On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, the Media Research Center led the way in providing reaction to and instant analysis at NewsBusters, online, and on the radio about the bombshell firings of Tucker Carlson by Fox News and Don Lemon at CNN.
This included three spots from MRC Founder and President Brent Bozell, NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham, and NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck on NewsTalk 105.9 WMAL in the Washington D.C. market, the leading conservative station in the nation’s capital and an oasis for conservatives in the Swamp.
Bozell cropped up on Tuesday morning’s O’Connor and Company and didn’t hold back. After exclaiming “what a day” Monday was, he declared “the narrative” around Carlson’s axing seems to be Fox executives “just wanted him out.”
Bozell jokingly called out the alleged internal dismay over Carlson’s personal messages: “What a crock that would be. A private email is a private email...If there is a single person who worked at the Media Research Center who has not sent an email criticizing me, I’m going to dismiss that person.”
As for Lemon, Bozell cut to the chase: “What a trainwreck of a network this is...Licht was brought on to fix a sinking ship and he’s just been poking more holes.”
Earlier in the show, Graham noted the ideological diversity between Fox hosts:
It’s really obvious this is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News...Things can change depending on that the Murdochs want...It is interesting that you had...dramatic changes or differences of opinion from hour to hour. You don’t tend to see that on MSNBC. You don’t tend to see that on CNN.
“I think you can look at this and say, yes, it seems like a big deal, but it’s not something that’s really a threat to Fox in the sense that they let go of Bill O’Reilly, Tucker moved into the space, and then people tend to forget,” he said.
Graham then tied the two together:
With Don Lemon, everybody kind of gets the idea. He was a big diva. You know, everyone gets tired of him...I think, in this case, the tea leaves suggest that all of the internal e-mails and texts that came out in the Dominion case...probably angered them with his imperiousness or something.
As for Lemon, Graham quipped that something “we all wanted to hear” was Lemon “was past his prime” while, at CNN, “it’s the same” from under Jeff Zucker and “has not changed.”
Back to Monday and Houck led off the drive-time show The Vince Coglianese Show with O’Connor as fill-in host. Asked what the day had been like for him, Houck explained:
Oh my gosh, Larry. It was just wild....I can’t remember a day like this where it just kind of goes back and forth. I mean, you know, yes, Brian Stelter being axed? Yes, that was kind of fun, but we were hoping for it for a long time...Chris Cuomo was dumped on a weekend, so that really didn’t have as much of an effect. But Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon on the exact same day? You know, I think it was great to see...a lot of libs dancing about Tucker Carlson, but then find out Don Lemon was fired then too. It just kind of took a little bit of wind out of their sails.
Houck said the longtime CNN host’s firing arrived like “a snowball rolling down the hill, gaining steam — an incoming avalanche” to illustrate CNN boss Chris Licht’s reign thus far as “an absolute failure.”
On Carlson, Houck called it “a difficult story” for Fox with plenty of backlash, especially with subscriptions to its popular streaming site, Fox Nation.
“I don’t think liberals or conservatives...don’t do enough introspection and realize...that people tune into Fox News at 8:00 for Tucker Carlson. They tune in. A lot of young people...tune in...for Tucker Carlson,” Houck said, noting how Fox created “a healthy media ecosystem” with differences of opinion between Carlson and even the host in the next hour, Sean Hannity.