Fox News Attempts Damage Control

News: US News
by Christine Niles  •  •  May 5, 2023   

Loses 2/3 of audience in wake of Tucker Carlson canning

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NEW YORK ( - In its latest efforts at damage control, the FOX Corporation has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Media Matters demanding that it stop leaking videos of former host Tucker Carlson. 

"We write on behalf of FOX Corporation to clarify any misunderstandings Media Matters may have had regarding previously unaired footage that Media Matters has published in a series of articles headlined 'FOXLEAKS,'" wrote Christopher Chiou, a representative of the firm handling the matter.

"That unaired footage that is FOX's confidential intellectual property; FOX did not consent to its distribution or publication; and FOX does not consent to its further distribution or publication," he noted, going on to demand that Media Matters stop airing the footage.

Former Fox host Megyn Kelly called out FOX: "Pro tip: you might want to look inside the org to stop the allegedly horrifying leaks before threatening those who are publishing them." 

Since May 1, Matt Gertz, senior fellow at Media Matters, has been publishing behind-the-scenes video clips of Tucker Carlson in an attempt to cast him in a bad light. The leaks, however, have had the opposite effect.

"BREAKING: Tucker Carlson Even More Likable Than You Previously Thought," tweeted Daily Wire host and Catholic Michael Knowles.

"Matthew, Matthew, Matthew! This only makes us love Tucker more," wrote Bill Clinton assault victim Juanita Broaddrick.

"Why does every single Tucker Carlson leak make him look good?" asked journalist Ian Miles Cheong.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, a friend of Carlson, came to his defense Friday and mocked Gertz: "Imagine having to tell your parents that your job is narcing on the casual comments of other people while they, happily unaware, make a living. Your parents would be so embarrassed and ashamed they'd rather tell their friends you died in a fire."

The hit show Tucker Carlson Tonight, which routinely outperformed all cable news network shows across the board, was abruptly canceled on April 24, leading to widespread anger from Fox News viewers.

Sebastian Gorka confirmed with Carlson that he is still under contract with FOX, and thus is currently unable to pursue other career paths, in spite of generous offers from other media organizations asking him to join them. 

Guest Joseph diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said of the contract, "[T]here generally are what are called nondisparagement clauses, which means that neither side can say bad things about the other. And if they do, that's grounds for nullifying the contract."

"My guess is, given the quality of the counsel that he has, they are now deeply involved in discussions about whether or not Fox News has violated the contract and has disparaged him," he continued, "needless to say, viciously and purposely, no matter what [Irena] Briganti denies — they have gone after him purposely."

Megyn Kelly previously revealed that Briganti, who is Fox's vice president of media relations, is likely the one leaking the clips of Carlson. Gawker once called Briganti "the face of Fox's feared, vengeful media relations operation" who is "the one holding the bloody hatchet that Fox regularly brings down right on reporters' heads." She has a well-known reputation for "leaking to blogs."

Meanwhile, FOX continues to hemorrhage viewers, losing nearly two-thirds of its audience.

"They're left with about a third of their audience. I mean, that's stunning," said Kelly on her May 4 podcast. "And I looked up and down the board at the primetime, which, with all due respect to the daytime, is all anyone gives a sh*t about over there at Fox News — the primetime pays the bills, period. They're all down."

Carlson himself has said nothing about his ouster, releasing a single video on Twitter on April 26 discussing the state of American media. 

"The undeniably big topics, the ones that define our future, get virtually no discussion at all: war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources," he said. "When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues?" 

That video has since received 80.5 million impressions and nearly 24 million views — eight times the views Carlson received on his Fox News show.


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