On Tuesday, weeks after news personality Tucker Carlson stopped appearing on Fox News, the former anchor launched his own show on Twitter.
The first episode of the show had amassed 90.2 million views and 699.7k likes by Wednesday afternoon, according to Twitter’s displayed analytics.
But Axios obtained a letter that reportedly shows Fox News informing Carlson’s legal counsel that he “violated his contract with the network when he launched his own Twitter show on Tuesday.”
Carlson’s lawyer Bryan Freedman issued a statement to Axios saying, “Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events.”
According to Axios, the letter from Fox News to Carlson says his contract prohibits him “from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether ‘over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.’” Carlson’s lawyers reportedly don’t consider Twitter a competitor to Fox News.
What did Tucker Carlson talk about in his first show?
Carlson’s show consisted of a ten minute monologue where he spoke about Russia and Ukraine and criticized the mainstream media coverage of the war.
Carlson also said the mainstream media ignores “the stories that matter” and spoke about a whistleblower named David Charles Grusch who has alleged there is a government program involved in collecting traces of UFOs, per Fox News.
On the UFO program, Department of Defense spokesperson Susah Gough told Fox News there is no “verifiable information to substantiate the claims.”
Carlson said, “it was clear he was telling the truth” and “in a normal country, this news would qualify as a bombshell — the story of the millennium. But in our country, it doesn’t.”
Concluding his monologue, he said he’s on Twitter because he’s told “there are no gatekeepers here.”
The show has tens of millions of views, but the number on Twitter does not necessarily represent how many people watched the video the whole way through.
Why did Fox News and Tucker Carlson part ways?
Carlson, one of the most visible Fox News personalities, left the network after it settled with Dominion Voting Systems, per Deseret News. The lawsuit was over Dominion’s claim that it was defamed by Fox News in their coverage of the 2020 election and the network settled the suit and said it would pay Dominion $787.5 million.
After the story broke of Carlson’s departure, The New York Times said the discovery process in the Dominion defamation trial led to the surfacing of a text message sent by Carlson, which “contributed to a chain of events that ultimately led to Mr. Carlson’s firing.”