Tucker Carlson scored a respectable victory over his former employer on Wednesday, but it is not the mind-blowing destruction of corporate media that many have portrayed it as.
Wednesday night in Milwaukee, Fox News, which dismissed Carlson in April, hosted the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 campaign.
Former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, missed the event, citing his large lead in the surveys.
Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum served as moderators as eight additional candidates attempted to persuade Republican primary voters at the Fiserv Forum.
According to Nielsen, the debate attracted a total of 12,8 million viewers, as reported by Mediaite on Thursday.
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) August 24, 2023
This number may initially appear remarkable for a Republican debate without the party’s leading candidate.
However, it did not attain the viewership that Trump did on the same night.
Just prior to the debate, the former president gave an interview to Carlson that was published on social media platform X.
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
According to Mashable, as of Thursday, the episode of “Tucker on X” with Trump had 14.8 million views, surpassing the debate by 2 million.
Despite social media allegations to the contrary, Carlson’s interview with the former president did not receive more viewers than any other television program.
Mashable noted that “many people believe, falsely, that the video of Carlson’s Trump interview received 220 million views more than it actually received.”
“The video itself was actually played only 14.8 million times, for at least two seconds of the more than 46-minute interview — or just over six percent of the total 236 million times someone saw the post on X,” the outlet said.
Many believed Carlson’s program had more U.S. viewers than the moon landing (125 million to 150 million) or the most recent Super Bowl (113 million).
200M views. Tucker vs. Trump is easily the most watched interview in history.
Broadcast with no ad breaks, no corporate filter & no censorship.
Just raw, fascinating insight & honesty that users devour.
X is Breaking the media landscape —forever.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 24, 2023
BREAKING: Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson breaks the internet history by having the greatest content viewership in history.
Donald Trump show has nearly 100 million views in under 3 hours since airing on Tucker Carlson show on X. pic.twitter.com/EnRm2KT9tX
— George Njoroge (@georgenjoroge_) August 24, 2023
Tucker & Trump interview on X has eclipsed 200M views plus massive clipping audience.
The primary debate on Fox News had around 20M tune in.
10X the views for Trump.
The media landscape is forever changed. pic.twitter.com/hEsXsDbKvn
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 24, 2023
Fox News debate: 12.8M viewers
Tucker/Trump: 238M views
Corporate media is dead 🔥 pic.twitter.com/03cPOJwBkw
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 24, 2023
Carlson’s viewership victory over the company that ousted him cannot be disregarded, despite the fact that it was not quite as monumental.
As traditional news networks took a sudden turn to the left in the 1990s, Fox News became the go-to source for conservatives because it provided them with relevant content and opinions.
However, the landscape has changed once more.
Fox News appears to be progressively departing from its foundational conservative principles, while conservative-leaning online programs are currently offering content that is frequently banned from network television.
This may explain why Fox reportedly decided to restrict other platforms’ reuse of debate content.
Fox News is telling everyone in media not directly affiliated with them that the August 23rd Republican debate is exclusively theirs and no one is allowed to air any clips of the broadcast beyond three total minutes, and never again after a 7 day window. In other words, they’re… pic.twitter.com/KQ3r1ohqFW
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) August 10, 2023
It is frantically attempting to maintain its audience and relevance.
However, that train may have already departed the station.