Attorney: Tucker Carlson’s future plans are bad news for Fox

by WorldTribune Staff, May 7, 2023

Tucker Carlson is “preparing for war” as he seeks to get out from under his Fox contract and work for, or start, a conservative rival, Axios reported, citing sources close to Carlson.

Fox News has seen its ratings take a nose dive in Carlson’s slot, and drop drastically in all of its prime time lineup, since Carlson was let go late last month. Critics say Fox is intent on keeping Carlson on the sidelines by paying him $20 million a year not to work. His contract expires in January 2025.

“The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.” Bryan Freedman, the Hollywood lawyer Carlson retained for the contract dispute, told Axios.

Axios said its sources said Carlson has been contacted by other outlets — including Rumble and Newsmax — that offered to pay him more than his Fox contract.

Carlson is also considering developing a direct-to-consumer outlet where his fans could pay to watch him, Axios cited Carlson confidants as saying.

“Carlson’s predecessor in his Fox slot, Bill O’Reilly, created a blueprint for this,” Axios noted.

“They’re coming to him and saying: ‘Do you want me to hit Fox?’ ” Axios cited a close Carlson friend as saying. “He’s been saying: ‘No. I want to get this done quiet and clean.’ Now, we’re going from peacetime to Defcon 1. His team is preparing for war. He wants his freedom.”

RelatedAnalysis: Murdoch paying Tucker Carlson to shut up: ‘Democrats are smiling’, May 4, 2023

Two days after he was fired, Carlson teased in a Twitter video posted at 8 p.m. ET, counter-programming his former show: “See you soon.” The two-minute video has racked up more than 80 million views.

Fox News lost nearly 50% of its total viewers in one week after Carlson was let go:

• The Five (-7%)
• Special Report (-23%)
• Jesse Watters (-35%)
• 8 p.m. (-69%)
• Sean Hannity (-44%)
• Laura Ingraham (-20%)

In May 2022, independent journalist Emerald Robinson noted in an article titled “Fox News is Headed for Disaster” that the clues of Fox’s downhill slide were obvious:

“It’s been perfectly clear that Fox News has been on a collision course with its own audience since the stolen 2020 election — and you can almost feel the impact coming. The network has made so many dumb bets lately that it’s like watching a busload of trailer park residents get offloaded to play the nickel slots in Reno. All you can do is shake your head as you think: I know they’re all going bankrupt, and they’re already bankrupt. It’s been perfectly obvious for years now that Rupert Murdoch and his feckless sons turned against President Trump and actually helped Joe Biden — which is not just unforgivable. It’s unsustainable.”

Robinson added: “The credibility of Fox News was fatally damaged by its early Arizona call for Biden in the 2020 election — damage which Murdoch has apparently acknowledged. Some of Murdoch’s kids are Clinton staff-level shitlibs pretending to be “disinformation commissars” at the Aspen Institute.

Meanwhile, Fox News’s public-relations chief has reportedly launched a campaign aimed at tearing down Carlson, allegedly with a dossier of damaging information, Rolling Stone reported.

The PR chief, Irena Briganti, compiled an “oppo file,” with two sources saying she was prepared to release information if executives think Carlson will attack Fox, the report said.

“Irena will never be shy about using these things,” one source familiar with the matter told Rolling Stone.

Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly defended Carlson from the onslaught which she called nothing short of a “destruction campaign” orchestrated by Fox News.

On her Tuesday “Megyn Kelly Show” podcast. she said: “The orchestrated campaign to absolutely ruin Tucker Carlson continues,” she said, claiming Fox is seeking to torpedo Carlson’s ability to find a new job.

“It wasn’t enough to fire their number one star, in my opinion,” Kelly said. “Fox News seems absolutely determined to ruin him – to ruin his reputation, to make him unemployable and, ideally, in their view, to make his audience turn on him so that they won’t follow him wherever he goes next.”

“This is a destruction campaign,” Kelly said, pointing the finger at Briganti.

Kelly continued: “The media is going along with this . . . allowing themselves to be used as tools by Irena Briganti, who runs the Fox evil communications department, and her bosses, who are clearly allowing all of this.”

Last week, Kelly took to her podcast to allege Briganti was behind efforts to smear Carlson.

“And I know it’s Irena Briganti, who runs coms and f*****g hates Tucker,” Kelly said. “Sorry, she hates his guts, and it’s mutual. He doesn’t like her, either. None of us do. Nobody likes Irena.”

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