Tucker Carlson, after parting ways with Fox News Monday morning, has reportedly retained a powerful and “aggressive” entertainment attorney, which could mean the right-wing cable channel might be facing yet another lawsuit, or at least a likely legal battle.
A Fox News statement said, “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” but reports throughout the day have increasingly described the breakup not as a resignation, nor as a mutually agreed split, but as a firing, although that has not been confirmed.
Carlson, who promoted conspiracy theories and lies, racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ, white nationalist, and Christian nationalist views, and falsehoods about the January 6 insurrection, was the networks’s top star.
Brian Stelter, the former CNN media reporter, tweeted that Carlson has “retained the famously aggressive entertainment lawyer Bryan Freedman.” (He also notes now-former CNN anchor Don Lemon has also retained the same lawyer.)
“The biggest star in cable news didn’t get to give a proper goodbye from his prime-time perch,” Stelter writes at Vanity Fair in a piece titled, “Why Tucker Carlson’s Exit From Fox News Looks Like an Execution.”
In it he asks, “Will Carlson go quietly into the night?”
Noting that Carlson has not responded to his request for comment, Stelter calls the departure a “firing,” and writes: “Carlson has chosen silence at one of the most consequential moments in his life: his firing from Fox News. Officially, Carlson and Fox ‘agreed to part ways.’ That’s what the terse press release from Fox said. ‘We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.'”
Stelter says the Dominion lawsuit and its revelations might have been the reason for Carlson’s exit. He suggests that whatever Dominion learned via discovery might have doomed him.
“Hundreds of pages of emails and text messages from within Fox were published in Dominion’s pre-trial legal filings. But there is a huge number of other pages that remain out of public view. The redactions were voluminous,” Stelter writes.
But he also tweeted, “The reason for Tucker Carlson’s termination can be found somewhere in the REDACTED portions of the emails and texts that Dominion obtained during the discovery process in its lawsuit against Fox.”
Of course, there could be another reason.
“Other potential factors include former producer Abby Grossberg’s discrimination lawsuit against the network,” Stelter adds, “which depicted the Tucker Carlson Tonight production environment as a frathouse where ‘sexist, demeaning comments’ were free-flowing. Truth be told, Carlson’s exit may always be shrouded in some amount of mystery. Both Fox and Carlson may be incentivized, for financial reasons, to stay semi-peaceful in public. But at the time I’m filing this, six hours have passed since Fox made the announcement for him. Carlson still hasn’t released a statement or replied to my texts. One of the biggest, baddest loudmouths in television history is suddenly silent.”