(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) Speculation has run rampant on both the Right and Left about the reason behind Fox News’s decision on Monday to part ways with America’s top-rated cable news host, Tucker Carlson.
The costly decision led Fox’s stock to crater and has led many to cancel their subscriptions to the Fox Nation streaming service, where Carlson’s in-depth specials were a popular draw.
Unlike the Fox’s past decision to cut bait with longtime ratings-leader Bill O’Reilly, whose curmudgeonly onscreen persona made plausible the behind-the-scenes allegations of a toxic work environment, the Left’s incessant attempts to tarnish Carlson’s image only reaffirmed for his loyal viewers that he was hitting the mark.
Consequently, it is highly unlikely that either Carlson or the network took lightly the implications of this unexpected personnel change.
Initially, many mainstream/leftist media outlets reported that Carlson’s departure was linked to Fox’s recent $787.5 million settlement in a defamation lawsuit waged by Dominion Voting Systems.
The settlement avoided a trial in which Carlson’s private text messages—some disparaging President Donald Trump and his legal team in the aftermath of the disputed 2020 election, as well as criticizing his Fox colleagues—might have forced him to the witness stand.
Although the network was not obliged to apologize formally, many left-wing pundits also construed the settlement as an acknowledgement of defeat in a case where the Wilmington, Del., judge had perplexingly predetermined guilt, even though the burden in a defamation suit is all on the plaintiff’s side to prove statements were false.
It was thus, just two days after the settlement was announced, that Carlson entered into his long-booked speaking arrangement at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary gala with a defiant mindset, both angered and embarrassed by the network’s tail-tucking choice to back down in the lawfare attack.
During the speech, Carlson celebrated those who still had the courage and conviction to speak truth over the past few years, in a world in which mass formation psychosis had led many should have known better to become victims to a “herd mentality.”
“The second you decide to tell the truth about something, you are filled with this power,” Carlson said. “… And, of course, the opposite is true: The more you lie, the weaker and more terrified you become.”
According to the Washington Examiner, the speech offered hints, in hindsight, that Carlson was on a collision course with network brass.
“He believes what he believes and no one at Fox News was going to force him to say something he didn’t believe,” wrote Examiner commentary editor Conn Carroll.
Yet, others speculated that it was the speech itself that may have effected his demise.
Vanity Fair cited an unnamed source saying that Fox executives, including CEO Lachlan Murdoch, made the decision to fire Carlson on Friday night, due in part to the apocalyptic undertones of the speech, in which he framed the current political rift as a clash between good and evil.
“We have got to reassess the terms we use to describe what we’re watching,” Carlson said in the moments captured by Headline USA in the exclusive video at the start of this article.
“So, when I stated in Heritage, the presumption was—and this is a very Anglo–American assumption—that the debates we’re having were kind of rational debates about the way to get to mutually agreed upon outcomes,” Carlson continued. “So, like, we all want the country to be more prosperous and free and people to be less oppressed or whatever.”
However, at some point during the Trump era, he noted, it became clear that the Left no longer saw value to the bipartisan consensus-building at the core of democracy, instead regarding political disputes as a zero-sum, winner-take-all war of attrition.
“I don’t think we’re watching a debate over how to get to the best outcome,” Carlson said.
“I think that’s completely wrong, and I’ve come to this conclusion that… there is no way to assess, say, the transgenderism movement with that mindset,” he continued. “Policy papers don’t account for it at all. If you have people that are saying, ‘I have an idea: Let’s castrate the next generation. Let’s sexually manipulate children’—I’m sorry, that’s not a political debate.”
Modern leftists have, in fact, become so intent on controlling the reins of power that they would destroy humanity altogether in the process.
“I don’t think anyone could, like, defend that as a positive outcome, but the weight of the government and a lot of corporate interests are behind that,” Carlson said.
Whereas the debate over abortion used to be framed as those who thought it was bad versus those who thought it was sometimes necessary, one side now has begun, irrationally, to celebrate the mutilation and dismemberment of unborn children as a goal unto itself, he added.
“If you’re telling me that abortion is a positive good, what are you saying?” he asked. “Well, you’re arguing for child sacrifice.”
According to Vanity Fair writer Gabriel Sherman, Carlson’s stark—albeit poignant and well reasoned—way of framing the present conflict may have rubbed his corporate overlords the wrong way.
“Rupert Murdoch was perhaps unnerved by Carlson’s messianism because it echoed the end-times worldview of Murdoch’s ex-fiancée Ann Lesley Smith,” Sherman wrote, again citing the unnamed source.
Whatever the reason behind Carlson’s ouster, it has only added to his legend following the speech—which is sure, for better or worse, to go down in the annals of history as an inflection point, during which democracy’s greatest contemporary champion made his final statement as the reigning king of cable news.
However, there is hope that wherever Carson lands—be it on the campaign trail, or in a partnership with recent interviewee Elon Musk, or back at the Heritage Foundation as a powerful policy analyst—this momentous occasion will be but a prologue to his greatest work yet as America’s premier truth-teller.
See Carlson’s complete speech at the Heritage Foundation gala below:
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.