A text message sent by Tucker Carlson to one of the producers of his show, in which he described a video of a group of Trump supporters assaulting an “Antifa kid,” triggered an internal investigation into the former primetime host’s conduct and eventually led to his firing from Fox News last month, the New York Times reported.
In the message, Carlson described a video he saw of three Trump supporters attacking a person and said he thought it was “dishonorable obviously” and that was “not how white men fight,” according to the New York Times report.
Carlson then wrote that he “suddenly” found himself “rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him…I could taste it.”
Later in the text, the former Fox News host lamented feeling this way, saying he was “becoming something I don’t want to be,” and he didn’t want to “gloat over” the suffering of the “Antifa creep.”
According to the Times, the discovery of the incendiary text message “set off a panic” among Fox’s leadership a day before Dominion’s defamation trial against the company was set to begin.
The text message in question was part of the redacted court filings—in which the former Fox host calls Trump a “demonic force” and a “destroyer—in the Dominion case and Fox executives were concerned that it could be made public if Carlson took a stand during the trial.
The discovery of the text led to Fox hiring an outside law firm to probe Carlson’s conduct and ultimately ended with his ouster from the network, the Times report added.
Fox News announced Carlson’s exit from the network last week, a sudden move that appeared to surprise everyone. Carlson had made no mention of him leaving the network on his final broadcast days earlier, and even ended his show with a customary “we’ll be back.” The network itself was promoting Carlson’s interview with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy as late as the morning of the announcement. Neither side has publicly discussed the reasons behind the sudden ouster, although reports say the decision to fire him was made by Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch. Carlson’s text messages had emerged as a source of major interest as filings from Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News were made public. On the day the case was scheduled to go to trial, Fox agreed to settle the case for $787.5 million.
Last week, Rolling Stone reported that executives at Fox News were holding onto a dossier or so-called “oppo-file” against Carlson that they plan to use in the event he goes after the network publicly. The file in question reportedly includes complaints against Carlson’s “workplace conduct, disparaging comments about management and colleagues,” along with allegations of him enabling a “toxic work environment.” In addition to this, former Tucker Carlson producer Abby Grossberg, who has filed lawsuits against both the former host and Fox News, disclosed she has 90 recordings from her time at the network. Grossberg’s suit accuses Carlson and other senior staff at his show of creating a workplace that “subjugates women based on vile sexist stereotypes, typecasts religious minorities and belittles their traditions, and demonstrates little to no regard for those suffering from mental illness.”
Carlson’s Text That Alarmed Fox Leaders: ‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’ (New York Times)
Secret Tucker Carlson Files Reportedly Held By Fox News—As Ex-Producer Claims She Has 90 Recordings Of Her Time On Network (Forbes)