This week, a text message that was leaked to a major media outlet may have influenced Fox News’ decision to dismiss the network’s most popular anchor, Tucker Carlson.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, Carlson’s departure was significantly influenced by his private reflections on the increasing polarization and violence in contemporary America. According to the study, Carlson’s text message from January 7, 2021, the day after the incident at the Capitol, “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox” because the network was being sued by Dominion Voting Systems.
The story quotes “two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations” as saying that the board of directors and several senior executives were unaware of the information until April 16.
According to the source, Carlson and his internal “messages” discovered during the discovery phase of the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case would be investigated by outside legal counsel retained by Fox’s board.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington,” Carlson reportedly wrote in his message, as reported by the Times. A throng of Trump supporters encircled a member of Antifa and proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life. At least the odds were three to one. Obviously, it is unethical to act in such a manner. White males do not fight in such a manner.
“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 continued, according to the Times, which reported that Carlson’s cognitive processes stepped in at some point.
“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
According to The New York Times, 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.”