Surprising expulsion: With Tucker Carlson, Fox News throws out its most famous face: US media are puzzled about the reasons

It is no less than a tremor that shook the American media landscape on Monday: Tucker Carlson, the Trumpists' poster boy, lost his job and broadcast at Fox News.

Surprising expulsion: With Tucker Carlson, Fox News throws out its most famous face: US media are puzzled about the reasons

It is no less than a tremor that shook the American media landscape on Monday: Tucker Carlson, the Trumpists' poster boy, lost his job and broadcast at Fox News. In the press release, Fox thanks Carlson for his work. The broadcaster does not give any reasons for the "amicable separation".

Since then, US media have been speculating about the background to the abrupt expulsion. The legal dispute with Dominion, the software manufacturer of the US election machines, is most likely to be concrete. Dominion had sued because Fox News had spread reports of alleged tampering with voting computers in the 2020 presidential election. Actually, a process should have started last week, in which more details from the inner workings of the media group would have come to light. But then both parties agreed on a payment of 787.5 million US dollars (around 714 million euros) from the Fox group to Dominion.

The fact that the legal dispute was so expensive for the broadcaster is also due to "Tucker Carlson Tonight". The talk show host appeared on his show as a supporter of former US President Donald Trump, who continues to spread the lie about election fraud to this day and does not admit defeat. Carlson and other Fox presenters repeatedly suggested that the voting machines had been rigged. According to "Spiegel", station owner and media mogul Rupert Murdoch personally made sure that there was no trial - probably also to spare himself and Carlson from embarrassing statements in court.

And there's another lawsuit. Former Carlson producer Abby Grossberg claims she was sexually harassed by fellow Carlson employees. In the lawsuit, she also alleges that Fox's attorneys encouraged her to provide misleading testimony. This led to her saying that she had not seen Carlson use misogynist language. "In truth, Ms. Grossberg knew very well that Mr. Carlson was perfectly capable of using such obnoxious language about women," the lawsuit reads, according to the Washington Post. Fox denies the allegations.

In the past few months, text messages from the moderator Carlson have finally become public. Carlson reportedly wrote to a staffer two months after the 2020 presidential election: "We're very, very close to ignoring Trump most nights. I really can't wait. I hate him passionately." The revelations further cast doubt on the credibility of presenter Carlson, who himself fueled the conspiracy theory of voter fraud on his show. In addition, Carlson repeatedly claimed that the storming of the Capitol was dominated by peaceful protesters. FBI agents would then have deliberately provoked the violence. He couldn't prove that.

The fact that Carlson is said to have repeatedly criticized the station's management in the text messages is hardly relevant - given the controversy that he triggered and survived: he claimed that immigration was making the USA poorer and "dirtier". He popularized the far-right population exchange conspiracy theory in the United States. He has made racist, sexist and transphobic statements and has been celebrated for this by his fans - all without serious consequences from the station. Now, however, Rupert Murdoch may have feared for Fox News' profitability due to the settlement with Dominion and the pending lawsuits.

The exciting question now is what Tucker Carlson will do in the future. Is he attempting a show with no transmitter behind him? Does he go into politics? He has already received a job offer via Twitter: from the Russian propaganda channel "Russia Today".

Other sources: "New York Times", "Spiegel Online", "Washington Post", press release from "Fox News", DPA.

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