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Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s Twitter post announcing he would be bringing his show to Twitter was the No. 1 post for the week, according to an analysis.
His post and video accumulated around 900,000 likes and nearly 200,000 retweets as of Saturday afternoon, Forbes magazine said, adding that the post beat out everyone else on the platform for the time. It outperformed Korean pop superstars BTS, which posted a photo of one of its members that got 530,000 likes, and Taylor Swift, who posted an update from her tour that generated some 463,000 likes.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk also fell behind Carlson’s post. Musk’s post announcing that a new CEO—NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino—would take over Twitter generated some 408,000 likes, according to the analysis.
In the video, Carlson offered no details about why he left Fox News but suggestively said that journalists have to self-censor in order to keep their jobs. In response to Carlson’s video and rumors, Musk responded to the former Fox News host’s post and said he had “not signed any deal whatsoever” and signaled Carlson would be subject to the same content moderation rules as any other user on the platform.
“Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” Carlson stated, adding that other mainstream news outlets are “thinly disguised propaganda outlets.” “You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter,” Carlson said.
“The result may feel like a debate, but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge,” he said. “We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works and we’re sick of it.”
Continuing, the former Fox host said that “there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world is Twitter,” Carlson said. Then he added, “If you bump up against the limits [in the news business] you will be fired for it.” Toward the end of the clip, he did include a mention of his new website, TuckerCarlson.com, which asked users to sign up for email alerts.
An initial news release issued by the Rupert Murdoch-owned network stated that it had parted ways with Carlson, thanked him for his work at the company, and announced a new 8 p.m. show that has a rotating cast of hosts. Since Carlson’s departure, that program, however, has only generated a portion of the audience that Carlson drew last month and in all of 2022 when he routinely averaged over 3 million viewers per episode.
Carlson’s decision to move to Twitter might be a way to circumvent Fox News’ contract with him amid reports that he cannot move to another network or outlet until January 2025. Responding to those reports, a lawyer for Carlson, Bryan Freedman, told Axios this week that “the idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous,” while Fox has not commented on reports of a dispute.
When reached for comment about the claims in Axios and other outlets earlier this week, a Fox News spokesman redirected The Epoch Times to the initial news release announcing Carlson’s departure.
Fox News has not publicly commented on why Carlson departed. However, one executive suggested to Variety magazine that it may be due to advertisement revenue—coming after a number of large corporate sponsors had left Carlson’s show over perceived controversial statements he made on the air.
“We have had over 40 new advertisers come into the hour since we launched the new program, including some of the largest in the country and, really, across all major categories,” Fox News Vice President for Advertising Sales Jeff Collins told the magazine. “We have seen new advertisers come in, and new demand.”
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