Listen To This Story
Poor Fox “News” can’t catch a break. First, in order to ward off more embarrassing disclosures (and quite likely a more expensive verdict), the right-wing propaganda outlet was forced to agree to a $787.5 million settlement in the defamation case brought by Dominion Voting Systems. A few days later, the network canned Tucker Carlson, its most popular host.
The reason for the firing is still a little murky. Obviously, it wasn’t because Carlson was spreading white nationalist propaganda or creating a false reality for aggrieved viewers. After all, that was his entire brand.
News reports indicated that Fox founder Rupert Murdoch himself wanted Carlson gone for using vulgar language, including calling a senior executive the “C-word.” That seems like a weird reason for getting rid of the right-wing firebrand. After all, former CEO Roger Ailes sexually abused several women at the network for many years. They even made a movie about it.
Maybe the “C-word” was “communist.” That might do the trick.
The response from Fox’s viewers to Carlson’s termination was swift. As it turns out, letting go the darling of white nationalists did not play well: Viewership during the hour from 8 to 9 p.m., which was Carlson’s timeslot, has plunged in the days since he was fired.
Fox News viewership at 8pm ET:
Tucker's finale: 2.65 million
Monday: 2.59 million
Tuesday: 1.70 million
Wednesday: 1.33 million
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 27, 2023
As you’re reading this, the bigwigs at the network are trying to figure out how to replace the popular host without alienating their viewers, i.e., by ensuring that Carlson’s replacement continues to deliver the same kind of content he was known for.
To let you know what’s going on behind the closed doors at Fox, we’ve obtained a memo outlining the proposals that are being considered.
From: Rupert Murdoch
To: Fox Executives, Donald Trump
Subject: Final candidates for replacing Tucker
My fellow GOP sympathizers,
As you know, we have been kicking around ideas to find a great replacement for Tucker. And that’s no pun. We need to fill his hour with content that appeals to his core audience of pro-Trump racists who want to be lied to.
Obviously, and this makes things a bit easier, the personal opinion of the host(s) would not matter. Tucker literally hated Trump “passionately.” In theory, that means anybody could take over that slot as long as they put on a good show. It goes without saying though that we do want any potential replacement to be loyal to our cause of getting Republicans elected.
Below are the finalists in no particular order. We have already weeded out the more outrageous proposals, such as delivering viewers unbiased news or telling them the truth.
DeWoke Incorporated: This is a one-hour show during which red-blooded patriots shoot Bud Light cans, defecate on Mickey Mouse, and destroy the products of other woke companies.
Letters From Jail: Marjorie Taylor Greene reads letters written by the January 6 political prisoners held in DC and elsewhere.
Musk-See TV: We’ll just sell the entire block to Elon Musk so he can read his tweets and have his adoring fans “like” them in real-time. While nobody actually wants to see that, we can probably get him to overpay for the privilege.
Patriot Secrets Hour w/Jack Teixeira: This show will feature patriotic Americans who sell out their country because they don’t like the current government.
8PMChan: This might be closest to replicating Tucker’s show. We simply hand over programming to the fine people of 8chan and 4chan. They can then keep our audience up-to-date on the latest QAnon revelations.
The Good Old Days: This would just be an hour of clips from a time when our viewers still felt understood. It would feature highlights from the best Ku Klux Klan rallies of the 20th century and footage of dogs biting civil rights protesters.
By Any Means Necessary: A show hosting MAGA-favorite Kyle Rittenhouse who explains how Fox viewers can legally murder liberals.
Pillow Fight: Mike Lindell, who was Tucker’s biggest advertiser, talks about the 2020 election. In light of the recent settlement, we’ll probably have to do a little editing here.
Trumped: We simply revert to what we did in 2016 and just have President Trump talk about whatever, whenever.
Please weigh in on which show you’d prefer. We will be making a decision shortly. That way, we can get back to our core business of creating an alternative reality for angry Americans so that right-wing lawmakers can get elected.
While the above email is obviously satire and only as “true” as the things Fox’s primetime show hosts say during their broadcasts, it will be interesting to see how the network tries to pull off the impossible: continuing to lie to an audience that has no interest in the truth without repeatedly getting sued for defamation.
With the revelations from the Dominion lawsuit, that will become increasingly difficult.