Tucker Carlson Gone, Labor Organizing, and Reproductive Freedom Victories
This week, Tucker Carlson, host of the nation’s highest-rated cable news show, which had been a megaphone for white nationalist narratives, conspiracy theories, and hate, lost his job at Fox News. The shake-up came unexpectedly just one week after Fox settled the defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
For more on the circumstances surrounding Carlson’s departure, check out this piece in COUNTERPUNCH:
Carlson originally got his start working for a publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing DC-based think tank that receives funding from wealthy conservative interests including billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. In 2010, he co-founded The Daily Caller, a far-right news site, with his former roommate Neil Patel, who had previously been an aide to Dick Cheney.
But Carlson is best known for his on-air personality. He began at CNN in the early aughts, notably losing his contract following a dressing-down by comedian Jon Stewart—a moment many consider a turning point in his career. From there, he had a brief stint as a host on PBS, leaving to pursue a show on MSNBC. Carlson truly has been a creature of television. He’s even appeared on Dancing With the Stars.
Carlson really found himself at Fox News, rising quickly through the ranks and eventually taking over the 9 PM timeslot following Megyn Kelly’s exit and Bill O’Reilly’s 8 PM timeslot after his departure. By 2020, his was the highest-rated show on the network—and in the U.S.
Carlson would use this platform to mainstream white nationalist conspiracy theories like the anti-immigration “Great Replacement” theory, which holds that economic elites are deliberately disempowering and replacing white, or as Carlson said “legacy,” Americans with more compliant people from poor nations. He would vilify racial justice protesters, cast doubt on climate science, amplify COVID-19 misinformation, and promote denial of the 2020 election. A constant drumbeat from Carlson was that it was okay—correct even—to be angry, confused, and fearful because fundamentally, you understood the “truth” he was giving voice to.
For more on Tucker Carlson’s promotion of climate change denial, check out this piece by GRIST:
In this way, Carlson packaged his racism and right-wing ideology by laundering through populist appeals. The multi-millionaire cable host would take aim at crony capitalists, politicians, and his fellow media elite in a way few in his position have. When he wanted to, Carlson could deliver scathing takedowns of his peers like Max Boot in perfect, digestible soundbites. The cable host would also somewhat regularly feature voices from the ostensible left like Pulitzer winner Glenn Greenwald or YouTube comedian Jimmy Dore, endearing himself to them and their audiences—pulling them closer to him in the process.
For more on the response to Carlson’s departure, check out this piece in NEW REPUBLIC:
At his core, Carlson was a slick propagandist for a new right that has embraced fascism in a way the U.S. has not seen in generations. He was masterful at his craft, using half-truths to further whole lies, sowing division, ignorance, fear, anger, and hatred. Carlson was the death of journalism broadcast nightly into people’s homes.
RING OF FIRE did a segment on a Rolling Stone report of an alleged oppo file that Fox has compiled on Carlson.
Please check out these other critical stories from OptOut participating outlets!
What’s the Matter With Florida?
This week, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo was in hot water for editing a study last year in order to paint COVID vaccines as dangerous for young men. Ladapo has affiliated with pro-Trump group America’s Frontline Doctors, which hawked quack COVID treatments. THE MAJORITY REPORT covered the story.
FLORIDA PHOENIX wrote about Ladapo’s defense.
In more Florida news, the battle between Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis escalated this week as the company sued the likely presidential hopeful over his targeting of the company. THE INTERCEPT had that story.
DISCOURSE BLOG took aim at DeSantis this week over his mounting woes. As if the Disney lawsuit weren’t headache enough, the governor now faces an allegation that he was involved in torture while serving at Guantanamo Bay. He also had an unflattering moment caught on camera after a journalist asked about his lagging poll numbers as a presidential contender.
IN THESE TIMES offered an inside look at the negotiations going on at UPS for the new labor contract.
THE MAJORITY REPORT did a segment on the story and the possibility of a strike as the Teamsters go on offense.
MORE PERFECT UNION released a video this week exposing the hazardous working conditions faced by workers at international shipping company DHL.
Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Tennessee passed one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. This week, however, Gov. Bill Lee signed a law carving out narrow exceptions to the ban.
More cautiously good news this week as Republicans broke ranks to stop abortion bans in Nebraska and South Carolina. NEW REPUBLIC covered the developments.
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT covered the implications of the unpopularity of the GOP’s positions on issues like abortion.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.
Download the app for Apple and Android.
Sign up for OptOut's free newsletters.
Learn more about OptOut.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Mastodon, and Facebook.