it refused to get rid of Carlson, the settlement was off and Fox News could take its chances in a jury trial. The report indicated Fox News wanted to avoid going to trial to avoid what the report called “more embarrassing details about the operation of Fox News and fallout from its 2020 president election coverage.” As Carlson understood the situation, the report said, Dominion wanted to inflict long-term damage on Fox News, and hoped that by blacking out the network’s top-rated show, the network would lose viewers. “That condition was intended to hurt Fox, and Tucker is just collateral damage. Dominion wanted to punish Fox, and it’s working,” Siegel wrote, citing what she called “a source familiar with the matter.” Dominion and Fox Corp. dispute the report’s contention. “As the Fox principals who negotiated the settlement well know, Dominion made no demands about Tucker Carlson’s employment orally or in writing. Any claims otherwise are categorically false and a thinly veiled effort to further damage Dominion. Fox should take every effort to stop these lies immediately,” Dominion said in a statement. Axios has also reported that a member of Fox’s board told Carlson the Dominion settlement was the reason he went off the air.
Siegel’s report speculated Fox could be further damaged if it fights Carlson’s plans to launch his own show on Twitter, as he has said he will. The report said quoted one of its sources saying Carlson would sue or “watch the network implode attempting to challenge free speech.” Carlson’s attorneys have already accused Fox of leaking unbroadcast footage with the aim of making Carlson look bad, which they say frees Carlson from any restraints from his contract with Fox. Even though Fox is still paying Carlson, they argue, Carlson is free to go out on his own. Siegel’s report speculated that if Fox goes to court against Carlson, there could be more text messages from its hosts that could embarrass the network. The report also suggested that some Fox anchors have directly or indirectly told Carlson they might follow him to Twitter when their Fox News contracts end. With neither Fox News nor Carlson going on the record about the reasons why Carlson was shipped into media limbo, multiple other theories have been advanced. A report in The New York Times claimed that some private musings from Carlson about violence and the divide shaping modern America were the key to his being fired by Fox News. According to a Vanity Fair report, Carlson himself has said he thinks his show was killed and he was fired because the Murdoch family plans to sell Fox News. The report cited sources it did not name. Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch has made his son, Lachlan, the CEO of Fox Corp., the parent of Fox News. Another Vanity Fair report by Gabriel Sherman claimed Rupert Murdoch wanted Carlson gone due to the former host’s public embrace of religious views that paralleled those Ann Lesley Smith, who was formerly engaged to Murdoch. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
If the public reporting is accurate that Dominion Voting Systems demanded that Tucker Carlson be fired as part of a litigation settlement, then I am happy that Dominion does not operate in Texas, and I don’t think that they should do so in the future. We may disagree with other’s…— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 13, 2023