Analysis: Murdoch paying Tucker Carlson to shut up: ‘Democrats are smiling’

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, May 4, 2023

On the eve of Tucker Carlson’s removal from Fox News, Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts said this about his friend: “I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Tucker Carlson is a fearless American who is unafraid to challenge the Washington regime…”

To challenge the Washington regime since late January 2021 is to invite repercussions from both the woke mob and a weaponized federal bureaucracy.

Many analysts say Fox personalities are being reined in for financial as well as ideological concerns.

Rupert Murdoch didn’t fire Tucker Carlson, ‘he silenced him.’

With that in mind, Fox’s 92-year-old owner Rupert Murdoch thought it best to “part ways” with Carlson, an analysis said.

Murdoch didn’t fire Carlson, “he silenced him,” independent journalist Steve Rodan noted in a May 2 analysis. “The man many tout as the prophet of our age continues to receive his salary. He will be protected from what could be a slew of defamation suits. He might even go back on the air if Murdoch feels it necessary.”

Realistically, Carlson is not likely to return to Fox as Murdoch sees him “as Trump’s main tool in his bid to win the Republican Party presidential nomination,” Rodan continued. “Murdoch, disappointed that he failed to control the White House, sees Trump at best as a buffoon and worse as a threat to America.”

The advertiser boycott was mostly limited to Carlson’s 8 p.m. time slot, but industry insiders say that could change as the 2024 presidential election heats up.

Although Fox has been the most profitable of cable networks, it “has been battling a corporate boycott for the last five years. The giants want nothing to do with Carlson, including Disney, Mobile and Poshmark. Instead, the show has had to rely on MyPillow for more than a third of advertising, a dangerous dependency as recession looms,”

The leftist boycotts will likely target the remaining Fox News hosts who have large audiences and continue to discuss Trump-aligned rhetoric on Covid, climate change, immigration, and the transgender movement.

“That means a reshuffle if not a purge at Fox,” Rodan wrote.

Murdoch sees the Wall Street Journal as a model for Fox News, Rodan continued. “The Journal is solidly conservative on its editorial page but leaves the rest of the publication for news. He might do the same at Fox, focus on coverage and reduce the ideology. In 2022, Fox News did significantly better than the rest of the company.”

All of his plans, however, could “be shattered in a heartbeat” if Murdoch “dies or is incapacitated,” Rodan noted. Then, “three of his children — Lachlan, James and Elisabeth — will be fighting for control and even whether to keep Fox.”

Related: Will Murdoch’s Euro brats sell Fox News to Pfizer?, May 4, 2023

“And an empire might fall just in time for the 2024 presidential elections. The Democrats are smiling.”

Meanwhile, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly reported that Carlson’s staffers were in the middle of preparing for the Monday night broadcast when they were informed the show and its host was canceled on Monday morning.

O’Reilly, who held Carlson’s 8 p.m. ET slot for two decades until he was forced out in 2017 amid sexual misconduct allegations, explained how the events unfolded:

“Each morning TV News producers around the country hold meetings to figure out what to put on the air,” O’Reilly wrote. “On Monday, the Tucker Carlson production team was smack in the middle of their meeting when they learned that their host was not coming to work. Ever again. Stunning is the appropriate word.”

O’Reilly said he felt Carlson’s termination would harm the Republican Party ahead of next year’s presidential election: “Fox News is a far different place than it was when I spent 20 years there. And by this time next year, it will be a far different place again, of that I am certain. The change at Fox News will affect the Republican Party deeply. It will be much tougher for the GOP to get messages out.”

Another former Fox News prime time host, Megyn Kelly, said she believes Fox News’s head of public relations is running “an orchestrated hit job” to smear Carlson.

In a recent podcast, Kelly said Fox’s PR department is working overtime to stop Carlson’s future employment and keep his 3.5 million viewers from following him to a new network.

“This is all an orchestrated hit job, in my opinion, and it’s not a subtle one,” Kelly said. “It’s not enough to fire you. You must be destroyed, and it doesn’t matter how nice a guy you were, how many points you put on the board for the channel, that you brought us through the Trump years, that you were No. 1 in your time slot, that you haven’t said one negative word about us.”

Kelly said much of the blame lies with Fox’s public relations department headed by Irena Briganti, the network’s senior vice president for communication.

“You will be destroyed to settle some angry, bitter internal PR hack’s personal vendetta against you,” Kelly said. “And, if she managed to convince the bosses, the Murdochs, that he’s not good for them either, that he may have called them a name or two: So much the better. That’s what I think’s going on here.”

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