The message is notable for what he did say and also for what he didn’t say. Carlson avoided getting into any of the details surrounding his dismissal from Fox News, but there’s new reporting on that front.
The New York Times came out with a big story revealing the network’s upper management made a “startling discovery” about some of Carlson’s text messages right before the Dominion trial was set to begin. The Times reports that he called a senior communications executive at the network an inappropriate term and that the texts were the final straw leading Rupert Murdock to oust him.
Tucker didn’t address any of that in the video he posted to Twitter on Wednesday. What he did say is interesting. Because while his messaging was vague, he laid out something of a blueprint for his next chapter.
While it might be tough for him to retain his influence without the power of his Fox pulpit, I would caution anyone predicting his demise not to underestimate him.
“One of the first things you realize when you step outside the noise for a few days is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country, kind and decent people, people who really care about what’s true,” Carlson said in the video.
But that’s sort of a political campaign type speech from someone who’d been off the air for two days, who was taking off roughly two days every week anyway. He’s gone on plenty of vacations, and yet he’s talking like he’s been off the air for months, and he’s had some great epiphany.
He’s been spotted riding around in a golf cart near his estate in Boca Grande, Florida. I’m not sure he’s been on a national listening campaign.
But regardless, it’s effective. And that makes him a threat to Fox News, whose primetime ratings have gone bust since Tucker’s ouster.
Later in his video, Tucker claims he’s going to break the mold for what we see in cable news, positioning himself as a political and media outsider.
“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are. They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years, we won’t even remember that we had them. Trust me, as someone who has participated,” Carlson said. “And yet at the same time, and this is the amazing thing, the undeniably big topics, the ones that will define our future, get virtually no discussion at all. War. Civil liberties. Emerging science. Demographic change. Corporate power. Natural resources. When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues? It’s been a long time. Debates like that are not permitted in American media.”
I have to say I don’t remember a lot of debates on Tucker’s show, either. It tended to be a lot of people who agreed with him.
Every topic he mentioned is absolutely permitted here in a fair way and probably on most cable channels, although through their own political prisms. They are all topics he talked about regularly on his show, and it was allowed.
But what Tucker means by talking about war, of course, is supporting Vladimir Putin, and not questioning U.S. dollars to Ukraine, which is a legitimate issue. We’ve talked about that on this show. But justifying Putin’s position?
When he talks about demographic change, he’s talking, of course, about the great replacement theory, which holds the Democrats are intentionally encouraging an influx of illegal immigration so they can marginalize white voters. It’s partisan, and a lot of it is, in his words, “stupid.”
But my analysis of this is irrelevant. His influence and power is undeniable. It seems absurd that he needs Fox News to remain a major power player.
Since Wednesday, his video has already racked up over 18 million views and counting. This is not someone who needs a traditional backing of a network.
And no one knows that better than Joe Rogan.
“If I was a person in a position of power, if a wildcard like Tucker Carlson got released from Fox News, and maybe Rumble makes a deal with him or something like that? Do you have any (expletive) idea how big that would be? It could make that app. It could make that platform. I mean if Tucker Carlson goes over there, it’ll be worth it for them to invest a considerable amount of money. But if I was Fox News, that’s the last thing I would want,” Rogan said.
Tucker sure seemed to be hinting at that at the end of his short video.
“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some. And that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon,” Carlson said.
I’m sure we will definitely be seeing him soon, and he will be assuring everyone he’s saying true things even if some of them aren’t. But those who underestimate him do so at their own peril.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.