Tucker Carlson Is Launching a New Show on Twitter
Tucker Carlson will return to broadcasting through a partnership with Twitter. The former Fox News host announced on Tuesday that he will be “bringing a new version” of his former show to the social media platform. “There aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech,” Carlson said in a Twitter video. “The last big one remaining in the world — the only one — is Twitter.”
“Starting soon, we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter,” Carlson added. “We bring some other things, too, which we’ll tell you about. But for now, we’re just grateful to be here. Free speech is the main right that you have. Without it, you have no others.”
Carlson was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in late April, days after the network agreed to pay $787 million in a defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. According to Puck News, Carlson will forgo a more-than $25 million payout from his former network in order to dissolve his non-compete agreement with his former network.
According to Axios, Carlson accused the network on Tuesday of having committed fraud against him and of having already breached his contract. A letter from Carlson’s lawyer to executives at Fox alleges that “Rupert Murdoch himself” reneged on promises made to Carlson, including a commitment to not leak his private communications or use them to “take any adverse employment action against him.”
The letter further accuses Fox of attempting to “undermine, embarrass, and interfere” with Carlson’s reputation and future business opportunities.
On Twitter, Musk addressed Carslon’s announcement, indicating that the company and Carlson “have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.”
“On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said,” Musk wrote.
Carlson’s pivot to Twitter is not totally surprising. Elon Musk was one of Carlson’s last major interviews at Fox News, and under the former’s ownership Twitter is quickly evolving into a premier hub for reactionary content, oftentimes with direct aid and amplification from its billionaire owner.
Despite his claims of single-handedly reshaping Twitter into a bastion for free speech, Musk has wielded his control of the platform as a weapon against his critics, and overseen a renaissance of extremist content and hate speech. Musk stripped verified users of their blue checks, replacing the system with a “pay to play” scheme that allows users to pay for a verified designation.
Musk also slapped NPR with an account label designated it as “state-affiliated,” a moniker previously reserved for state-controlled propaganda outlets including Russia’s RT and China’s Xinhua News Agency. After the publication announced it would no longer use Twitter, Musk threatened to give away their handle if they didn’t return to the platform. The billionaire has taken up a habit of suspending individual journalists, as well. Last month, Wired reporter Dell Cameron had his account nuked after he reported on a hack of Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s Twitter account.
No stranger to hawking conspiracy theories, Twitter’s appeal to Carlson lies in the environment personally cultivated by Musk. In the aftermath of a mass shooting outside of a mall in Allen, Texas, Musk amplified and endorsed conspiracy theories that the shooter’s white supremacist beliefs were fabricated and a “psy-op,” and has been responding to xenophobic tweets villainizing migrants and asylum seekers at the border.
“News orgs like to control the narrative [and] hate being corrected, but at least people know they can come to this platform for a more accurate understanding of the world,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday, a virtually identical statement to the words Carlson used to justify his partnership with the platform.
Carlson’s move to nullify his non-compete and return to public view as soon as possible reflects his quiet plans to “go to war” against Fox, which is unlikely to take things lying down. As previously reported by Rolling Stone, network executives spent years compiling a secret dossier of damaging dirt against Carlson, and are prepared to make their findings public should the host move against them.
This article was updated on Tuesday, May 9, at 8:00 PM EST. to reflect comments from Twitter owner Elon Musk.
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