This week, a text message that was leaked to a significant media outlet may have been the deciding factor in Fox News’ decision to fire Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host.
Carlson’s private reflections on the rising division and violence in contemporary America, according to a recent article in The New York Times, were a significant factor in his decision to leave. According to the study, Carlson’s text message from January 7, 2021, the day following the Capitol incident, “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox” since the network was being sued by Dominion Voting Systems.
The story cites “two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations” as saying that the material was unknown to the board of directors and several senior executives until April 16.
According to the source, Carlson and his internal “messages” that were uncovered during the discovery process of the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case would be investigated by outside legal counsel that Fox’s board wanted to retain.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington,” Carlson reportedly wrote in his message, according to the Times. An Antifa youth was encircled by a mob of Trump supporters who began beating the living daylights out of him. At least, it was three against one. Obviously it is dishonorable to jump a guy like that. White men don’t fight like that.
“Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it,” the message noted further, according to the Times, which said that, at some point, Carlson’s thought processes kicked in.
“Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him,” the text added.
“I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?” Carlson wrote.
According to the NY Times this is the text that led to Tucker Carlson's firing due to his "it's not how white men fight" comment.
Consider that most of the text is him trying to humanise political enemies who have targeted his house & family for harassment, but a passing comment… pic.twitter.com/kgZT88caRF
— Keith Woods (@KeithWoodsYT) May 3, 2023
The Times reported that the messages were redacted in court filings, but “were disclosed in interviews with several people close to the defamation lawsuit against Fox.”
“The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a message that is protected by a court order,” the report said. “In public filings, it remains hidden behind a block of black text.”