Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in a now viral interview with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, shared candid insights into his departure from the Murdoch family-owned network and the decision behind his interview with former President Donald Trump during the Fox News GOP Debate.
Portnoy suggested that Carlson’s interview with Trump seemed like an attempt to stick it to Fox, insinuating that Carlson sought to avenge his firing. However, Carlson dismissed this notion, stating, “I would never want to stick it to Fox. … I’m not mad at Fox, I’m really not.”
Within 24 hours, the 50-minute interview, which was posted on Carlson’s X platform page, previously called Twitter, rapidly went viral. This phenomenon underscored the increasing impact of the former top-rated Fox News host on billionaire Elon Musk’s platform.
Addressing the timing of the Trump interview, Carlson explained that it was Trump’s idea and not his own.
Carlson explained that the pre-recorded interview aired on the night of the debate because Trump didn’t want to participate, a decision he initially found hard to believe due to Trump’s volatile nature.
Tucker Carlson reveals the behind the scenes decisions on having Donald Trump on his show on 𝕏 during the Fox News GOP Debate pic.twitter.com/jK9iJCBDQG— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 1, 2023
“The reason that it was is because he didn’t wanna do the debate. I didn’t make that decision,” Carlson explained.
“If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t really believe him because he’s Trump, like he changes his mind. He’s volatile. Maybe he decides this is a spectacle I can’t pass up. We didn’t know,” he added.Regarding Trump’s decision not to participate in the first GOP presidential debate, Portnoy argued that it was the right move for Trump’s presidential aspirations, and Carlson understood why Trump made that choice, given his unpredictable nature. He also stressed that Trump is “the dominant figure in American politics.”
Trump’s decision to skip the debate proved politically wise, as his interview with Carlson outperformed Fox News’ debate in ratings. The interview went viral, accumulating over 20 million views compared to the network’s 12.8 million, according to Fox News.
Recent national polls also show Trump defeating President Biden, despite facing indictment and skipping the debate.
Wow. Tucker says Elon called his exec producer within an hour of Fox News firing him and suggested he move to Twitter. So cool.pic.twitter.com/9HBJyArK8A — Libby Emmons (@libbyemmons) September 1, 2023
During the interview, Carlson also shared his perspective on Fox News.
He noted that while he had no qualms with the Murdoch family, who “were always nice” to him, he took took issue with female executives within the company, describing it as “a company run by fearful women.”
Carlson’s “Tucker on X” series, launched after his dismissal from Fox, has provided him with a platform to express his views candidly. He expressed his gratitude for the freedom he enjoyed at Fox during his 14-year career there, acknowledging that he was given significant latitude to speak his mind.“They let me say whatever I want — whatever I wanted, really — for 14 years, and I’ll never stop being grateful for that,” he said. “And I even told them as they were firing me, like, ‘It’s your business.’ But I made a mental note: never work for anyone else again. And I never will. But I can’t be mad about it.”
The former Fox host also addressed his firing, stating that he isn’t “mad at Fox'”and that he wasn’t exactly sure what he said that led to it.“Being humiliated in public, being fired … is totally good for you in the end,” he said. “It keeps you from thinking you’re Jesus.”
Following Carlson’s departure, Fox also removed his senior executive producer, Justin Wells, who was implicated in a toxic work environment lawsuit filed by former producer Abby Grossberg, according to The New York Times.
Carlson revealed that Elon Musk promptly reached out to Wells, leading to the use of then-Twitter as a platform, free from censorship.“And within, I don’t know, an hour of that happening, Elon called him and said, ‘You should come to Twitter,’’” Carlson shared, according to Mediate. “So I’ll never stop being grateful for that. We don’t work for Elon or anything, but we’re using the site like everyone else uses it, which is as a platform that’s not censored.”
In the interview, Carlson and Portnoy also discussed the age of political leaders in the United States. Both agreed that President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are “too old” to lead the nation, Insider reported . They questioned the ability of these leaders to effectively run the country.
The conversation touched on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent episodes of freezing during press interactions, with both speculating about McConnell’s declining health.“How are these people running our country?” Portnoy wondered, adding: “You wouldn’t put these people in control as CEO.” Tucker, with his usual poker face, quipped, ‘The only defense I would say of Mitch McConnell is, McConnell post-stroke is an improvement over McConnell’s pre-stroke.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.