June 6, 2023

Tucker Carlson has spoken publicly for the first time since leaving Fox News. He called TV debates “silly” and lashed out at “liars” who he said tried to silence “honest people.”

The 53-year-old presenter posted a two-minute video to his official Twitter feed titled “Good evening”, without directly citing the reason for his abrupt exit from Fox Newsjust few days ago.

His departure came less than a week after the parent company Fox Corp agreed to pay $787.5 million (£631 million). to Dominion Voting Systems to avoid a defamation lawsuit.

In his video monologue, Carlson said he was talking about “things you notice when you take some time off”, including “how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are”.

He said, “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years we won’t even remember hearing them. Trust me, as someone who participated.”

He continued: “But when honest people say what is true calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful.

“At the same time, the liars who have tried to silence them are shrinking and getting weaker.”

He also claimed that debates on “big topics, which will shape our future” such as “war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources” “are not allowed in the American media”.

Formerly Fox News’ most popular host, Carlson regularly drew more than three million viewers to his nightly show.

Fox News announced he would be leaving the network on Tuesday, saying that rotating Fox News personalities would run the interim show until a new host was named.

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While Fox has not explained why they “arranged to part ways” with Carlson, the legal battle between the network and Dominion Voting Systems had led to the publication of posts detailing Carlson’s private views on Donald Trump and his colleagues at Fox.

Carlson would have been expected to testify if the dispute had gone to trial.

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Carlson, who worked at both CNN and MSNBC earlier in his career, replaced Bill O’Reilly on Fox’s primetime lineup in 2016. He quickly established himself as a major player on the network and an influential voice in Republican politics.

He has regularly sparked controversy for inflammatory statements on race, LGBTQ rights and other topics, and earlier this year Carlson came under fire from Republicans when he described the deadly riots in the US capital on January 6, 2021 as “mostly peaceful chaos”.