US moderator Tucker Carlson: The (temporary) end of a spirit mercenary

It's amazing that the report of Tucker Carlson's dismissal on the right-wing populist broadcaster Fox News is making waves in Germany too.

US moderator Tucker Carlson: The (temporary) end of a spirit mercenary

It's amazing that the report of Tucker Carlson's dismissal on the right-wing populist broadcaster Fox News is making waves in Germany too.

You have to know that even in the US, Carlson reached at best 3.2 million Americans with his evening talk show. And you have to know that his tirades just barely fulfilled what is known in Anglo-Saxon as "Preaching to the Choir". In other words, it only reached those who no longer needed to be convinced anyway.

His journalistic value was therefore manageable, but the journalistic value for the station was immense.

Carlson, 53, has always been a like-minded mercenary. But by no means always a right-wing agitator. He only completed this change in its entirety with "Fox News" – and also out of calculation. And that worked. He rose to become the station's most successful moderator with his hate speech against blacks, gays, migrants, Latinos - in other words, against everyone and everything for which he received applause on the far right. And he got a lot of applause. He defended the storming of the Capitol and, like his mentor Donald Trump, constantly spoke of voter fraud. At least officially.

This is exactly what he might have stumbled upon now. Because in the course of the proceedings that the voting machine manufacturer Dominion was pursuing against Rupert Murdoch and "Fox News", heaps of embarrassing emails came to light that exposed Carlson internally as a cynical liar. In it he condemned his supposed friend and supporter Trump, "I hate him passionately", described him as a "demonic force" and a "destroyer". And then, at the height of hubris and hypocrisy, sat in the studio in the evening with a bow tie and the face of the confirmand, spreading the usual conspiracy nonsense coram publico. He was probably only able to look in the mirror because Polish writer Stanislaw Jerzy Lec's aphorism applied to him: "His conscience was clear. He never used it."

Last week, Murdoch agreed to a settlement with Dominion and paid a high price for it, almost $800 million. For lies spread against their better judgment, the face of which was mainly Tucker Carlson.

Now he had to go. Carlson was not popular with "Fox News" anyway. But anyone who now believes that the broadcaster will possibly become softer, gentler, more sincere in the upcoming US election campaign hopes in vain.

One of Carlson's prime-time predecessors was Bill O'Reilly. He paved the way for the nightly right-wing populist madness. He screamed, he whined, he threw himself at the Republicans and every night just before the end of his show he voted "The Worst Person in the World". O'Reilly also had to go. Because of sexual assault.

Incidentally, a lawsuit from a former producer is also pending against Carlson, apparently because of "toxic working conditions".

Nevertheless, Tucker Carlson will of course find a job again soon. There are enough right-wing broadcasters and platforms in the USA. One America News Network, Newsmax and Newsnation are said to be interested.

And Fox News will be presenting the next calf-biter at the microphone with just as certainty. Just because of the quota. There is never a shortage of populist youngsters in this country. "The mother of idiots is always pregnant" is an Italian proverb. And that doesn't only apply in Italy.

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