Tucker Carlson is bringing a “new version” of his influential political commentary programme to Twitter, the right-wing pundit announced in a video on Tuesday, following the anchor’s high-profile split with Fox News last month.
In a video posted on his Twitter page, Carlson said the social network was the “last” major media distribution channel that allowed free speech, while appearing to allude to his recent exit at Fox.
“The best you can hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can,” he said in his announcement video. “There are always limits. And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it. It’s not a guess — it’s guaranteed.”
The former Fox News anchor used the announcement to lash out at other media outlets, calling them purveyors of “thinly disguised propaganda.”
“The news you consume is a lie, a lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind,” he added.
The move means Carlson will forgo at least $25m from Fox Corp related to a non-compete clause in his previous contract, Puck News reports.
The Independent has contacted Fox News and Twitter for comment.
Elon Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to deny that his social media platform had any official agreement with Carlson.
“On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said. And, of course, anything misleading will get @CommunityNotes,” he tweeted.
“I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.”
And he added: “I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform.”
On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
And, of course, anything misleading will get @CommunityNotes.
I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is… https://t.co/0TMjuYnKUp
The conservative network has not explained in detail why it parted ways last month with Mr Carlson, the most-watched cable news figure in the country.
The announcement, however, came as Carlson featured prominently in several high-profile scandals for the network, including a massive defamation lawsuit that revealed private messages of top Fox talent like Carlson criticising Donald Trump and his election conspiracies, only to later broadcast both on air.
Evidence uncovered in the suit also allegedly showed Carlson making highly racist statements, which reportedly perturbed Fox News executives on the eve of a potential trial.
The Dominion Voting Systems suit was later settled for a bruising $787.5m, one of the largest media defamation settlements in US history.
Separately, a former Fox News producer on Carlson’s show is suing the nework, accusing the anchor and his senior staff of making her life a “living hell” through a toxic work environment, and attempting to coerce her testimony in the Dominion suit.
The same day as he announced his new show, Carlson also accused his former employer of fraud and breach of contract.
The commentator reportedly sent an aggressive letter to senior Fox News leaders on Tuesday accusing the outlet of breaching his contract by allegedly leaking his private communications as part of an “adverse employment action against him,” and by settling with Dominion in a way that harmed Carlson’s reputation and future business prospects, Axiosreports.
Fox News told the outlet Mr Carlson’s allegations about the settlement were “categorically false.”
The move from Carlson, whose show on Fox was called “the most racist show in the history of cable news” by The New York Times for its embrace of white nationalist ideology, seems to confirm fears from Twitter critics, who warned that Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social network would unleash right-wing actors and conspiracy theorists.
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