A text message that contained Tucker Carlson’s views on race, violence, and politics was so explosive that it reportedly forced the board members of Fox Corp to hire an outside law firm to investigate Carlson’s conduct.
The text, uncovered by the New York Times, was brought to the attention of the board members on the eve of the Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit trial.
In the text message dated Jan. 7, 2021, Carlson revealed that he watched a video where Trump supporters attacked what he describes as an “Antifa kid.”
Carlson expressed delight in the person getting beat up, conceding it was “three against one.” He did express some concern at the perception of the fight while adding some racial idealism, saying, “Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.”
He went on to say that he was rooting for the men as they beat the victim and hoped they’d kill him, adding, “I really wanted to hurt the kid. I could taste it.”
The second part of that message showed Carlson coming down from his toxic delight and having reservations about his feelings, saying, “I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid and would be crushed if he was killed.”
— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) May 3, 2023
This text was one of many messages Fox’s attorney managed to get redacted. They had good reason to do it because had it been revealed during the pre-trial or trial phase, it would have drawn additional negative attention towards Fox News and the entire Fox corporation. The board and Fox executives reached the same conclusion and quickly decided to settle the $1.6 billion defamation case for $787.5 million as the trial was hours from getting started.
The board’s discovery of this text message, the launch of an independent investigation into Carlson’s conduct, plus additional workplace incidents may have provided Rupert Murdoch and Fox News executives with enough justification to sever ties with Carlson.
Fox News has not revealed the reason for Carlson’s dismissal, sticking with its “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.” statement.