Tucker Carlson Resurrects His Show on Twitter, After Getting the Boot from Fox
Tucker Carlson, once the darling of rightwing cable news, is now pivoting to his next act: rightwing social media troll.
Mr. Tweet Fumbles Super Bowl Tweet
Approximately two weeks ago, Carlson was suddenly and unexpectedly shoved off the air at his longtime home network, Fox News. Despite having some of the highest ratings of any cable TV program of the past several years, the network decided in April to pull the plug on Tucker Carlson Tonight, officially parting ways with its star permanently. The break between network and anchor came in the immediate aftermath of the settlement of Dominion Voting System lawsuit, as well as a lawsuit accusing Carlson and Fox of sexism and harassment.
But, as it turns out, you just can’t keep this rightwing Howard Beale-esque orator—or, as Jimmy Kimmel once described him, a “talking dick”—down for long.
Carlson has now announced that he’s starting things back up at Twitter, where he says he’ll be resurrecting the same show he did at Fox. He made the announcement Tuesday via a video posted to Twitter. The video, which quickly went viral and wracked up well over a million views, shows Tucker standing in what looks like a log cabin somewhere while waxing eloquent about the ills of the news industry and claiming he’s going to bring viewers the “truth.”
“Starting soon we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for six and a half years to Twitter,” Carlson announces in the video. “Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops. Twitter is not a partisan site. Everybody is allowed here. And we think that’s a good thing.”
The video Carlson posted also encourages viewers to head to his website, tuckercarlson.com, where they’re greeted with a sign-up sheet to receive updates on the show’s development and, in its merch section, are given the opportunity to buy Tucker-themed swag, including golf balls, socks, a $165 travel bag, and a deck of cards with his face on it. The site also features a picture of Tucker standing in a wooded area holding a gun for some reason.
Carlson’s Dispute with Fox Heats Up
A complicating factor that has the potential to derail Tucker’s plans is the former anchor’s contract with Fox. That contract includes a non-compete clause that should technically bar Carlson from hosting a competitor show until the year 2025. The conservative news network has stipulated that it will pay its former anchor at least $25 million to sit on the sidelines until the contract has run out. However, Carlson has made it clear that he plans to charge full steam ahead with his new show—a move that suggests a pretty nasty power struggle could be brewing.
On Tuesday, Carlson’s attorneys sent a letter to Fox accusing the network of “fraud” and “breach of contract,” which is funny since it really sounds like that’s what Carlson is doing by re-launching his show on a different platform while still technically tied to Fox. However, Carlson’s letter accuses Fox of effectively breaching the contract first, alleging that network executives—including Rupert Murdoch—broke “material” promises to Carlson, an act the letter defines as fraud. Those promises include ones not to leak Carlson’s private communications (Tucker’s text messages have recently leaked to the press, providing fodder for criticism and a supposed pretext for his firing), and to not settle its recent Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit in a way that would denigrate Carlson’s reputation, Axios reports. Sources told Axios that Carlson was informed he had been removed from his position at Fox as a stipulation in the recent Dominion settlement.
On Tuesday, one of Carlson’s lawyers told Axios that the “idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous,” which certainly makes it sound like he’s not particularly concerned with Fox’s non-compete clause. Carlson’s lawyers are also apparently considering suing Fox to settle the grievances listed above, Axios writes.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that his company had not entered into any agreement with Carlson, tweeting, “I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.”
It’s unclear at the moment how all of this will shake out. That said, if Tucker manages to resurrect his show on Twitter, it has the potential to be quite bonkers. At Fox, Carlson made a name for himself as a rightwing truth teller and fire breather—acting as the mouthpiece for a variety of controversial beliefs and narratives. At Twitter, where he’ll ostensibly suffer virtually no oversight, we can only expect the ride to get weirder, louder, and more unhinged. In other words: buckle up, folks, because there appears to be some truly awe inspiring content headed our way.
This post has been updated with additional context and information.