(NEW YORK) — TV host Tucker Carlson and Fox News have “agreed to part ways,” Fox said in a statement Monday.
“We thank him for his service to the network,” Fox said in a statement, noting that Carlson’s last show was on Friday.
The news comes nearly one week after a $787.5 million settlement agreement between the network and Dominion Voting Systems, which had accused Fox of knowingly pushing false conspiracy theories that the voting machine company rigged the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor, in what Dominion claims was an effort to combat concerns over declining ratings and viewer retention.
Fox defended its coverage, dismissing the suit as a “political crusade in search of a financial windfall.”
As part of its discovery process, Dominion in February filed court documents containing emails, texts, testimony, and other private communications from Fox News personnel, including Carlson, in which they appeared to cast doubt on claims involving Dominion — versus what they said on-air to their viewers.
On Nov. 8, Carlson privately texted his producer that the allegations about Dominion were “absurd,” according to the Dominion filing. Also that day, Carlson’s producer texted him about his own doubts.
“I don’t think there is evidence of voter fraud that swung the election,” producer Alex Pfeiffer texted to Carlson, per the lawsuit. “The software s–t is absurd,” Carlson allegedly responded.
On his show just one night later, Carlson pushed more suggestions of fraud, though he said that “we don’t know anything about the software.”
“We don’t know how many votes were stolen on Tuesday night. We don’t know anything about the software that many say was rigged. We don’t know. We ought to find out,” he said. “But here’s what we do know. On a larger level, at the highest levels, actually, our system isn’t what we thought it was. It’s not as fair as it should be. Not even close.”
Carlson during this show also said that “false claims of fraud can be every bit as destructive as the fraud itself,” according to the filing, and that “the fraud that we can confirm does not seem to be enough to alter the election results. We should be honest and tell you that…”
In mid-November Carlson also texted one of his producers that “there wasn’t enough fraud to change the outcome” of the election, according to the filings, and later said that Sidney Powell, one of then-President Donald Trump’s attorneys and a vocal promulgator of election denialism, “is lying.”
Months later, on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capital, Carlson called Trump “a demonic force, a destroyer” in a text message to the same producer.
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