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Tucker Carlson Deserved to Get Fired
Despite conservative protests to the contrary, Tucker Carlson's conduct justified his firing. It should have happened years ago.
The infamous commentator and Fox News contributor, Tucker Carlson, is officially out, much to the chagrin of many conservative commentators.The move, which occurred on April 24th, is undoubtedly going to shake up the conservative media sphere. But more than that, the media apparatus that surrounded Carlson actively protected his egregious conduct on air and in his personal life to the point where the only conclusion can be that Carlson deserved his firing.
Carlson has consistently demonstrated a pattern of disregard for consequences and tact. His career in media was one consistent prejudical and unprofessional act after another.
An unaired interview with Dutch historian Rutger Bregman revealed one of the most famous and embarrassing examples. During that interview, Bregman criticized Carlson’s faux populism, calling him “a millionaire paid for by billionaires.” In response, Carlson told Bregman to “go f**k” himself, prompting a laugh from Bregman.
Such conduct is not only illustrative of thin skin on Carlson’s part, something that can be quite difficult to deal with in the political sphere, but also indicative of arrogance about the nature of Carlson’s own position in media.
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Far from being an extension of a critical media, which espouses their supposed ability to question all things with an open mind, Carlson’s position was seemingly meant to give the former Fox anchor the ability to guide discussions to his desired end.
And when Bregman bucked that requirement for discussion, Carlson reacted with open hostility and downright condescension that would normally get a host fired for misconduct. Of course, being one of the top-rated hosts has a tendency to protect one from the consequences of misconduct.
But that was not the only example of Carlson’s inappropriate wrath and arrogance. Carlson has consistently demonstrated a strong chauvinistic and frankly racist side.
In an audio collection released by Media Matters for America, a progressive watchdog, Carlson was recorded referring to Iraqis as “semi-literate primitive monkeys” on a podcast discussing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.The tapes also demonstrated multiple racist remarks about immigrants, Obama, and Black people in general, with the host egging on Carlson to see the former president as "a real brotha."
“Iraq is a crappy country filled with semi-literate primitive monkeys.” -Tucker Carlson, Bubba the Love Sponge Podcast.
If any other figure referred to a country of 41 million people with that level of vitriolic hatred, they would be fired.Regardless of their position or how much money they made for a given company. But because Carlson has a big fanbase among young conservatives, he got away with it. At least, he thought he could.
This attitude has also landed him in hot water for allegedly creating an unsafe work environment, thanks to a lawsuit by Abby Grossberg, a former producer for Carlson.The use of the C-word was allegedly constant and encouraged, according to Grossberg. But what is perhaps more horrifying is the alleged way his staff viewed their position with Carlson. Staffers allegedly also encouraged a view that Carlson would "set the tone" for the show, irrespective of the toxicity of said tone.
All of this is to say that Carlson has a habit of overly bigoted, reactionary, and arrogant conduct. He assumed he was invincible. He wasn’t. The 2020 election demonstrates this as clear as day.
After Dominion Voting Systems forced Fox News to pay in a $787 million settlement, it became clear that much of Fox’s approach to media would either have to change its approach or drop media personalities to save themselves.
And they have seemingly chosen to go with dropping Carlson as their safest bet. However, there may be another component to Carlson’s firing.
Recent texts released by The New York Times show that Carlson also sent texts seemingly encouraging a mob of Trump supporters to kill a supposed Antifa member.It is worth noting that Antifa has no official membership and is a loosely-organized movement of self-described antifascists, but that is neither here nor there.
What ended up coming out of these texts was one of the weaker elements of Carlson’s condemnation of the mob, as they outnumbered their target. In the texts, Carlson lamented that such a move was dishonorable because it wasn’t “how White men fight.”
Carlson’s texts, therefore, may have been a liability for Fox, which could have lost its plausible deniability due to Carlson’s overt white nationalism. If that is the case, then Carlson was not only demonstrating his arrogance and prejudice but also showing he had no tact in his rhetoric.
While much more is coming out about Carlson every day, and more reasons will pile up to justify his firing, it is important to remember that this was a long-time coming. Fox had every opportunity to do the right thing and hold its staff accountable, and they chose to ignore it. It was only when Carlson proved to be too much of a burden did Fox let him go.
Even with Carlson gone, Fox remains a soulless organization.
Kevin Phares, TUCKER CARLSON FIRED: Why Did The Ratings King of Cable News Get BOOTED By The Media Giant?, 2023, accessed May 4, 2023,
Jeremy W. Peters, Katie Robertson, and Michael M. Grynbaum, “Fox News Parts Ways With Tucker Carlson Days After Dominion Settlement,” The New York Times, April 24, 2023, sec. Business, accessed May 4, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/04/24/business/tucker-carlson-fox-news.
Tucker Carlson Blows Up at Rutger Bregman in Unaired Fox News Interview | NowThis, 2019, accessed May 4, 2023,
Mark Joyella, “Tucker Carlson Has Most-Watched Show In Cable News As Fox Leads Basic Cable For 17 Straight Weeks,” Forbes, June 15, 2021, sec. Media, accessed May 2nd, 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/markjoyella/2021/06/15/tucker-carlson-has-most-watched-show-in-cable-news-as-fox-leads-basic-cable-for-17-straight-weeks/.
Tucker Carlson Makes Racist Statements in Unearthed Audio, 2019, accessed May 4, 2023,
“Iraq - The World Factbook,” accessed May 4, 2023, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/iraq/.
“Tucker Sets the Tone”: Fired Fox News Producer Describes Atmosphere at Company, 2023, accessed May 4, 2023,
Kelsey Vlamis, “Here Are the Winners and Losers of Fox News’s $787.5 Million Settlement with Dominion,” Business Insider, April 18, 2023, accessed May 4, 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/winners-and-losers-of-fox-news-settlement-with-dominion-2023-4.
Jeremy W. Peters, Michael S. Schmidt, and Jim Rutenberg, “Carlson’s Text That Alarmed Fox Leaders: ‘It’s Not How White Men Fight,’” The New York Times, May 3, 2023, sec. Business, accessed May 4, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/02/business/media/tucker-carlson-text-message-white-men.html.
If I didn’t mention it here, someone would jump on me about this point, so I leave that comment as a disclaimer.