Tucker Carlson shared some news with his audience last night, and Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy are the hardest hit. Rather than announcing he will be leaving the cable news station as those with green-eyed jealousy would prefer, he will be launching two additional shows on the channel’s subscription service, Fox Nation. Just for the haters and doubters, Carlson made the following declaration:
Whatever you may read about Fox News on the internet, the truth is, and we would know, they are principled defenders of free speech and they’re tough as hell. We wouldn’t be here if they weren’t. Trust us. Every day there is intense pressure to pull this show off the air and every day they resist that pressure. We’re grateful for that. We’re also grateful for Fox Nation. At a time when the Big Tech companies have decided to shut down all inconvenient facts and opinions, Fox Nation is protected. It is a subscription service. Big Tech can’t touch it. It can’t be censored and that’s a blessing.”
In April, Carlson’s podcast will be launching on the platform. The same team that produces Tucker Carlson Tonight will work on the latest productions. He will also be hosting a long-form investigative series called Tucker Carlson Originals. Tucker has done some investigative series on his nightly shows, and they are visually compelling and make an impression. One from last year was “American Dystopia,” which chronicled the decline of San Francisco. It showed the general lack of sanitation; small business owners’ and residents’ struggles when the enforcement of petty crimes stops; the restrictions placed on law enforcement officers; and profiled District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Now, it appears this type of deep dive will be contained in a single long-format program on Fox Nation. Before becoming a Fox News host, he co-founded The Daily Caller. Under his leadership, the online publication became known for its original reporting. When he began to host Tucker Carlson Tonight, he gave up editorial control and eventually sold his stake to his partner and former college roommate Neil Patel.
Carlson shared that several shows are already in production. One of them is the story behind the Green New Deal. He shared footage of his staff on location during the recent storms in Texas that showed immobile windmills. Carlson noted that other outlets do not carry images like the ones his team has put together because it ruins the narrative on renewable energy.
Following a dip in the ratings post-election, Fox News is rebounding, and Carlson is back on top in the 25-54 demo and overall. For the past week, his ratings in both categories approximate the total for the other two cable news channels. His appeal in the highly sought 25-54 demo is pretty easy to understand. For many of us that claim Gen X, he is a kindred spirit. In interviews, Carlson describes growing up around traditional liberals in Southern California.
Key features of that culture were suspicion about concentrations of power, a belief in free speech, the open exchange of ideas, and placing individual character over group identity. My aunt, who got a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, shared these values, as most adults in my suburban New York upbringing did. These values have migrated to the center-right, and Carlson speaks to these values consistently.
For our kids, mainly Gen Z, he is authentic. Having grown up online, these young adults seem to have a built-in skepticism and well-honed BS detector. They played Cards Against Humanity in school cafeterias as one way to rebel against a politically correct culture their parents in Gen X never bought into. Carlson also attracts guests from the left of center, like journalist Glenn Greenwald and politician Tulsi Gabbard. The show is one of the most heterodox on cable, which they appreciate.
Carlson is no stranger to controversy and personal attacks. As he takes on the sacred cows in the current culture, the wailing will only get louder. But there will be no advertisers to go after and no cable company to petition. What will Tater and Tater Tot do?
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