By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tucker Carlson had to go because his racist text cost Rupert Murdoch money

Trump supporters rally following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

Photo (cc) 2021 by David Geitgey Sierralupe

Who could have imagined that Tucker Carlson, a white supremacist in public, is also a white supremacist in private? The New York Times has unearthed what it claims is the text message that got Carlson fired from Fox News. It’s from Jan. 7, 2021, the day after the insurrection. Here it is in full:

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?

Fox executives were terrified that the message, which Carlson had sent to one of his producers, would be introduced at trial by Dominion Voting Systems as part of the company’s libel case against Fox. That fear contributed to Fox’s decision to settle the case for nearly $800 million.

In other words, Carlson had to go because he cost Rupert Murdoch money.

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  1. Are we sure this is the text that cost him the job? The Times headline said so — but then the text of the story said it “contributed” to the process of him getting fired. He said lots of stuff just as bad in public IMHO

    • Jay Griffin


      We all must confront the crap talk from people like Carlson. Otherwise, there will never, ever be any real progress.

      My best to you.

      • connie daggitt

        i have to deal with this almost everyday from clueless college professors, i went back to update my video and digital media skills So this is nothing new for me the old school people knew there were multiple parts to his statement, and would take in the whole picture, but along the way we lost that,

        People today scrape the bottom on the barrel looking every nuance of discrimination and racism….because their PAYCHECK is dependent on finding it.

  2. Wow. I wonder what happened after this moment of personal insight and reflection? It doesn’t seem to have altered the tone/content of his shows which followed… Maybe he will have time to return to these musings while he decides what to do next.

  3. Yah, it looks like Murdoch did a simple cost-benefit analysis and concluded Carlson was such a liability that it was worth honoring the rest of his $20m/yr contract to get rid of him. I agree w/ Paul that it’s not clear from the Times piece whether this text got him fired or whether it was the proverbial last straw. I know friends of Carlson and they tell me he doesn’t believe half of what he says. Now I’m not so sure …

  4. connie

    so blatant black racist remarks are perfectly ok and white peoples off the cuff remarks are not? what have we done to America?

    • Gregory Neal

      What “blatant black racist remarks” are you talking about? The only remarks in the text are TC writing to his producer. To believe that white men fight in some way that is different (implied more noble) than others is pretty racist. If not racist, highly bigoted. It’s weird you’d (kinda) use the words of Dr. King to defend the words/actions of TC. It’s difficult to even know where to begin to wade through how wrong that is.

      • connie daggitt

        everything blm spews is black racism just like the kkk with a black hood, yet you never complain about it. watch the videos but that is ok ….

        Its really a shame how we have become in America so close minded, And how you take every word and nuance and blow it up to be some catastrophic event.

        And dont you love how everything is racist today. Just look at what you wrote implied more noble, it was our parents that taught us to fight fair,not the color of our skin.

        It is your own internal systemic bias that refuses to discuss the other parts of his statement like i have done.

  5. Lex Alexander

    After all the racist bilge in which Carlson trafficked on his show, I find it difficult to believe that this one message, bad as it is, was so much worse than anything on his show that it got him fired. I prefer the hypothesis that Murdoch fired Carlson to show that no Fox personality is bigger than Fox itself and was moved to do so because of the messages in which Carlson speaks disparagingly of Fox executives.

    But I could be wrong.

    • connie

      you are…….we cant even think out loud and correct ourselves anymore in America, that exactly what he did realized that ganging up on people is not how white people fight,

      We cant handle honesty anymore everything is racist….shame on us.

      • Dan Kennedy

        Connie, people who comment here are asked to use their full names, first and last. Sometimes I let it go, but I’m not going to do so for someone who’s defending someone’s racist comments. If you choose to post again, I expect to see your full name. If you don’t, I’ll delete it and block you.

        • connie daggitt

          this is the whole point what he said is not racist i don’t understand how you came to that conclusion if you could explain i would appreciate it.

  6. Jay Griffin

    Carlson was the patsy. Now Fox and Murdoch can say we got rid of the problem. That said Carlson is a bigoted jerk and Fox will continue filling it’s viewer’s heads with bilge.

    • connie daggitt

      that comment is so sad and biased on many levels, if judging all people equally on the content of character is bigoted then why do we still celebrate MLK day?

      • Jay Griffin

        I can honestly judge Carlson. His lies, bigotry and nightly vile present a message Connie. Cheering for beating protesters is wrong. The content of his character is clear.

        • connie daggitt

          So we can’t apologize and correct ourselves anymore in America that is what you are saying, which is exactly what he did……..we are so doomed

          • Jay Griffin

            We’re doomed only if we continue to celebrate and pay a jerk like Tucker Carlson $20 million a year.

          • connie daggitt

            its right there;

            Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be.

            there are multiple parts to his statement, but people today are not journalists who read everything and analyze everything like we did in the old days.

            if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is? That is an admission his first thoughts were not right corrected himself and did some self reflection

            But we are held hostage by people who fly off the handle assume everything is racist and act like that haven’t taken their xanax in a week.

          • Dan Kennedy

            Connie: Oh, good Lord, I don’t know why I bothered. Here’s a free link. Read it. Learn.

          • connie daggitt

            So sad Dan, you fell for it, my parents taught us to fight fair one on one unless they come to fight dirty. And yes our parents were white, it was our culture.

            Old school journalists were good at analyzing all parts of a statement, and today we see very little of this expect for Tucker Matt Tiabbi John Stossel, you have to look at every detail.

            I guess my paralegal training and working or lawyers come into play, look at the OJ trial every second was analyzed down to the dog barking. That is what is severely missing today.

            People pick the part that confirms their bias and fly off the handle and think its the end of the world and the media laps it up.

            When you think of it the most controversial position to take today is the middle where you can be critical of the left and the right equally.

          • Dan Kennedy

            Connie, when did Carlson apologize? Provide a link, please.

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