Tucker Carlson, a political analyst for Fox News since 2009, appearing on various programs before the launch of his current show, declared “I hate Donald Trump passionately”.
In 2010, Carlson co-founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief of the right-wing news and opinion website The Daily Caller, until selling his ownership stake and leaving in 2020.
On Jan. 4, 2021, Fox News host Tucker Carlson was done with Donald Trump.
“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” he texted an unidentified person.
“I hate him passionately. … I can’t handle much more of this,” he added.
By this time, Fox News was in crisis mode. It had angered its audience when it correctly said Joe Biden had won Arizona in the presidential election. Executives and hosts were worried about losing viewers to upstart rivals, most notably Newsmax.
The private comments were a far cry from what Carlson’s viewers were used to hearing from the stalwart conservative host on his prime-time show every night.
“We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest,” he wrote in another text message, referring to the “last four years.” “But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”
The revelation is in hundreds of pages of testimony, private text messages and emails from top Fox News journalists and executives that were made public Tuesday, adding to the trove of documents that show a network in crisis after it alienated core viewers by reporting accurately on the results of the 2020 presidential election.
A judge unsealed the documents, along with parts of some employee depositions, as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News.
The messages are blunt and, at times, profane, as hosts and top executives panicked about how to boost their ratings as Trump refused to acknowledge his defeat. The depositions, meanwhile, offer the broadest picture yet of how executives including Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch allowed baseless conspiracy theories to flourish on air.
In a statement, Fox News accused Dominion of dishonestly portraying key figures’ internal communications.
“Thanks to today’s filings, Dominion has been caught red handed using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press,” the statement said. “We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale.”
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