The war between Fox News and Tucker Carlson continues. Despite the network sending a cease-and-desist letter to Media Matters over leaked footage of Carlson, the outlet dropped yet another behind-the-scenes video of the former Tucker Carlson Tonight host that is apparently meant to make him look bad.
The Latest Media Matters Leak
In the wake of his April 24 exit from Fox News, some of Carlson’s text messages and outtakes have surfaced in The New York Times and, more recently, Media Matters. On Tuesday, the leftist advocacy group released a behind-the-scenes clip of Carlson talking to his executive producer Justin Wells before going to air about a Fox News employee who apparently had pronouns listed in their social media bio.
The context of the video is not entirely clear, but it seems like Carlson was telling Wells about a conversation he had with a Fox News executive about some sort of leak. “I talked to her at great length. It was actually pretty funny,” Carlson says at the top of the clip. “I was like, she’s got a lot of liberals working over there. And, you know, they see this as war and we’re the main force on the other side.” It continued from there:
CARLSON: And like, that’s crazy. If you’ve got pronouns in your Twitter bio, you shouldn’t work here because we can’t trust you because you’re on the other side. And she goes, “Well, who?” And I said, I’m not going to name names because I don’t know who did it. And I’m definitely not going to cast aspersions on someone unfairly. Just because you’re liberal doesn’t mean you did this. It does mean you shouldn’t work here. And Roger would never put up with this shit. Why would you do that?
CARLSON: But do you know what I mean, Justin? If you’ve got like that, that horrible guy who was just horrible, who was Judge Jeanine [Pirro]’s guy. I couldn’t. Yeah, that guy’s like a screaming left-wing lunatic. Why does he work here? What? He totally dicked over his anchor, and then we expect he’s not going to dick over the network. Like, I don’t have specific information on it, but I would. It’s just. Yeah, it’s crazy…
Thus far, the off-air footage of Carlson released by Media Matters has not seemed to move the needle on how Carlson’s Fox News audience feels about him. “It seems so completely inept, it’s hard to believe that Fox is involved in these leaks,” Burguiere noted. “Most of these leaks… you like Tucker Carlson more after listening to them – you realize that maybe he is the exact same person behind the scenes that he is in front of the camera.”
Megyn agreed that the footage isn’t as damning as the leaker may intend it to be. “I believe this is meant to ruin Tucker, I guess,” she said. “He’s not saying, ‘You can’t work in Fox’ – that would be illegal to make a firing or hiring position based on that.” Instead, Megyn believes Carlson was trying to figure out why someone who is ideologically at odds with Fox News would seek employment there in the first place. “He’s basically saying, why would you work here? This is not the ideological place for. You’re going to be unhappy,” she added.
Fox News’ Ratings Woes Continues
Since Carlson and Fox News parted ways, the network’s ratings have tumbled. “I’ve never seen anything so low,” Megyn said. “Literally, I’m not exaggerating, I’ve never seen numbers this low on Fox News ever.” She joked that, when she joined Fox News in 2004, the network was “being funded by the Cristy Lane commercials.” “There were some lean days,” she recalled. “We were still number one back then, but that didn’t say much because we weren’t getting a lot of eyeballs on the channel.”
Last Friday, Fox News lost the 8pm hour to both MSNBC and CNN, and MSNBC prevailed in the 9pm and 10pm time slots as well. “You have to try hard to lose to CNN,” Megyn quipped. In his last week on the air, Carlson was drawing an average of three million total viewers a night, 377,000 of which were in the coveted 25 to 54 year old demo. Friday’s airing of Fox News Tonight at 8pm drew 1.3 million total viewers and a mere 90,000 in the demo. “That is a jaw-dropping number,” Burguiere noted.
Where Carlson Stands with Fox News
As Megyn has discussed, Carlson is still under contract with Fox News which means he is limited in what he can say and do. She shared that she’s heard from the anchor’s camp that “they’re extremely frustrated that Fox is clearly slow walking negotiations to try to keep him under wraps as long as possible.”
As of now, Megyn said Fox News “does not appear inclined to let him out of the non-compete” clause. “They’re trying to shut everybody up with non-disparagement and non-competition requirements,” she explained. “They want him to be quiet about Fox, and they want him to be quiet professionally.”
You can check out Megyn’s full show by tuning in to episode 494 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.