FOX News must move on from Tucker Carlson


Donkey Hotey | WikimediaCommons

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

Talk-show host Tucker Carlson’s termination from Fox News proves that no one in the television industry is above respecting media ethics. His on-air rhetoric should serve as a warning of the danger of blurring the line between news and opinion in journalism.

Fox News announced on April 24 that the network’s popular primetime anchor Carlson will no longer be at the media company.

The announcement came one week after Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to resolve a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems Corp. over the network’s role in spreading disinformation about the 2020 election.

For many years, Carlson’s platform has served as an amplifier for some of the most radical voices from the far-right.

The 53-year-old conservative pundit is also guilty of expressing his own extreme ideological viewpoints on issues ranging from race relations, gender issues and immigration at multiple points during his tenure at Fox News.

Following the El Paso, Texas shooting in August 2019, Carlson claimed that white supremacy is “a hoax” and not a major issue in America.

He stated that former presidential candidate Cory Booker, who is Black, was not allowed to speak on racial issues because he was “privileged.” Tucker then used his platform to demonize the Black Lives Matter movement.

Carlson has also publicly dismissed science that has been backed by years of research. Carlson has made remarks downplaying the idea that climate change is real, according to a report from the Guardian.

Most recently, Carlson said that Jan 6. rioters were “right” to believe that the election was “unfairly conducted” despite the lack of  evidence that suggested otherwise.

In addition to his dangerous ideology, Carlson has also been accused of promoting a toxic work environment. Abby Grossberg, a booker on Carlson’s show, alleged in court papers that Carlson’s show “subjugated women based on vile sexist stereotypes, typecasts religious minorities and belittles their traditions, and demonstrates little to no regard for those suffering from mental illness.”

If Fox wants to regain any credibility and trust among consumers, the network must replace Carlson with someone who can separate news from opinion. Fox must dissolve all traces of the network’s relationship with Carlson in its effort to regain lost advertisers and viewers whose faith in the network has been shaken by recent events.

Furthermore, network executives must ensure that on-air personalities are publicly reprimanded for making outlandish claims with no factual basis.

Opinions are a necessary facet of journalism, giving writers and pundits the space to exercise their right to self-expression. But when people tune in to watch the news, they should not be subjected to the bias of the person delivering it.

Grossberg echoed a sentiment that some news consumers could rally behind. She said that Carlson’s departure is “a step towards accountability for the election lies and baseless conspiracy theories spread by Fox News, something I witnessed first-hand at the network, as well as for the abuse and harassment I endured while head of booking and senior producer for Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Unfortunately, Carlson’s popularity will likely follow him to whichever news platform he ends up at next. A primetime host who garnered millions of views and accomplished a six-year reign in primetime cable will always have a devoted following, regardless of his divisive rhetoric.

Yet Tucker Carlson’s termination from the conservative network is proof that no one in the media is untouchable despite their popularity among the public.