Fox News announced Monday that the firm and longtime host Tucker Carlson had “agreed to part ways.”
He had worked with the station since 2009 and was previously the host of shows on CNN, PBS and MSNBC.
Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News may spell the end of oppositional media and journalism as the most popular cable news station becomes a “graveyard of conservative media titans,” Dr. Nicholas Waddy, political analyst and associate professor of history at SUNY Alfred, told Sputnik.
According to Waddy, “with Carlson’s departure, Fox News is establishing itself as the graveyard of conservative media titans. First Bill O’Reilly was ousted, then Megyn Kelly, and now Tucker Carlson. Whether Fox can survive this latest bout of self-harm is an open question.”
Carlson was ousted in a surprise announcement made by Fox News on Monday. The statement said that Fox and Carlson “agreed to part ways” but his sudden removal, without the benefit of a planned final broadcast, has led many to suspect the breakup was not amicable.
Carlson has remained quiet since leaving the network.Waddy speculated Carlson’s ousting could have grave consequences for debate in the country.
“The more important question, though, is whether oppositional media and journalism, and thus democratic pluralism, can survive in an environment in which ‘misinformation’ and ‘libel’ are so opportunistically defined,” Waddy continued, “and in which a media organization can be buried in litigation, as well as abandoned by skittish advertisers, and thus stifled financially if it strays from political orthodoxy.”
Carlson, Waddy points out, was one of television’s biggest critics of US foreign policy, particularly when it comes to the Ukraine conflict. Without him at the network, Waddy expects his removal will “solidify the neo-conservative, hawkish orientation of Fox News,” but that Carlson may become more powerful than before.
“On the other hand, Tucker may rise again on a different network, or in talk radio, or by creating his own platform. Ultimately he may have more influence after his tenure at Fox than he did during it.”
Glenn Beck, another former Fox News personality, launched BlazeTV in 2011 after he departed from Fox. While the move has undoubtedly paid off for Beck financially, it is debatable if he has more influence through his platform than he had on Fox.
Carlson was fired a week after Fox News settled a defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million in which comments by the Fox News host were heavily featured.
While Waddy believes Carlson’s substantial following – he hosted the highest-rated cable news show – will ensure he will continue to be a force in the media, the analyst believes the move is ultimately bad for debate and the free exchange of ideas.
“Dissent may become more problematic and difficult in general, if the Left and the establishment succeed in destroying or transforming major conservative media organizations like Fox News,” he said.
Shortly after Carlson’s departure was announced, news broke that longtime CNN host Don Lemon had also been given the boot from his network.
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