Tucker Carlson, who was recently dismissed from Fox News, has expressed interest in moderating Republican candidate debates and is said to have discussed the possibility with former President Donald Trump.
Recently, the former president and leading candidate for the Republican nomination proposed boycotting forums moderated by Fox News because the “hostile” network did not solicit his opinion on the issue. According to the Washington Post, Carlson and Trump discussed replacing Fox News’ moderator in order to “take a jab at his former employer.”
Trump has threatened to skip the first presidential debate scheduled for the summer, which will be moderated by Fox News, Carlson’s former employer.
Carlson departed the cable news network after Fox News settled a significant legal dispute with Dominion Voting Systems for purportedly more than $787,500,000. The connection between the settlement and Carlson’s departure is unknown, and alternative theories have been proposed in the media.
According to the WaPo article, Carlson appeared willing to forego millions of dollars and violate his contract with Fox News, which is valid until 2024, in order to pursue other opportunities.
The Washington Post report states in part:
Carlson and his team have discussed the possibility of moderating a candidate forum outside of the traditional protocols surrounding the GOP primary debate system, according to two people familiar with the considerations. These people said the setup — as well as Carlson’s availability to take on that kind of role, given the noncompete constraints of his contract with Fox — remain unclear. But Carlson has personally expressed enthusiasm about the idea, according to people familiar with his comments. At least one major candidate — Trump — has told Carlson he’s interested, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
The former Fox host’s interest in a debate is said to stem in part from its potential to loosen the Republican National Committee’s grip on the process, as well as to challenge the role traditionally played by the major television networks. “He could go straight to the candidates, stream it live, invite the networks but maintain control over the process,” said one person familiar with the discussions..
In line with assertions that he is interested in hosting candidate forums, Carlson is reportedly welcoming calls from networks interested in hiring him. Newsmax, One America News Network, and Trinity Broadcast Network are among these networks. According to the Post, the conservative media outlet Newsmax, whose prime-time ratings increased last week while Fox lost viewers from Carlson’s former time slot, made a stronger case.
According to the newspaper, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy stated that he would be amenable to “rebranding Newsmax under Tucker’s name,” an idea that appears to have piqued Tucker Carlson’s interest.
However, Carlson’s contract situation with Fox News remains uncertain, which could prevent one of the most well-known television personalities in history from making imminent career moves.
“As of right now, the plan remains the same: pay out Carlson’s contract and keep him on the sidelines through the 2024 elections,” an insider who is close to Fox News top executives reported to Breitbart News a week ago. “They knew they would take a beating for this, but everyone — and I mean everyone — is pretty rattled. They weren’t expecting the blowback to be this bad. Hate to say it, but it’s clear that Rupert [Murdoch] has lost a step or two.”
Since Carlson’s departure, Fox News’ ratings have plummeted, particularly in comparison to CNN and MSNBC, two progressive cable news networks that compete during his time slot. According to one assessment, Carlson’s position on Fox News saw an approximate 50% decline in viewers.
Following his departure from Fox News, Carlson published a video in which he appeared to suggest that he would soon be transitioning to other platforms.
“When honest people say what’s true, calmly, and without embarrassment, they become powerful,” declared Carlson in the video. “At the same time the liars who’ve been trying to silence them shrink, and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe. True things prevail.”
The two-minute video was viewed by over 80 million individuals on the Twitter app.
Good evening pic.twitter.com/SPrsYKWKCE
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 27, 2023
According to 1819 News, Tucker attended a fundraiser in Oxford, Alabama on Thursday. He was the keynote speaker at Rainbow Omega, a residential care facility for people with mental disorders.
According to Yahoo News, “The organization had booked Carlson in the fall of last year before the latest controversies began to swirl around the television host and ticket sales had been slow until his firing last week — which led to a sold-out venue at the 1,200-seat Oxford Performing Arts Center.”
Carlson did not directly address the issues surrounding his firing during his one-hour address but began his remarks alluding to his current employment status.
“I’m probably the first unemployed person you ever invited to speak,” Carlson said getting a hearty laugh from the audience. “It’s funny. I rarely give speeches because I’m working and when I accepted this speech six months ago I didn’t realize how much free time I would have. One never knows, does one.”
Carlson said he accepted the invitation “because I do love Alabama. It has everything that I like.”
He said the second reason he came was “in a sincere way, I support what Rainbow Omega does.”