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Tucker Carlson assured his viewers that the rumors are not true and he is not leaving Fox News Channel.
The host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” addressed a recent whirlwind of speculation about his departure from the network where he has enjoyed unprecedented ratings success in the months leading up to the election. Though Carlson did not reference the blowback against Fox News, especially following Election Day coverage, he did note the many phone calls coming in about his show, which he insisted is “not going anywhere.”
As a number of Fox News anchors and hosts have noticeably pushed back on some claims by President Donald Trump and his campaign about contested election results, the network’s once-loyal viewers began to voice their anger.
After several examples of a seeming shift in tone in the network’s coverage of the president, Fox News viewers began an exodus to other sources such as Newsmax, and many wondered if Carlson would be joining them. A Facebook post on November 15 set off a wave of rumors after a screenshot of a fake Parler post declared the host was leaving and “starting at NewsMax next month.”
(Source: Fox News)
“Good News,” the caption on Facebook read. “TUCKER CARLSON IS MOVING TO NEWS MAX. WHERE THE TRUTH PREVAILS.”
“The American people spoke their truth. Fox News is over,” the screenshot in the post read. “I’ll be starting at NewsMax next month.”
Facebook flagged the post as “false information,” but it took off on social media, eventually prompting PolitiFact to investigate and deliver a “Pants on Fire” rating for being completely false.
“Avid viewers of Tucker Carlson’s nightly program on Fox News are in luck: The host is not leaving the network, despite rumors swirling on social media,” the outlet reported. “The Facebook post is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!”
Carlson himself addressed the rumors on Monday.
“Before we get to the next segment, a quick note about the show,” he said.
“Over the weekend we got a lot of calls asking if we’re leaving Fox News. Ironically, at that very moment, we were working on a project to expand the amount of reporting and analysis we do in this hour across other parts of the company,” he told viewers.
“This show is not going anywhere. It’s getting bigger. The people who run Fox News want more of it, not less, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson assured his fans. “We’ll have specifics soon, but as always, thank you for your trust in us. We’ll do our best to be worthy of it.”
With contentious on-air interviews, reports unfavorable to the president and especially with the decision to accept Democrat nominee Joe Biden as president-elect, Fox News has come under fire from its audience even before its premature call of Arizona for Biden the night of the election.
Trump supporters chanted “Fox News sucks” at a rally in Washington, D.C. over the weekend and many expressed their disgust with host Leland Vittert for a rude and explosive interview with the Trump campaign’s Erin Perrine.
Leland Vittert’s explosive, unprofessional and RUDE interview will not win ANY Fox News fans back https://t.co/R2UnbCDUQF
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 15, 2020
The departure of scores of angry Fox News viewers took a noticeable toll on the network’s ratings and have sparked open criticism from prominent voices such as conservative talk show legend Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh blasted Fox News in a recent radio segment for forgetting their audience in the current quest to befriend their “enemies.”
“You do not turn on your base. You do not turn on your audience unless you’ve had some kind of — you just don’t — you don’t do it for the sake of the approval of your enemies,” he added. “You don’t turn on the people who got you where you are because you would rather be friends with other people. You just don’t do it. And that appears to be what’s happened here.”
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