Dominant Fox News host Tucker Carlson does not appear to be losing any sleep over the departure of two of the network’s longtime contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, who left in a huff following the airing of a multi-episode documentary about the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
The New York Times reported that Carlson, who hosts a weeknight news program on Fox News and two shows on the network’s streaming service, Fox Nation, called the departure of the libertarian-leaning Goldberg and Hayes “great news,” telling the paper in a phone interview: “Our viewers will be grateful.”
Both now-former paid contributors updated readers of their online mag, The Dispatch, of the situation in a Sunday post, writing that they left the network because of “irresponsible” people there.
“Fox News still does real reporting, and there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis. But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible,” Goldberg and Hayes wrote.
“A case in point: Patriot Purge, a three-part series hosted by Tucker Carlson,” the continued. “The special, which ran on Fox’s subscription streaming service earlier this month and was promoted on Fox News, is presented in the style of an expose, a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism.
“In reality, it is a collection of incoherent conspiracy-mongering, riddled with factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery and damning omissions,” they added.
“Over the past five years, some of Fox’s top opinion hosts amplified the false claims and bizarre narratives of Donald Trump or offered up their own in his service. In this sense, the release of Patriot Purge wasn’t an isolated incident, it was merely the most egregious example of a longstanding trend,” the pair noted further.
The Times also reported on texts the two men exchanged on Oct. 27 after the first trailer for the series aired.
“I’m tempted just to quit Fox over this,” Goldberg wrote to his business partner.
“I’m game,” Hayes said in response. “Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.”
Goldberg told the Times that he had engaged in some conversations with people at Fox News and was under the impression that the network was trending away from being dominated by former President Donald Trump.
But, he said, “Patriot Purge” was, to him, “a sign that people have made peace with this direction of things, and there is no plan, at least, that anyone made me aware of for a course correction.”
In addition to Goldberg and Hayes, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), the co-chair of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6., has also ripped the series and Fox News, saying the network has provided Carlson “a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on January 6.”
For Carlson, however, the departure of Goldberg and Hayes is a good thing. What’s more, he has had no problems defending the series, which contains interviews with experts and other observers who believe that the Capitol riot was a carefully orchestrated and planned event meant to destroy Trump’s credibility moving forward while simultaneously tarring his ‘MAGA’ movement.
Carlson has also said he believes the FBI was involved as well, and a previous report from the New York Times has confirmed that the bureau had at least one informant in the crowds that day.
“This is not CNN. We work for Fox News. Our bosses don’t pull people off the air just because some screechy little politician doesn’t like what we say,” Carlson told the Times, a reference to the Wyoming Republican.
“Keep in mind that Liz Cheney has not even seen the film that she is so angry about—just the trailer.”
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