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Carlson–Fox Split Sends Shockwaves from Capitol Hill to Hungary

State of the Union: The American Conservative reached out to some of the nation’s prominent conservative politicians and media figures to weigh in on the news.

Bedminster,nj-july,31,2022:,Tucker,Carlson,(c),Jokes,With,Former,President,Trump
(L.E.MORMILE/Shutterstock)

The shakeup at Fox News announced Monday morning—that Tucker Carlson and the network have parted ways—was nothing short of a seismic event for the political and media landscape.

The American Conservative reached out to some of the nation’s prominent conservative politicians and media figures for their reaction to the news that Carlson would no longer be on the air at 8pm Eastern Time.

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“This is a devastating development for Fox News,” Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina told TAC. “Tucker Carlson is compelling and courageous—I and millions of others are eager to see what new forum he’ll bring that critical voice to.”

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is eager to know what’s next for Carlson, too. “Tucker demonstrated there's a market for speaking truth to power that will be satiated—if not at Fox, then somewhere,” he said.

Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio referred TAC to a tweet released in wake of the news with another concise message supporting Carlson: “Tucker is the most courageous person in American media.”

The post was a quote-tweet from a recent live taping Vance did with American Moment’s podcast, Moment of Truth. “Once a week I worry that something terrible will happen to Tucker Carlson, because I think that if it did, we would be in a much, much worse position as a movement,” Vance said. There’s no one in American media “more influential with middle America, more influential with our own base, but also willing to say things that you’re not supposed to say, and so I think Tucker is critically important,” Vance added.

“Tucker is a giant, and the most powerful voice against idiotic wars and an economy that placed plutocrats over workers,” Vance also told the New York Times. “I assume he’ll land on his feet and continue to have a powerful voice. If he doesn’t it will be terrible for the country.”

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Rep. Eli Crane, a freshman from Arizona, told TAC that one of the things he’s realized about Washington D.C. from his short stint in Congress is that “one of the biggest things lacking in this town is courage.” But “Tucker was willing to face down the establishment and the forces in our government working against the American people to reveal the truth,” Crane said. “Fox News has suffered a debilitating loss with his departure. Wherever Tucker goes next, he will continue to be a trusted voice for the American people.”

The news sent shockwaves far beyond Capitol Hill, all the way to the Carpathian Basin. 

Balazs Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s political director and a member of the Hungarian Parliament, weighed in on Carlson’s departure. “Tucker is a tremendous journalist, whose intelligence, integrity, and willingness to question conventional wisdom have earned him respect all over the world,” Orban told TAC. “I had the opportunity to visit Hungary's Southern border with him in 2021 and was impressed by his exceptional ability to fully understand even the most complex policy issues in an instant and break them down in a way that is understandable to his entire audience.”

“Over the years, he has covered a wide range of topics in his show that go beyond everyday politics, and his approach has resonated with people in Hungary, who warmed up to him immediately,” Orban added. “We are excited to see what the next chapter holds for him.”

If Carlson’s departure was felt across the Atlantic, than surely it was felt at Mar-a-Lago. Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social that, “the fact that Tucker Carlson will no longer be on FoxNews is a big blow to Cable News, and to America. Tucker was insightful, interesting, and ratings gold. He will be greatly missed!”

The former president was also interviewed by Newsmax Monday, during which he said the departure “shocked” him. “I’m surprised. He’s a very good person, a very good man and very talented, and he had very high ratings,” Trump said.

Charlie Kirk, founder and CEO of TurningPointUSA and host of The Charlie Kirk Show sees Carlson as a disruptor, and he means it as a compliment. “No single media personality, left, right or center, has challenged the Washington, D.C. uniparty like Tucker Carlson, nor has anyone been as effective at forcing change,” Kirk told TAC. 

“He is the number one ideological threat to the progressive left and the neoliberal right, and because of that, he was their number one target, perhaps even more so than Donald Trump in many respects,” Kirk continued.

“Fox News, conservative media, and the news industry writ large will never be the same again,” Kirk added. “It's impossible to overstate how momentous of a day this is.”

Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire also thinks the establishment has waged a targeted campaign against Carlson. Certainly, efforts to discredit Carlson, and then force advertisers into boycotting the former Fox News host—a shameless, commonly used tactic by the liberal establishment—are testaments to precisely that.

“The most popular cable news host in history is also the most coherently conservative. Is it any wonder the liberal establishment feels an urgent need to shut him up?” Knowles told TAC via Twitter direct message. “For years, and especially on his primetime show, Tucker has asked all the right questions and pushed mainstream public discourse rightward,” Knowles added. “Ultimately, that was a price the establishment could not afford to pay, no matter how high his ratings and profitable his show.”

Saagar Enjeti knows what it's like to work in corporate media, formerly co-hosting the Hill’s web series titled Rising. And he’s one of the few who has been able to successfully use the internet and social media platforms to transition to independence, leaving the Hill to start a show titled Breaking Points. Enjeti got his start in journalism at the Daily Caller, which Carlson co-founded with long-time friend Neil Patel, and his populist-oriented politics is reminiscent of Carlson’s; a TAC profile of Enjeti was subtitled, “Who is this would-be millennial Tucker Carlson—and what does his swift ascent say about political media today?”

Perhaps Carlson may soon find himself on Enjeti’s independent media trajectory. Enjeti doesn't seem too worried about Carlson’s prospects. “Tucker Carlson is the only figure in American pop culture today who was capable of bringing new and original ideas before a mass audience on the antiquated platform of cable news,” he told TAC in a Twitter direct message. “There is no figure outside of Donald Trump more important to the Republican party.”

For Fox News, however, he seems very concerned: "Fox made the biggest mistake in their history."