OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson informed a liberal reporter that he would be announcing his candidacy for president, but it was what he did next that drove the reporter to madness.
The reporter, Mattathias Schwartz of Insider, who has referred to Tucker as a “far-right firebrand” interviewed Carlson by text on Tuesday when the former host said he would announce his candidacy on Friday.
“When I asked Tucker Carlson in a text on Tuesday evening if he was planning a run for president, the newly self-employed far-right firebrand had a shocking answer: ‘Yes. Announcing Friday in New Hampshire,’” the furious reporter said in a story he penned on Thursday.
“But my earthshaking scoop was short-lived. After I credulously asked him to confirm that he was serious before I blasted out the news, which would reshape the 2024 presidential race, the former Fox News broadcaster confirmed what millions of Americans have already concluded: He’s just an a**hole,” he said.
When asked by the reporter if he was going to campaign for president Carlson responded “Yes. Announcing Friday in New Hampshire.”
But when the reporter asked follow up questions for confirmation Carlson responded “Totally kidding. Sorry. I can never control myself. I’m fundamentally a d**k. My apologies.”
Some late-night texts with @TuckerCarlson, wherein he says he is indeed running for president, then says he is just kidding about that, then says he is "fundamentally a dick." Story here… https://t.co/OukLuulbGQ pic.twitter.com/4GiF9R3n6b
— Mattathias Schwartz (@Schwartzesque) May 10, 2023
“On Fox, Carlson stoked hatred of undocumented immigrants, glossed over the violence of the January 6 insurrection, and criticized US support for Ukraine. His fans are 63% male and 66% white, according to a survey by Morning Consult. Before he was fired — for reasons that range from sending a racist text message to allegations of misogyny and bullying — he was earning roughly $25 million a year. By moving his show to Twitter, Carlson reportedly stands to lose millions in severance for breaking a noncompete clause in his contract,” the furious reporter said in his story.
“My question about Carlson’s possible presidential ambitions was not as far-fetched as it might sound. Speculation about a possible GOP primary run has followed Carlson for years. An April poll conducted after his ouster found that 59% of likely US voters had a favorable view of Carlson, higher than Fox News’ favorability rating. And despite airing private misgivings about Trump, Carlson has been wielding power from behind the scenes in ways that further blur the line between his roles as commentator and political heavyweight. Text messages show that he helped negotiate the standoff between Republican moderates and the far-right holdouts that eventually elevated Rep. Kevin McCarthy to House speaker on the 15th vote,” he said.
“Carlson’s reasons for deciding to engage directly with the ‘news media’ hours after lambasting them in a Twitter monologue for, in his view, ‘misleading’ the public, remains unclear; the media Carlson has belonged to for decades is one of his favorite punching bags despite being one of its best sources,” he said.
Meanwhile the news has not been bright for Fox News since it parted ways with Carlson.
“In the first week after Carlson’s ouster on April 24, the channel’s primetime viewership fell 29.6 percent to 1.449 million viewers, coming in third among cable networks, according to figures from Nielsen,” Yahoo News reported.
“Viewership for the network’s 8 p.m. time slot was down 47 percent overall for that week, according to an analysis from former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. The analysis averaged the viewership from the first week of his absence and compared it with the last week he was on the air. Among the key demographic of 25-54-year-olds, ratings were down a whopping 59 percent,” the outlet added.
Earlier this week, a new survey found that Carlson remains more popular with Americans than his former employer.
The poll by Rasmussen Reports found that Carlson remains popular among conservative and Republican likely voters. “Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Likely U.S. voters have a favorable impression of Carlson, including 36% who have a Very Favorable opinion of him,” the polling firm noted.
“Thirty-four percent (34%) view Carlson unfavorably, including 25% with a Very Unfavorable impression,” the firm added in a release.