Tucker Carlson Fox News Departure
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Tucker Carlson Fox News Departure refers to the announcement from the news organization Fox News on April 24th, 2023, in which it stated in a press release that the company had parted ways with the star Tucker Carlson and host of Tucker Carlson Tonight. At the time, many speculated that the event was connected with the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News, but no exact reason has been given so far. Following the announcement, media coverage, memes and other responses spread across the internet in the following days, some celebrating his departure while others voiced their anger with Fox.
On April 18th, 2023, Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems reached a settlement in a defamation suit that Dominion brought against Fox. On air, some Fox hosts (notably including Tucker Carlson) made claims about Dominion voting machines being rigged during the 2020 Presidential Election. The company proved in court that these claims were false and that hosts like Carlson knew they were inaccurate when they said them.
Carlson's show on Friday, April 21st appeared to show no indication that he knew it would be his last, with the company only later noting this in the press release (excerpt from final episode shown below).
April 24th Press Release
A little before noon EST on April 24th, 2023, Fox News media released a press statement (seen below) about how the network planned to "part ways" with Tucker Carlson. Notably, it did not list a specific reason for his removal from the news organization (seen below).
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.
While the network itself did not provide any details on the sudden dismissal of Carlson on April 24th, 2023, speculation as to why he parted with Fox began to rapidly circulate on social media that day. Many made the connection between Carlson's firing and the Dominion lawsuit, with CNN suggesting that "it was no coincidence" Carlson was dismissed right after the settlement (shown below).
Sources also speculated that either Carlson was removed as part of the terms of the settlement, or that conversations coming out during the lawsuit in which Carlson made remarks about Fox News and Donald Trump turned executives at Fox and Republican leaders against him. Others pointed out a lawsuit brought by a former employee of Carlson's show, which alleged a toxic workplace environment full of "sexist" and "racist" behavior.
The internet and social media rapidly began reacting to the news after the press release was published on April 24th, 2023. For example, the expression "There is a God" trended on Twitter that same day along with "Tucker Carlson" for the next hour (seen below).
Some users began digging into his final episode's content following his firing. For example, media writer Charlie Warzel commented on this on April 24th, earning over 33,00 likes in less than one day (seen below).
In rightwing circles, many influencers shared stories about times when Tucker Carlson was purportedly kind to them personally. For example, convicted January 6th rioter Brandon Straka shared a long story about the attention Carlson gave to his cause on April 25th, 2023, earning over 51,000 likes in less than a day (seen below, top). Similarly, on the evening of April 24th, conservative influencer Nate Hochman shared a story about Tucker's kindness, earning over 9,200 likes in a similar timeframe (seen below, bottom).
These earnest posts were also parodied by some on the other side of the aisle, such as Twitter user @Mobute on April 25th, who made a copypasta out of them, earning over 1,600 likes in less than a day (shown below).
"Not How White Men Fight" Text
Tucker Carlson's "Not How White Men Fight" Text refers to a text message reportedly sent by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in which he found himself criticizing three "Trump guys" beating up a supposed Antifa protestor with the phrase "It's not how white men fight." According to news reports, the text message alarmed Fox News producers, and was one of the reasons Carlson was suddenly fired from Fox News in April of 2023.
On May 2nd, 2023, the New York Times published a text Carlson sent to a producer after the January 6th, 2021 Storming of the Capitol where he describes seeing three "Trump guys" beating up one "Antifa kid." The full text reads [emphasis added]:
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?
According to the New York Times, Fox News' board of directors saw the text a day before the Dominion trial was about to start and were "alarmed" by the potential scandal should the text go public during the trial. This prompted the board to hire an outside law firm to look into Carlson. The Times reported that the message along with other issues led to Carlson's firing.
 Fox News – FOX News Media, Tucker Carlson part ways
 Fox News Media – FOX NEWS AND DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS REACH SETTLEMENT
 CNN – Fox News’ sudden firing of Tucker Carlson may have come down to one simple calculation
 The Guardian – Tucker Carlson firing highlights texts unearthed during Fox-Dominion trial
 Twitter – @BrandonStraka
 Twitter – @njhochman
 NYT – In a Lawsuit, Tucker Carlson Is Accused of Promoting a Hostile Work Environment
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