Rupert’s ex-fiancé called Tucker ‘a messenger from God’ following intimate dinner just before the axe; report

Since Fox News made the shocking decision to axe its most popular, most influential primetime host, Tucker Carlson, the rumor mill has been running on overdrive, with speculators citing the former host’s airing of previously unseen Jan. 6 videos, the network’s $787 million settlement of Dominion Voting’s defamation lawsuit, and even a nefarious plot by the Murdochs to keep former President Donald Trump out of the White House as possible explanations for a move that many say spells the death of the conservative cable outlet.

But according to one source, the abrupt firing of Carlson has less to do with politics than it does with piety.

Tucker Carlson was silenced — not fired, as Fox is still paying him — the source told Vanity Fair, because Fox Corp. chair Rupert Murdoch doesn’t like it when people talk about things like God and praying for the nation, and Carlson did both during a speech he made on Friday at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary gala.

Carlson said he “grew up in the shallowest faith tradition that has ever been invented” as an Episcopalian, but, “as an observer” of policies that promote abortion and the mutilation of young children in the name of transgender rights, it is clear that we are fighting a battle against “evil.”

“We should stop engaging in these totally fraudulent debates, where we are using the terms that we used in 1991 when I started at [The Heritage Foundation], as if maybe I could just win the debate if I marshaled more facts,” Carlson told the crowd in his keynote speech. “I’ve tried. That doesn’t work.”

“And two, maybe we should all take just 10 minutes a day to say a prayer about it,” he continued. “I’m serious. Why not?”

“And I’m saying that to you not as some kind of evangelist, I’m literally saying that to you as an Episcopalian, the Samaritans of our time,” he stressed. “I’m coming to you from the most humble and lowly theological position you can. I’m literally an Episcopalian.

“And even I have concluded it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future,” Carlson said, “and I hope you will.”

According to Vanity Fair’s source, “That stuff freaks Rupert out. He doesn’t like all the spiritual talk.”

Evidently, he especially doesn’t like it when it comes from his fiancée.

The 92-year-old called off his two-week engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman writes, after Smith suggested to people that Carlson was “a messenger from God.”

Sherman continues:

Murdoch had seen Carlson and Smith discuss religion firsthand. In late March, Carlson had dinner at Murdoch’s Bel Air vineyard with Murdoch and Smith, according to the source. During dinner, Smith pulled out a bible and started reading passages from the Book of Exodus, the source said. “Rupert just sat there and stared,” the source said. A few days after the dinner, Murdoch and Smith called off the wedding.


Tossing Carlson under a bus, the source suggested, could be little more than a vindictive swipe at the media mogul’s ex.

“By taking Carlson off the air,” Sherman writes, “Murdoch was also taking away his ex’s favorite show.”

Canceling his wedding and firing his biggest ratings draw “is part of a string of erratic decisions [Murdoch] has made of late,” Sherman states, and they are calling into question the aging man’s ability to lead “his media empire.”

Citing two sources, Sherman claims, “Fox settled with Dominion moments before the trial was set to begin because Fox’s lawyers didn’t want Murdoch to testify in public.”

According to the second source, lawyers for Fox told the executives that Murdoch would be “disgraced on the stand, run out of the boardroom, and his testimony will expose him as a lunatic sliding into senility.”

So the question now becomes, was Carlson’s termination for political purposes, or was it the equivalent of an old man yelling “Get off my lawn!”?

According to the source close to Murdoch, painting the billionaire as a “lunatic” would be a mistake.

“Rupert,” the source said, “was very well prepared to testify.”

Still, the notion that Murdoch is against on-air “God” discussions isn’t news to former Fox News host, Glenn Beck, despite the network’s openly faithful (but less influential) hosts such as Harris Faulkner and Shannon Bream.

Following Carlson’s dismissal, Beck recalled that Fox News actually kept a running tally of the number of times he mentioned “God” during his broadcasts.

“When I was at Fox News, I was told not to use the word ‘God’ on the air. They COUNTED how many times I disobeyed,” Beck tweeted. “I don’t know if Tucker Carlson’s speech about God and prayer was the final straw, but I have a feeling it DEEPLY bothered Rupert Murdoch.”

Melissa Fine


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