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A high-powered attorney who is representing Tucker Carlson said that his client will not be silenced amid speculative, anonymous reports about Carlson’s future.
In a statement to Axios, Bryan Freedman, a Hollywood-based lawyer, said that “the idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.” The Epoch Times has contacted his office for comment.
While Freedman’s comment was brief, it appears to be the first response Carlson has given in light of reports claiming that Fox News hasn’t actually fired Carlson and is still keeping him under contract. Carlson has not publicly addressed the matter, and a Fox News spokesperson last week didn’t comment on those reports.
When reached for comment Sunday, a Fox News representative directed The Epoch Times to its initial news release announcing Carlson’s departure.
Carlson has only spoken out once after leaving Fox News, posting a 2-minute video in which he said that media companies “actively collude to shut down” topics that do not benefit corporations or elite members of society. He also lambasted the state of the American media landscape and claimed that few outlets are focusing on topics that actually matter to people and instead choose reports and debates that have limited impact.
Because few details have been released about his exit, a number of theories have emerged. At the same time, left-wing nonprofit Media Matters for America has released what it dubbed “FOXLEAKS,” showing Carlson making behind-the-scenes remarks to staffers—prompting Fox News to issue a cease and desist letter to the group late last week.
The letter, sent to Media Matters, said that the footage of Carlson is Fox’s “confidential intellectual property” and that “Fox did not consent to its distribution or publication.” The footage, the letter said, was “unlawfully obtained” and that Media Matters is now “on notice.”
It’s not clear how Media Matters obtained the footage. A spokesperson for Fox News told The Epoch Times last week they would suggest asking Media Matters about how it obtained the footage; Media Matters has not responded to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, that Axios report, while citing “Carlson confidants” and “a close Carlson friend,” claimed he’s trying to start or work for another right-wing media company. It alleged, in part, that Carlson wants to “start a media empire of his own.”
That same report further alleged that Carlson spoke with Twitter CEO Elon Musk about working together in the future. However, no details were given, and Axios did not name its source.
In a sign of things to come, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly criticized the network for its ratings after Carlson’s exit and wrote: “My audience is calling them #Foxweiser.” She was referring to the backlash against Bud Light after it partnered with a transgender influencer, causing sales of Bud to plummet in recent weeks.
She’s also floated the possibility her previous employer leaked the footage to Media Matters. A Fox spokesperson, in a statement to The Epoch Times, has denied that allegation.
“Ask yourself about my theory that this is Fox News doing it to him, that it’s Irina Briganti, who sat there calling through his commercial downtime to look for anything,” said Kelly, referring to Fox News’ senior executive vice president of corporate communications. Briganti, too, has denied those allegations in a statement to Newsmax last week.
The video that Carlson released two days after his departure also drew about 1 million likes and had more than 80 million impressions on Twitter. The show that was named to temporarily replace Carlson, “Fox News Tonight,” posted far fewer ratings during the same 8 p.m. timeslot, according to Nielsen.
A poll shows that Carlson could have a large audience if he launched his own show. A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey of 1,500 eligible U.S. voters found that 36 percent of Americans would “likely” or “significantly likely” watch a Carlson-hosted program.
The lawyer’s statement comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible 2024 presidential contender, responded to Fox News’ decision to part ways with the host
DeSantis, who is widely expected to run against former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, told Newsmax over the weekend that Carlson’s departure was “terrible,” coming about two weeks after the network confirmed the move. No details about why Carlson left have been provided, and Carlson hasn’t issued a public comment about the matter.
“Tucker Carlson is a fantastic individual. His show was fantastic and I think it was terrible that he was fired,” said DeSantis on Friday. “I think there is more to it, I don’t think it was really about Tucker, I think it is about some of this other stuff that is going on with Fox. He was someone who was willing to speak out and challenge the prevailing orthodoxies.”
“He is talented, he is funny and it was a great show,” he added.
The sudden departure of Carlson drew reactions from other 2024 candidates, including Trump. The former president, who was recently interviewed by Carlson, said in late April that he was “shocked” to hear that the former Fox host is gone.
“I was shocked. I’m surprised. He’s a very good person a very good man and very talented and he had very high ratings,” Trump told Newsmax, a cable network that is vying for Fox News’ viewers, at the time. “He’s been terrific especially over the last year or so he’s been terrific to me.”
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