Claytoonz: Tucker Carlson canceled
I was in the middle of another cartoon when it was announced on CNN that Fox News and Tucker Carlson have parted ways. Friday night’s show was his last.
This isn’t just a great day for journalism, it’s a great day for America. It’s a great day for this nation because Tucker has been poisoning it for years. While his show is the top-rated news show, it’s not actually a news show. It’s propaganda. It’s also the favorite show for white nationalist racist motherfuckers. If you know a racist, he watches Tucker Carlson.
Those of us in the news business have known for years that Tucker lies on his show. There have been times in the past when the network has had to order him to stop lying about specific subjects, like the Seth Rich murder that he was spreading conspiracy theories about. It was argued in court years ago by Fox News’ lawyers that Tucker is only entertainment and can’t be believed, so Fox News shouldn’t be held accountable for his lies.
After the Club Q shooting, Tucker displayed a graphic during his monologue on the shooting at the gay nightclub that said, “Stop sexualizing children.” Then he had a guest on that same show who said the shootings would continue “until we end this evil agenda that is attacking children.” This was feeding into the lie that Marjorie Taylor Greene said on 60 Minutes that all Democrats are pedophiles.
Tucker is a racist and he’s defended white nationalism on his show, even claiming it doesn’t exist…to his base of white nationalists. He’s a huge advocate for the racist “great replacement theory,” which he’s featured on his show repeatedly. The New York Times did a study and found he built his ratings on stoking “white fear.” He’s defended Vladimir Putin and has helped spread Russian lies about its invasion of Ukraine and how the war is going. He’s attacked democracy and defended attempts to help Trump steal the election. For that, Fox News got sued.
It was the Dominion lawsuit that proved to the entire world that Tucker and others at Fox News knowingly lie to their audience. Even worse, Tucker has tried to get fact-checkers and the actual journalists at Fox News (they’re on during the day) fired.
There’s speculation that Tucker’s dismissal was part of the $787.5 million settlement between Fox News and Dominion. Others believe Fox News is doing this independently and without outside pressure, but because Tucker is the main one who got them into this lawsuit costing them $787.5 million. Tucker is the top-rated show for the network but I don’t think MyPillow ads are going to cover a loss of $787.5 million…and those pillow ads may stop soon after it settles it’s own lawsuit from Dominion.
But, “a person familiar with the company’s thinking” told The Washington Post that it was Tucker’s internal messages about Fox News management that played a large part in his dismissal. In one message to colleagues, he wrote, “Those fuckers are destroying our credibility.” He later wrote, “A combination of incompetent liberals and top leadership with too much pride to back down is what’s happening.”
There’s also speculation this is partly because of the ongoing lawsuit against Tucker and Fox News from his former head booker for being subjected to a “hostile and discriminatory work environment”. There are other upcoming legal problems, specifically concerning the Smartmatic lawsuit. There seems to be a litany of reasons for Fox News to dismiss Tucker.
The dismissal was abrupt as Tucker gave no indication on Friday night’s show that it would be his last. Fox News was still airing promos for Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday morning before his dismissal was announced.
Tucker has been airing his show from Maine which is the second thing I learned today after “snarge.” He hasn’t released a statement, but Fox News has. I think Fox News snarged Tucker (you’ll have to look that up).
Fox News’ statement says, “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.” It’s a short statement and about the same length as CNN’s on dismissing Don Lemon, which also happened this morning.
What’s next for Tucker? Will he get a new show on OANN, Newsmax, Putin’s RT, create his own YouTube channel or news network, or maybe just shout racist xenophobic comments at people on the street? Glenn Beck has already issued a plea for Tucker to join him on Blaze. Blaze is still around? Glenn Beck is still around? After Rush Limbaugh died, Tucker filled his large space in the right-wing echo chamber. Who will fill that space now?
Meanwhile, MAGA World is upset over at Goon Social, I mean, Truth Social, with many saying Fox News has spit in the face of MAGA, which goes to show that Fox News is not news. A news outlet isn’t supposed to be a part of any political movement or campaign. If Fox News had an ethics policy, Tucker would have been fired years ago. Trump hasn’t posted anything about Tucker yet, but he has about Don Lemon because, you know…Don Lemon is black.
Also on Truth Social, its users are already floating the conspiracy theories in this cartoon. Man, satire is hard.
Creative note: I learned about Don Lemon’s firing halfway through this cartoon. If I had known of it sooner, I would have done a cartoon with both anchors. Since I work for CNN, I feel it would be negligent of me not to comment on Lemon’s firing. That’ll be my next cartoon…unless someone else gets fired today.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.