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Text messages leaked to a left-wing outlet reveal more embarrassing behind-the-scenes workings at Fox News in the wake of the network’s decision to take its top star, Tucker Carlson, off the air.
According to the Daily Beast’s Confider, Jesse Watters wanted Fox to dismiss colleague Neil Cavuto, who hosts “Your World” on the network as well as “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Fox Business.
In addition, Watters wanted the network to fire former “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, who left Fox for CNN in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building after he disagreed with a short series Carlson produced on the incident that suggested federal plants were involved in fomenting the attack.
The texts were between Watters and Carlson and they indicate that the two Fox stars were not pleased with the direction the network was going after the 2020 presidential election.
Carlson also appeared frustrated with then-President Donald Trump’s response to the election results. Despite privately expressing doubts about the validity of Trump’s claims that the election was rigged, Carlson publicly supported them on his show, Mediaite reported.
“It’s so sad,” he texted Watters in December 2020. “He’s going to break some shit. He already is. Wish I knew where to run. But I’ll die here.”
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“Wallace Cavuto and other [sic] have got to go,” Watters responded at another point in the exchange. “Need some fresh blood. Should hire some trump [sic] people.”
Carlson also rapped Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich.
“This girl apparently works for us in the ‘news’ division, though I’d be stunned if she’s ever broken a story,” he texted. “She was on Twitter last night calling out Hannity, and accusing Trump of planning to ‘steal’ the election. Can’t continue.”
In February, it was reported that Carlson had sent text messages to fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, calling for the firing of Heinrich over a fact-check she had posted on Twitter about false claims of election fraud.
“Please get her fired,” Carlson wrote. “Seriously… What the f**k? I’m actually shocked. It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company The stock price is down. Not a joke.”
As for Carlson, while Fox has taken his show off the air, he remains under contract with the network until January 2025, though reports in recent days suggest he is planning a campaign using powerful allies to pressure Fox to let him out of it so he can move on.
“Carlson is preparing to unleash allies to attack Fox News in an effort to bully the network into letting him work for — or start — a right-wing rival, sources close to him” told Axios on Sunday.
Axios added that the high-powered Hollywood lawyer that Carlson hired to represent him after Fox News took him off the air told the outlet: “The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.”
The report said:
Tucker vs. Fox could reshape the conservative news world. Fox, which has seen its ratings plunge in Carlson’s slot since he was let go 13 days ago, wants to sideline him by paying him $20 million a year not to work.
Axios has learned Carlson is busy plotting a media empire of his own. But he needs Fox to let him out of his contract, which expires in January 2025 — after the presidential election.
According to sources close to him, Carlson is reportedly considering the possibility of creating his own direct-to-consumer media platform, where his large fan base could pay to watch him. The model was previously used by Carlson’s predecessor on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, who is currently hosting a show during Carlson’s old timeslot for The First TV, which recently became available on DirecTV.
Not long after he was taken off the air, Carlson posted a short video to Twitter that has since racked up more than 80 million views.
Good evening pic.twitter.com/SPrsYKWKCE
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 27, 2023