The Media Purge

This week’s media purge would make even Stalin proud. Tucker gone. Don Lemon gone. And of a lesser note, Nate Silver gone from ABC News.

Good ol’ ADL, never passing on the opportunity for self-promotion:

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, praised Fox News’ decision, saying it is “about time” and that “for far too long,” Carlson has “used his primetime show to spew antisemitic, racist, xenophobic and anti-LGBTQ hate to millions.”

The ‘official’ story in the case of Lemon and Tucker is that they were fired for sexual harassment claims. Did they engage in sexual harassment? Maybe. Was this the actual reason they were fired? Almost certainly not.

Bill O’Reilly hosted the The O’Reilly Factor until 2017 even though his sexual harassment claims are the stuff of legend, with accusations going back as far as 2004 and Fox paying up $13 million in 2017. Although he was finally fired in 2017 citing sexual harassment, it’s obvious this was not a new development. At some point, Fox saw that it had had enough, but this was over a decade later. If Fox wanted, they could have easily kept Tucker longer.

Lemon’s firing was within an hour after Tucker’s firing. I am guessing in the case of Lemon, CNN saw that it no longer had to compete with Fox for ratings given that their shows were in close proximity, so they fired Lemon to save money (and over chronically low ratings and poor reviews).

Despite decent ratings, maybe Tucker was too much of a legal liability, following the $787 million Dominion settlement. Or with the ‘Trump era’ having closed, Covid over, and Biden likely to run against DeSantis, who is preferable over Trump, Fox wants to get back to its neocon roots. It had no use for someone like Tucker anymore.

But Tucker’s show was presumably profitable as evidenced by how Fox News stock fell on the news, and the extremely short notice almost certainly leads me to think it was related to the Dominion settlement, not sexual harassment. If the breakup is amicable and planned, usually there a final episode that concludes the series, so as to not leave viewers hanging. As this purge shows, no one is safe from cancellation. It does not matter how famous or successful you are.