Tucker Carlson leaves Fox; Don Lemon leaves CNN
After announcing a settlement with Dominion to the tune of $787 million dollars, Fox News broke the news that they would be parting ways with news anchor and opinionated host, Tucker Carlson. Carlson was one of the most-viewed Fox hosts, drawing in over three million views on average. In his place, Fox has tried to place Brian Kilmeade, though ratings have tumbled as Kilmeade has struggled to break two million views after his first show.
This is a shocking change for one of the largest media companies in the United States, and the end of an era of Fox broadcasts. Out of the big three Fox hosts, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly that had defined the company for the last decade and more, only Hannity still has a show. Carlson’s departure has also pushed traffic to other “alternative” news sites, such as Newsmax. Many of Carlson’s viewers don’t seem to want to watch Kilmeade or a Carlson-less Fox News, indicating that perhaps Fox has lost its stranglehold on the right-leaning media landscape.
However, more news has come out about Carlson’s firing, and it appears in connection to allegations of rampant sexism and harassment allegedly levied by Abby Grossberg, in a lawsuit. Should that be the case, it would appear FOX is currently not in the mood to deal with another round of lawsuits, allegations, or the like, another departure from the decade the company kept Bill O’Reilly after the first allegations surfaced. If Carlson is being forced out because of claims of harassment, FOX might have found him too expensive to try to keep.
The difficulty in reporting on this situation is the lack of updates coming from within the organization itself. The Grossberg accusation is just one, and neither Fox nor Carlson haven’t disclosed anything about the so-called “mutually discussed departure.” It’s hard for outsiders to tell if Carlson was forced out, left to prevent liabilities from the Dominion lawsuit, or simply became too much for Fox executives to deal with in the current climate.
What is known is that Dominion revealed damning information about Carlson and his colleagues and had he gone to testify, much more would have been brought to light. In text messages between Carlson and other Fox hosts, he revealed a hatred for Donald Trump, serious qualms with the path Fox was following for his show and reporting, as well as a slew of disparaging, sexist, and hateful comments.
Carlson did break his silence with a cryptic message in the days after his firing. He mentioned the importance of free speech, and claimed that none of the arguments he’d made, or anyone made on television would matter much in the grand scheme of things. For a man with direct influence on events including the deadly January 6th riots, it seems a little counterfactual.
On the other end of the political spectrum, CNN’s Don Lemon, a moderate news host with his own history of harassing women, was also fired following further disparaging comments made towards colleagues at CNN. Lemon has faced several controversies in the past and recently, his comments about prominent Republican Nicky Haley were enough to remove him from CNN. Reportedly, guests were unwilling to appear with him on air, and as his show was already lagging behind MSNBS’s Morning Joe and Fox network’s Fox and Friends, the network was willing to move on from him. Morning shows rely far more on a "vibe" of happiness and friendliness and most viewers are women. According to CNN, Lemon was making viewers, fellow hosts, and guests so uncomfortable that advertisers were pulling their funds. With all that in mind, CNN did not contact him directly, and removed him from their payroll.