Tucker Carlson, during a talk in Washington in March 2019.Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)
Fox News doesn't want Tucker Carlson on its screen, but it also doesn't want him to be in any competing media or create content for social media. The Rupert Murdoch-owned news channel is accusing its former star presenter of contract breaking for uploading a video of his comments to Twitter, Axios has reported.
The US media has had access to a copy of the letter that the lawyers of the television channel have sent to the presenter. "This afternoon we learned of the appearance of Mr. Tucker Carlson on Twitter in a video that lasted more than 10 minutes," read the letter, as revealed by Axios, which adds that the letter insists that the services of the ultraconservative presenter and commentator are "completely exclusive" to Fox by virtue of the agreement that regulates the relationship between the parties.
Fox said in the letter that, under its contract, Carlson is "prohibited from providing services of any kind, whether 'over the Internet by streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution now known or hereafter conceived."
The response of Carlson's lawyers, according to the US media, is to appeal to freedom of expression and the fact that Twitter is not a direct competitor of Fox News. "Fox defends its own existence based on freedom of expression. Now they want to take away Tucker Carlson's right to speak freely because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current affairs," his lawyers said in a statement.
The Fox News star host was fired in April following the network's out-of-court settlement with Dominion to avoid a defamation lawsuit. Carlson announced a month ago with a three-minute video on Twitter that he would soon launch on the social network a version of the program he had been doing on the news channel. The first chapter is a somewhat delirious and conspiratorial homemade monologue, a fixed shot of more than 10 minutes, where he talks about the war in Ukraine (attacking Zelenski and accusing Kiev of blowing up the Dnieper dam) and aliens, among other things.
Carlson was one of the presenters who aired the hoax of electoral rigging in the 2020 presidential elections. The intercepted internal messages and communications show that Fox anchors and executives did not believe the lie they were giving wings to. Fox News has settled to compensate Dominion with $787.5 million and avoid prosecution in the defamation lawsuit.
The Wall Street Journal, also controlled by Rupert Murdoch, reported that Tucker Carlson had a salary of $ 20 million a year at Fox News. According to Axios, the presenter accused the chain of fraud and breach of contract after his dismissal from the program. The presenter's contract lasts until January 2025 and the intention of the chain was to continue paying his salary to prevent him from signing for another channel.