In the latest episode of Tucker on X—which is apparently still happening—Tucker Carlson spoke candidly to Barstool president and alleged sexual predator Dave Portnoy on Thursday about the circumstances surrounding his termination at Fox News earlier this year. And, in line with the numerous reports about Carlson’s misogyny in the workplace, he blamed the company’s women leadership for his departure.
“Did you feel like at Fox you could say whatever you want?” Portnoy asked Carlson.
Carlson replied, “Well, there was always internal—I mean, the Murdochs were always nice, they never got in my way at all. … But there were, you know, small-mind—it’s a company run by fearful women. You know what I mean?” Hm!
He continued, “There were always like, you know, second-tier people who were hassling my producers. But no one ever called me. I got along with everybody, but I mean, I think they knew like, the censorship, [I] don’t welcome that. You know? So, they never actually got in the way of anything.”
Carlson’s comments on the “fearful women” who run Fox are an apparent dig at Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, who was appointed to the position in 2018 to right the ship following the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding previous CEO Roger Ailes. It was during this period that a whole trove of sexual misconduct at the network came to light, including scandals involving former stars Eric Bolling and Bill O’Reilly. Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and other Fox News stars all publicly accused Ailes of sexual harassment, which sounds pretty contrary to Carlson’s characterization of women at Fox News as “fearful.”
Now, I’m not here to defend any of the women at Fox News as human beings, but surely the fact that Carlson had only good things to say about the Murdochs while blaming everything wrong with Fox on its timid little women leaders is… telling. This, after Media Matters published a report in May compiling a range of disturbing, sexist or overly sexual comments Carlson made, both on-air and to his colleagues. He’s referred to women as “cunty,” “yummy,” and a “pig.” He’s accused Hillary Clinton of trying to “castrate” all men. He’s defended statutory rape and joked (?) about fantasizing about sex with minors. He recently recounted his own mother’s death with a shrug. And in June, a female former producer on his show who sued the network over the sexist environment that Carlson facilitated was awarded a $12 million settlement.
The circumstances of Carlson’s departure from the network have been relatively mysterious and hotly contentious since April. Carlson was terminated from Fox shortly after the network settled its hugely costly legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems, which sued Fox for $1.6 billion (and received $787 million) for allegedly knowingly spreading lies about Dominion’s voting machinery. Carlson’s camp has said he was forced out of Fox as part of the network’s settlement, a claim that Fox disputes. In the aftermath of his termination, numerous texts and comments by Carlson were leaked to the media, including the aforementioned reports that Carlson had referred to a female executive at the network as a “cunt.” Since at least May, Carlson’s legal team has reportedly been arguing with Fox’s lawyers that the non-compete in his still-active contract is void with his termination, but the network has continued to fight back, challenging his right to film Tucker on X.
Despite all of this, Carlson has maintained deep public respect for the Murdoch family, in sharp contrast with his misogynistic comments on women at the network. “I even told them as they were firing me, like, ‘It’s your business.’ I made a mental note. Never work for anyone else again and I never will,” he told Portnoy. “But I can’t be mad about it. I mean, they were great to me. The Murdochs were always nice to me and one day, for whatever reason they had enough. So, I wasn’t—my feelings weren’t hurt.”