In a surprising move, Fox News announced on Monday that it would no longer be working with its most popular prime time host, Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s controversial statements and peddling of misinformation on a range of issues made him a huge star for the hard-right network.
The announcement comes shortly after Fox News agreed to pay $787.5 million in a defamation lawsuit in which Carlson’s show was accused of spreading misinformation after the 2020 election. Fox News issued a terse statement thanking Carlson for his service to the network as a host and contributor.
Carlson’s last show aired on Friday, April 21st. In the interim, rotating Fox News personalities will helm Fox News Tonight until a new host is named.
A white nationalist, Carlson had a significant following among some segments of Fox News’ audience, and his show consistently ranked highly in cable news ratings.
Carlson first gained national attention as a co-host of CNN’s political debate show “Crossfire” in the early 2000s.
In 2009, Carlson joined Fox News as a contributor, appearing on a variety of programs before launching his own show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in 2016. The show quickly became one of the highest-rated programs on the network and helped to cement Carlson’s position as a leading conservative voice in the media.
However, Carlson’s tenure at Fox News has been marked by numerous controversies over his racism, sexism, and xenophobia. He has been criticized for making inflammatory remarks about immigrants, women, and various minority groups, as well as for promoting conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation.
In the early days of the pandemic, Carlson downplayed the severity of the virus, calling it a “hoax” and suggesting that it was no worse than the common flu.
He also promoted unproven treatments for COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that was touted by former President Donald Trump as a potential cure for the virus. Despite numerous studies showing that hydroxychloroquine was not an effective treatment for COVID-19, Carlson continued to promote the drug on his show.
In addition to his comments on COVID-19 treatments, Carlson has also spread misinformation about the origins of the virus. He has suggested that the virus may have been created in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and has raised questions about the role that the Chinese government played in the initial outbreak.
These comments have drawn criticism from public health experts and other commentators, who accused Carlson of spreading dangerous misinformation about the pandemic.
Accordingly, Carlson has remained a popular figure among many conservatives and has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and his policies. His departure from Fox News is likely to be seen as a significant loss for the network, which has long relied on his program to draw viewers and generate advertising revenue.
Here’s Fox News’ full statement:
FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.
Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.
FOX News Media operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Digital, FOX News Audio, FOX News Books, the direct-to-consumer streaming services FOX Nation and FOX News International and the free ad-supported television service FOX Weather. Currently the number one network in all of cable, FNC has also been the most watched television news channel for more than 21 consecutive years, while FBN ranks among the top business channels on cable. Owned by Fox Corporation, FOX News Media reaches nearly 200 million people each month.