Tucker Carlson, the leading prime-time host who was ousted from his job this week, was shown the door at the cable news giant in part because of comments he made in private about his Fox News colleagues and bosses, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
Carlson’s private text messages, which were included in public court documents as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ blockbuster defamation lawsuit against the network, show him disparaging Fox leadership and worrying how reporters fact-checking former president Trump’s false claims about voter fraud would anger the network’s massive audience.
The Journal, which like Fox is owned by billionaire conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, reported this week that the explicit content of Carlson’s text messages, some of which had been redacted in the Dominion court documents, became known internally to senior Fox management, and played a role in his ouster.
Multiple reports have surfaced this week suggesting in one of the redacted messages that Carlson referred to a senior female Fox News executive as the c-word. The Journal reported on Tuesday that when Fox’s lawyers were fighting the Dominion suit, they told Carlson they had successfully convinced a judge to keep those messages redacted, but he was not impressed and told colleagues he wanted the world to know what he thought of Fox management.
Carlson, in other text messages that were not redacted, was seen badmouthing former President Trump and his allies. The Journal reported that in one of those messages, Carlson told colleagues his remarks about Trump were “said during a momentary spasm of anger, while his dislike of this executive was deep and enduring.”
Last month during a radio interview, Carlson said he was enraged that his private communications were made public as part of the Dominion lawsuit.
“And I think this is in the text, and those were all grabbed completely illegitimately, in my opinion in this court case, which I guess I’m not allowed to talk about, but I’m enraged that my private texts were pulled,” Carlson said.
Fox agreed last week to pay Dominion $787.5 million to settle the case moments before opening arguments were set to begin before a jury. The network announced Monday it had parted ways with Carlson, a decision which it reported on its air that morning had been made mutually.
Carlson has not commented publicly on his departure from Fox as of Wednesday morning.
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