The fight between Fox News and Tucker Carlson took a nasty twist.
Fox News finds itself in its feels.
And Fox News is going to regret one unthinkable phone call about Tucker Carlson.
As Black Eye Politics reports:
When Fox News took Carlson off the air, management intended on paying out the remainder of his contract — reportedly $25 million which runs through the end of 2024 — to keep Carlson on ice and prevent him from taking his show to a rival network.
Keeping Carlson from broadcasting his show elsewhere became an existential problem for Fox News when Carlson’s firing induced a mass exodus of viewers from Fox.
Ratings across the board are down and plummeted nearly 60 percent in Carlson’s old 8 p.m. time slot.
But what took everyone by surprise was Carlson posting a video on social media announcing he would re-launch his show as a livestream on Twitter.
Carlson’s lawyers argued a May 3 phone call from Fox News counsel Viet Dinh to a close Carlson associate where Dinh supposedly admitted Fox News was responsible for a series of leaked text messages designed to embarrass Carlson constituted a breach of contract.
The Daily Caller reports:
Fox News’ Chief Legal Counsel Viet Dinh allegedly called a close associate of Carlson’s on May 3 asking to have a message relayed to Carlson. Dinh expressed regret at how the previous week had played out in the media, according to two sources, reassuring Carlson’s camp that Fox News had “not authorized” the leaks that led to several negative headlines. Sources say Dinh also relayed that the head of Fox News PR, Irena Briganti, had been warned she would be “fired” if she were caught leaking. Critically, he also confessed, according to the sources, that the network’s leaders suspected a member of the board of directors had been speaking to the press about Tucker without authorization.
Carlson’s lawyer Bryan Freedman slammed a member of the Fox News board of directors — who Carlson’s team believes to be Anne Dias — for leaking these texts about Carlson to the media.
“It strains credulity that, immediately after agreeing to pay almost $780 million to settle serious allegations of misconduct that a member of Fox’s Board of Directors would be engaging in an attempted smear campaign by illegally leaking information about Tucker Carlson,” Freedman told The Daily Caller. “However, we have to trust that it is true when the Chief Legal Officer informs Tucker that he believes it to be the case.”
Fox News could choose to fight Carlson broadcasting his show on Twitter.
But that could open Fox News up to a lawsuit that could produce even more embarrassing text messages and emails as part of the discovery process.
And it may end up being that Fox News has no choice but to fold and not contest Carlson launching a show on Twitter.