Tucker Carlson plans to relaunch his show on Twitter after being fired from Fox, telling followers that they are “being manipulated” by television news and that Elon Musk’s social media site is the last remaining big platform that “allows free speech”.
In a three-minute video on his Twitter page, Carlson announced that a new version of the show would be “starting soon”, but did not provide further details.
“At the most basic level, the news you consume is a lie,” Carlson said in a tirade against the US media. “You are being manipulated.”
Alluding to his abrupt exit from Fox, he warned that journalists face limits at established media groups and that breaching them too often results in being “fired”.
Carlson was dropped from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News network two weeks ago in a move that shocked US media circles. The host has been among the most-watched personalities on US television, drawing more than 3mn viewers to his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The Twitter video published on Tuesday is Carlson’s second broadside against the US media in as many weeks.
He said: “What’s it like to work in a system like that? After more than 30 years in the middle of it we could tell you stories. The best you could hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can.
“But there are always limits. And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it.”
Carlson’s exit from Fox followed the network’s agreement of a $787.5mn settlement with voting-machine maker Dominion, after broadcasting on-air statements falsely alleging that its devices were rigged to award votes to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
“For the most part, the news that you see analysed on Twitter comes from media organisations that are themselves thinly disguised propaganda outlets. You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter,” Carlson said of his decision to bring his show to the social network.
Fox decided to fire Carlson in part due to private messages he had sent, which were made public in legal filings in recent months, according to people briefed on his exit.
Public legal filings connected to the Dominion case showed Carlson criticising Fox’s management for calling the state of Arizona for Biden on election night before rival networks.
According to the filings, Carlson texted his producer in early November 2020: “Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience? We’re playing with fire, for real . . . an alternative like Newsmax could be devastating to us.”
Musk, a self-declared free speech absolutist, has relaxed content moderation on Twitter since buying the platform for $44bn last October, earning admiration from certain conservative figures including Carlson.
Last month Carlson conducted an exclusive, and friendly, two-part interview with Musk on Fox News, where they discussed topics including Twitter, artificial intelligence and aliens.
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