OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A text message that was leaked to a major media outlet this week could have been the deciding factor in Fox News’ decision to dismiss the network’s top-rated host Tucker Carlson.
According to a recent report in The New York Times, Carlson’s private thoughts on the growing divide and violence in modern America played a crucial role in his departure. The report suggests that a text message sent by Carlson on January 7, 2021, the day after the Capitol riot, “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox” as the network was facing a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
The text was reportedly unknown to Fox’s board of directors and some senior executives until April 16, as per “two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations” cited in the report.
The report further stated that Fox’s board intended to hire external legal counsel to investigate Carlson and his internal “messages” that were revealed during the discovery phase of the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit.
According to the Times, Carlson’s message said: “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 s*** 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,” the message noted further, according to the Times, which said that, at some point, Carlson’s thought processes kicked in.
“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,” the text added.
“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?” Carlson wrote.
According to the NY Times this is the text that led to Tucker Carlson’s firing due to his “it’s not how white men fight” comment.
Consider that most of the text is him trying to humanise political enemies who have targeted his house & family for harassment, but a passing comment… pic.twitter.com/kgZT88caRF
— Keith Woods (@KeithWoodsYT) May 3, 2023
According to the Times, the messages were redacted in court filings, but “were disclosed in interviews with several people close to the defamation lawsuit against Fox.”
“The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a message that is protected by a court order,” the report said. “In public filings, it remains hidden behind a block of black text.”
Former Fox News star and current SiriusXM podcast host Megyn Kelly believes her former employer is attempting to sabotage Carlson. What’s more, she thinks she knows who’s behind it.
Kelly made her remarks on her program this week after a video clip of Carlson appearing to trash Fox’s streaming service, Fox Nation, during a phone call with a potential guest. The clip was leaked to Media Matters for America, a far-left site.
Carlson remarked that “nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks,” adding, “I’m just frustrated with it. It’s hard to use that site. I don’t know why they’re not fixing it. It’s driving me insane.”
Another clip that put Carlson in a bad light was leaked to the liberal-leaning New York Times.
On Monday during her program, Kelly suggested that Irena Briganti, Fox’s senior executive vice president for corporate communications, was behind the leaks.
“So [Fox News] first leaked to the New York Times,” Kelly said while she interviewed Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik.
“This is my supposition for the record because it hasn’t been yet confirmed, but I know it is. And I know it’s Irena Briganti who runs comms and f***ing hates Tucker. Sorry. She hates his guts,” Kelly added, noting futher that it’s “mutual” for Carlson.
“He doesn’t like her either,” she said. “None of us do. Nobody likes Irena.”