Tucker Carlson and Fox News 'part ways'

Move comes week after $787 million settlement in defamation case over news coverage of US 2020 election

Tucker Carlson, former host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, which ran from 2016 on Fox News. AP
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Firebrand conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson has left Fox News, the cable media network announced on Monday, marking a huge cultural change for the most watched news channel in the US.

“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” Fox said in a brief statement of the network's most popular primetime television show host.

“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”

Fox said Carlson's last show was on Friday, which was not evident at the time. Video clips of Friday's episode include him saying: “We'll see you on Monday.”

Carlson touched cultural hot-wires in his coverage related to race, education, abortion and LGBT rights in the US, with his controversial segments often going viral on social media.

His critics say he had a role in flaming societal tension in the US by pushing extremist and hateful rhetoric as well as baseless conspiracy theories on national television.

He also continuously pushed falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.

Tucker Carlson is a dangerous misinformer,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement.

“Tucker served as the bridge between Fox News and the most extreme parts of the right-wing base — laundering anti-trans paranoia, Infowars nonsense, election lies and venomous rhetoric including the great replacement conspiracy theory nightly.”

Fox News last week settled a defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems over claims it peddled lies about the validity of the election results that year, when Republican Donald Trump lost his re-election bid.

Polling machine maker and servicer Dominion had asked for $1.7 billion, and Fox settled at more than $787 million.

As part of court filings, it was revealed that Rupert Murdoch, head of Fox parent company News Corp, said the network's hosts “endorsed” false claims of fraud and “went too far” in reporting the falsehoods.

It is not clear if Carlson's departure is connected to the Dominion case.

The host was also named in a discrimination lawsuit filed in March, in which a Tucker Carlson Tonight booker claimed that there was sexism in the workplace.

The company said Carlson's slot would be led by interim personalities.

Updated: April 25, 2023, 7:12 AM