Tucker Carlson Finally Managed To Do Something So Filthy It Squicked Out Rupert Murdoch
And that's no mean feat!
Less than a week after Fox News agreed to write Dominion Voting Systems a $787.5 million check to settle its defamation claims, the network unceremoniously kicked Tucker Carlson to the curb . Looks like he'll be tanning his testicles in the private sector for the immediate future.
An anxious nation demands to know WHY GOD, WHY!
Well, not really . Mostly we're just laughing our asses off. But, with several hours left of work before we can uncork celebratory libations, we're ready to move from the WOOHOO!!! phase to wondering exactly what went down here. The Washington Post reports that Tucker was done in by his mean texts about management revealed in the Dominion litigation.
“Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience?” Carlson complained when the network called the election for Biden, adding in another message. “Those fuckers are destroying our credibility.”
Tucker's group texts with Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham show the three complaining about the news side, contemplating staging a group walkout and breach of contract suit, and scheming to get a younger reporter fired for fact-checking election fraud claims.
But you can color us skeptical that he got called in this morning and bounced because of his mean DMs. Fox's management has known about that stuff for months, and they still let him book Vivek Ramamswamy to appear on tonight's show.
So let's take a wildass guess that terminating Carlson and his producer Justin Wells had something to do with the two lawsuits and an EEOC complaint filed by Abby Grossberg, a former producer for both Carlson and Maria Bartiromo.
In March, Grossberg sued Fox and various employees, including Carlson and Wells, for multiple different kinds of employment discrimination. In the complaint , which was filed in federal court in New York, she alleged that the network systematically deprived her and Bartiromo of staff and support that they gave to male colleagues. But when she moved over to work on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (TCT), she encountered a fratbro environment that would give any HR exec the vapors.
On September 5, 2022, Ms. Grossberg’s first full day on the TCT team, she was shocked to be greeted by many large and blown-up photographs of Nancy Pelosi in a plunging bathing suit revealing her cleavage. The images were plastered onto her computer and elsewhere throughout the office. Apparently, the “joke” was that Speaker Pelosi looked terrible in a bathing suit.
The next day, she was asked if her former boss was "fucking Kevin McCarthy?"
Grossberg, who is Jewish, resented comments from senior producer Alexander McCaskill about the "Jew bakery" and suggestions that the team deserved an inclusion award for employing an Israeli Jew.
Women were also consistently demeaned by staff:
Mr. Wells and Mr. McCaskill often remarked that Lexi Ciccone, a TCT Booker who reported to Ms. Grossberg, should use her sex appeal to the TCT team’s advantage, such as by “sleep[ing] with Elon Musk to get [an] interview” and that she could be his “next wife.” Ms. Ciccone herself, likely feeling as if she needed to “fit in” and add commentary matching her misogynist work environment, would respond that men “masturbated” to her.
Grossberg says that Fox's lawyers bullied her into giving false and misleading testimony in the Dominion suit, and those claims play a more central role in her second complaint , which was filed in Delaware state court. In that suit, Grossberg alleges that Fox defamed her by making her look incompetent so as to protect network executives and hosts who aired false claims about Dominion. She also charges Fox et al with fraudulent inducement and taking part in a civil conspiracy to coerce her give false testimony and then block her from correcting the deposition transcript as she was entitled to under Delaware rules of civil procedure. She attached a list of proposed amendments to her complaint, many of which are contextualized thusly:
Impermissible coaching and coercion by Fox attorneys.
Based on what I understood and took away from the deposition preparation sessions I had with Fox's legal team, which were coercive and intimidating, I felt that I needed to avoid mentioning or elaborating upon any other colleagues involved in any way. so as not to become the "star witness" for Dominion and seriously jeopardize my career at Fox News and be subjected to worse terms and conditions of employment than offered to male employees as I | understood it.
All of which is BAD. But she goes on to add some pretty damning stuff about Carlson himself. For instance, she alleges that Carlson arranged with Fox executives and House Republicans to use security footage from January 6 to undermine the premise that the Capitol Riot was perpetrated by Trump supporters — and in so doing to downplay the network's role in convincing people that the election was stolen.
She further describes Carlson trying to find someone to falsely claim that the ongoing Proud Boys trial is “taking forever” because the “Biden Administration is trying to hide the huge number of FBI spies it had placed in the group.” And he didn't care that it wasn't true.
As Head of Booking, Ms. Grossberg was twice directed to reach out to Dan Hull, one of the defense attorneys representing the Proud Boys, who indicated to her that he was available to come on to the TCT show as a guest but emphatically denied Mr. Carlson’s theory. Instead, Mr. Hull insisted that “no one made my client go up the hill. The Proud Boys wanted to,” and the FBI angle Mr. Carlson sought to peddle was “on the conspiracy side.” When Ms. Grossberg relayed Mr. Hull’s message to Tom Fox, a Senior Producer for TCT and her superior, he blithely replied “That doesn’t fit with what Tucker is looking for. You’ll have to find someone else who will say that.” Ms. Grossberg was told to ask Mr. Hull yet again if he would reconsider, to which Mr. Hull replied, “Please just tell [Tucker], if I get on the show, I will walk out if he asks about the FBI setting it up. […] Blaming the FBI for Jan 45 6th doesn’t cut it.” Mr. Carlson then requested that Ms. Grossberg investigate whether any other defense attorneys, including Steven Metcalf, would tout the conspiracy on air.
In fact, as we are typing, the LA Times has confirmed that the decision to oust Carlson came directly from Fox Corp Chair Rupert Murdoch and was occasioned in part by Carlson's coverage of the January 6 attack.
So, let's go out on a limb and say it was all of the above . And while there's no doubt that Carlson will land on his feet, let's just savor this beautiful moment, where one of the nation's most dangerous, virulent racists lost his megaphone.
Catch Liz Dye on Opening Arguments podcast.
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