Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Fox News: “Tucker Who?”

Today, we received news that Tucker Carlson is out at Fox, Don Lemon is out at CNN, and Jeff Shell is out at NBCUniversal. In other news, it’s Christmas, basically.  Good riddance to all of them. While Shell and Lemon were terminated owing to workplace misconduct, Carlson mostly lacked similar accusations against him (except for at least one incident of using some colorful language to describe an executive he disliked). Carlsen did, however, promulgate lies about the 2020 election being stolen, and Fox just last week settled a $1.6 billion lawsuit over the matter. It’s possible that the $788 million hit to Fox’s already declining bottom line will sour investors and advertisers alike.

The latter category has already fled the network in droves specifically because of Carlson’s colorful rants about, well, basically anything. Women are dogs. Immigrants are dirty. Science isn’t real. The list goes on. The network has long exploited its massive market power as an almost-monopoly to demand ever-more-ridiculous carriage fees. These are the fees that companies pay to Fox for the privilege of airing their drivel. And the fees are going up, too! I would love to call on all cable subscribers to voice their outrage over this. Or, you know, just ditch cable altogether.

Tucker Carlson As Cautionary Tale To Anyone Else Who Lies That Much

These days, I manage a team of field installers. People on my team do not fear being fired when they make a minor mistake that costs a couple hundred dollars. Typically this mistake involves shorting out powered wires in thermostats. Other times it involves bumping your work truck into heavy objects. I would never terminate someone for something like this. But if one of them cost the company $788 million? It might be a slight issue. Carlson, as evidenced in the discovery for the lawsuit, knew he was lying. And did it anyway. Sensational propaganda sells!

Since his departure was announced, Carlson’s Twitter account has been oddly silent. The last tweet was about Hunter Biden’s Laptop. We can only hope that the  lands on his feet. His tens of millions of dollars in net worth plus being the heir to a chicken fortune suggests that he will, ahem, find his wings soon enough. In the meantime, it seems as though it should probably be a cautionary tale to any of the members of the conservative media who have forsaken journalism in favor of, well, fabricating truly egregious lies.

This article was updated at 12:26pm on April 24th to correct a sentence.

Nat M. Zorach

Nat M. Zorach, AICP, MBA, is a city planner and energy professional based in Detroit, where he writes about infrastructure, sustainability, tech, and more. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he attended Grinnell College in Iowa, the Kogod School of Business at American University, the POCACITO transatlantic program, the SISE program at the University of Illinois Chicago, and he is also a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow. He enjoys long walks through historic, disinvested Rust Belt neighborhoods at sunset. (Nat's views and opinions are his own and do not represent those of his employer).

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