Anchors away! Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon get the ax


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Tucker Carlson speaking at the 2020 Student Action Summit in Palm Beach County.

Gisele Cestaro, Lead News Editor

On Monday April 24, Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon, two major faces of the broadcast journalism industry, were fired from Fox News and CNN respectively. The news spread quickly, considering they worked at these major stations for several years. While Lemon has been open about his termination, Carlson has framed his severed ties from the network as a mutual decision. People are starting to wonder if the events that transpired were a coincidence given the timing of the network announcements and the controversies both journalists faced. 

Carlson has been widely known to be a Trump-supporting, right-winged journalist, who spreads a lot of information bias and often speaks about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Many conservatives followed him religiously, as he grew in popularity from the publicity Fox News provides. However, it seemed Carlson was putting on a mask for the camera, because after Dominion’s defamation lawsuit which accused Fox of knowingly airing false information about Dominion’s voting system became public knowledge and was settled for well over 700 million dollars in damages, the network immediately cut ties with Carlson. Evidence released in March, for example, showed text messages from Carlson that expressed his hatred for Trump, and how he can’t stand covering him in the media, which stands in stark contrast to his favorable coverage of Trump.

Daniel Block, ‘12, who is now an editor at the magazine Foreign Affairs, says that it makes sense that Carlson was putting on a facade. “One reason is that it was profitable, and saying really pro-Trump things got him a lot of viewers, which was helpful for his ratings, and the amount of money he was able to make, even as advertisers boycott it. The second reason is ideological – even if he didn’t like Trump personally, he could have agreed with his right-wing populist nativist politics, and so for that reason, it was an alliance of convenience.” Block maintained that it could be a combination of both rationales. 

Some are thrilled that Carlson is finally being fired, as he has been known to spread a lot of hate. The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Johnathan Greenblatt, tweeted on Monday, the 24th, “For far too long, Tucker Carlson has used his primetime show to spew anti-semitic, racist, xenophobic, and anti-LGBTQ+ hate to millions.”

Violet Paul, a junior member of BridgeUSA, the political discourse club on campus, thought it was about time Carlson was fired. “I felt like Carlson consistently pushed the limits of what could be said on TV before it became hate speech.” She also maintained that Carlson had to save face as a public figure, which is why he told the public it was a mutual break, which makes it look like he had a say in the matter. 

It’s so tempting to say that they will start up their own independent operations or they’ll join smaller companies, but they will never be as big as they were before

— Daniel Block

Carlson and people at the network were also sued by Abby Grossberg, one of his co-workers, who has allegedly endured sexual harassment and open sexism for years.
Lemon, on the other hand, has become known for his misogynistic and toxic comments towards and about women. Last February, he was put in the hot seat when he said Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate, “wasn’t in her prime.” He then proceeded to talk about when women are in their prime, which according to him, was in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. 

Block was not astonished when he was informed of Lemon’s discontinuation on the network. “I wasn’t surprised. He had been pretty tenuous since the Me Too movement came out, and the comments he made about Nikki Haley,” he said. 

Although Lemon’s misogynistic words seem like enough reason for termination of employment, there is also speculation about whether financial difficulties are involved. According to Forbes, in 2023, cable viewership is at an all time low, with a shocking 34 percent decrease in year-long supporters. Because of this, the network had to do some rearranging, which mainly involved moving Lemon’s shows to the morning instead of his normal nights. 

 The big question for Carlson and Lemon is where they are headed next in the journalism world, and how cable news will be changed. “It’s so tempting to say that they will start up their own independent operations or they’ll join smaller companies, but they will never be as big as they were before,” Block said.