Democrats are celebrating Monday’s shocking news that Tucker Carlson and Fox News have parted ways, going after the controversial cable news figure who frequently used his prime-time program to rail against liberal lawmakers and policies and, more recently, promote former President Trump’s claims about the 2020 election.
In a brief statement Monday morning, Fox News announced that Carlson’s final show had taken place the previous Friday. Harris Faulkner, the host of Fox News’s “Outnumbered,” read the news on air Monday, saying that the network and Carlson “mutually agreed to part ways.”
While details of the media divorce remain unclear, Democrats were quick to respond.
“Glad to hear that one of the most divisive, racist and destructive forces on television is off his prime time show,” Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. “Tucker Carlson will not be missed.”
“This program was a sewer of countless lies and hate spewed out every single night. One of the leading election deniers and opponents of democracy in America and abroad will no longer have a primetime platform,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said in a tweet. “That’s a good thing.”
Some Democrats were more terse in their responses: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) tweeted “good riddance,” and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who on Sunday accused Carlson and other Fox News figures of “incitement of violence,” wrote “wow.”
The split between Fox News and Carlson comes less than one week after the network agreed to a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems over Fox’s coverage of former President Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Dominion had accused Fox of airing claims from Trump and others about the voting systems company despite knowing that they were false.
Court filings released before the settlement showed top Fox News executives and hosts — including Carlson — privately dismissing the election fraud claims touted by Trump and his associates. In a text message sent to fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, Carlson said he hated Trump “passionately” and labeled the allegations of election fraud “insane.”
It wasn’t clear on Monday what, if any, connection there was between the settlement or revealed text messages and Carlson’s departure from the network.
But some Democrats drew a line between the two.
“Crazy thought, but maybe it’s time to face some consequences after blatantly lying to millions of Americans and actively eroding democracy for years,” Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter.
“Don’t know for sure if the firing of Tucker Carlson is connected to the lies & accusations of voter fraud perpetrated by Fox News, Trump, & his sycophants against you, Dominion Voting Systems. Thank you for your fight and your lawsuit, you beat the hell out of them, bye-bye @TuckerCarlson!” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in a tweet.
Carlson’s breakup with Fox News marks a victory of sorts for Democrats, who have railed against the network’s coverage. Criticism of Fox News — and Carlson specifically — hit a fever-pitch last month when the now-former host aired footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol while describing the day as “mostly peaceful chaos.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had granted Carlson exclusive access to the footage over Democrats’ strenuous objections.
In a letter to Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Fox News executives last month — days before the footage aired in prime time — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) asked the executive to stop network personalities from amplifying false claims of election fraud and to have them admit they were incorrect to spread such allegations.
The pair specifically singled out Carlson.
“We demand that you direct Tucker Carlson and other hosts on your network to stop spreading false election narratives and admit on the air that they were wrong to engage in such negligent behavior,” Schumer and Jeffries wrote.
In remarks on the Senate floor the same day the letter was sent, Schumer called Carlson “disingenuous” and “dishonest.”
In May 2022, after 10 people were fatally shot in Buffalo by a gunman who reportedly espoused the so-called great replacement conspiracy theory, Schumer sent a letter to Murdoch and network executives asking he “immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called ‘Great Replacement’ theory on your network’s broadcasts.”
The New York Democrat called out Carlson in that instance, as well.
“A recent AP poll found that nearly one third of American adults believe that a group of people is trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains. That same poll found that your viewers are nearly three times more likely to believe in Replacement Theory than other networks,” Schumer wrote.
“This should come as no surprise given the central role these themes have played in your network’s programming in recent years. A recent New York Times investigation found that Tucker Carlson alone amplified this dangerous and unfounded theory in more than 400 episodes of his show,” he added.
Democrats continued that criticism following Monday’s news.
“Tucker Carlson’s anti-immigrant, misinformation-filled rants endangered our communities. I’m glad Tucker Carlson is off the air, but he’s done great damage beaming hate into millions of homes each night. We’ll continue to fight white supremacy in all its forms,” Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) wrote on Twitter.
With Carlson’s exit from Fox News, some lawmakers are now waiting to see whether the network will follow suit with other controversial figures.
“Now they just need to take out the rest of the trash,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said on Twitter.