Q&A of the Day – What’s Behind Tucker Carlson’s Ouster?

Q&A of the Day – What’s Behind Tucker Carlson’s Ouster? 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.   

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Social: @brianmuddradio 

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.    

Today’s Entries: @brianmuddradio Well then the left is winning. I am personally done with Fox. @brianmuddradio Speculation regarding Tucker’s departure?  

Bottom Line: Among the Twitter trending topics yesterday were these: Done with Fox, RIP Fox News, BIG MISTAKE. And among the tweets I received were those two. There’s no doubt shock quickly set in for many as Fox News parted ways with the number #1 rated cable news host in Tucker Carlson. The question I’m specifically addressing is the one asking for my speculation on the matter. As someone who speaks to there being two sides to stories and one side to facts, speculation isn’t really my thing. But the facts of the matter which are known are sufficent to understand the catalyst even if we don’t know the details. And actually, it was something I addressed in last Friday’s Q&A – which was very intentional that day. In Friday’s Q&A entitled The Truth About Dominion Voting Systems & Florida's History with Them I said this in response to the question from a listener who wanted a copy of my accurate reporting on Dominion Systems in the wake of the 2020 elections:  

It’s come to the forefront once again this week as Fox Corp settled with Dominion voting systems, in their defamation lawsuit against Fox News, for a staggering $787.5 million – which was nearly half of what Dominion sought in the suit. As someone who has long been deeply involved in election integrity issues, including the documenting of election misfeasance in Broward and Palm Beach counties in 2018, assistance in stopping of the fraud, and removal of former elections supervisors Brenda Snipes and Susan Booker...I’ve necessarily been involved in extensive research and understanding of how voting systems work and what the potential vulnerabilities may be. It’s with that background that I depicted, immediately after the 2020 elections, that the broad claims against Dominion voting systems, a la what Fox settled over, alleging fraud – were false.   

As always facts matter. As I mentioned then – Dominion Systems specifically were never in question. It was always wrong for those to have been called into question without evidence. We’ve witnessed Florida’s two smoothest elections on record the past two cycles since Broward and Palm Beach County joined the rest of the state with Dominion’s systems. Incidentally, Smartmatic is also suing (Fox Corp.) as they were commonly mischaracterized as well. There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. They're the same today as they were back then. It’s unfortunate so many handled them irresponsibly at the time and as we’ve now seen – there's a hefty literal price being paid for having done it.   

I specifically addressed this on Friday because I thought there may well be more to the story. And that’s because you don’t just have a $787.5 million settlement and not have any fallout on the network and the talent which were responsible for costing the company all of that money. It’s important to remember that first and foremost it’s a business. Just as I’m not here doing this show for you without our advertisers and listeners patronizing those advertisers sufficiently to produce a profit for my company, no one on Fox News or any other network is either. In the case of the Fox settlement, it’s hard to appropriately emphasize how big of a deal that amount of money to a media company happens to be. The entire profit of Fox Corporation, all divisions within it, not just Fox News, was $259 million last quarter. That means the settlement led to the loss of approximately three quarters worth of profits for the entire enterprise and its shareholders. And there’s the potential for more.  

Not only does Smartmatic have an outstanding lawsuit against Fox as they were commonly falsely wrapped up into the Dominion saga, but there’s an increased concern that Dominion's success in their case could open the door to more. On that note the LA Times reported this yesterday in the wake of Tucker Carlson’s ouster:  

People familiar with the situation who were not authorized to comment publicly said the decision to fire Carlson came straight from Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch. Carlson’s exit is related to the discrimination lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, the producer fired by the network last month, the people said.  

Carlson’s senior executive producer Justin Wells has also been terminated. Murdoch is also said to be concerned over Carlson’s coverage of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in which the host has promoted the conspiracy theory that it was provoked by government agents. 

Carlson has called Ray Epps — a Texas man who participated in the storming of the Capitol but did not enter the building — an FBI plant, without presenting any evidence. 

Epps was interviewed Sunday on “60 Minutes” and said he has been subjected to death threats as a result of Carlson’s statements about him. The FBI told “60 Minutes” that Epps has never worked for the agency. 

The decision is not related to the $787.5-million settlement Fox News agreed to pay to Dominion Voting Systems last week, according to a representative for Dominion. 

However, some of the comments that Carlson had made about management in communications that turned up in the discovery process for the case may have also played a role in Carlson’s demise. 

For Fox Corp, and its shareholders, they’re already reeling from the enormous Dominion settlement that Tucker was specifically named in. The move to oust him yesterday may well have been an effort to limit what they (or at least Rupert Murdoch) perceive to be additional liability.  

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