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Tags: tucker carlson | fox news | firing | viewers | murdoch

Victor Davis Hanson: Fox News Can't Replace Carlson

By    |   Sunday, 30 April 2023 09:15 AM EDT

Fox News is miscalculating in its "emotional" firing of Tucker Carlson, severing ties with an irreplaceable force in new-age populist conservativism, according to Victor Davis Hanson, a fellow at the Hoover Institute.

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Not only is the network disenchanting its audience, it gave the leftist cancel culture activists a victory, and created a 3.5-million viewer vacuum that other conservative networks like Newsmax are going to fill, Hanson told The Telegraph's "Off the Script" podcast this weekend.

"The Murdochs are not quite understanding that when you take away somebody who had a greater potential elsewhere and was a precious asset that anchored your whole evening lineup and you fired him in a fit of pique, or anger without thinking it through, you've got to be very careful, because you're not going to be able to replace a guy like that," Hanson said, warning the modern media is "fragmented" and allows many big names like Joe Rogan, Bill O'Reilly, and Megyn Kelly make their own way without corporate media.

Hanson added "a lot of people are very angry about it" and tuning out of Fox News as it turns left under the growing influence of Lachlan Murdoch.

"Tucker was able to stop the hemorrhaging from One America News or from Newsmax or all of the right rivals," Hanson said, hailing Carlson as "responsible and learned but still can appeal on the same topics" that appeal to the anti-mainstream media crowd.

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"So, I don't know where they get that person, and I think that in the immediate week, it shows."

There has been a ratings crush on Fox News, and networks like Newsmax have taken advantage and will continue to do so, Hanson added.

"There's a big vacuum now," he said. "'There's a 3.5 million person audience and we're going to go after it.'"

New-age independent media like Newsmax, Hanson continued, "they're all trying to say, 'Ah, we're the place where we don't censor you.'"

Disenchanted Fox News viewers have a distaste for leftist censorship and their one-time network is suddenly, a major part of it, warning their hosts to toe the company line after cutting the cord on Carlson, according to Hanson.

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"All of these people are telling them you're vulnerable: 'There's nobody bigger than the Murdochs and News Corp., if you go on the news and you say things and it puts us in legal jeopardy, or you talk about us personally, we're going to fire you — and we fired the unfireable Tucker Carlson, and if you think you're better than Tucker Carlson, try it,'" Hanson said.

"So that's the message, I think."

The problem is the viewers have heard that loud and clear — along with the leftist cancel culture censors they loathe to see get a major victory.

"They're in celebration now: AOC and people are saying things like, 'We don't believe in cancel culture, but we got him canceled,'" Hanson said. "That's what they're saying. They think they took him down.

"They criticized him every day. They said he was a racist. They said he was a transphobe, homophobe, and they think that eventually they got [him].

"They were able to cut his revenues by 30-40% by just boycotts, pressuring corporations that they were going to boycott them if they bought time. And they feel as if that's a paradigm that now is successful. And they're going to use it."

But Fox News just effectively canceled their own ratings, according to Hanson.

"They needed Tucker Carlson to appeal to the new Republican Party," he said. "So, what do I mean by that? He was talking about the absurdity of woke, and I don't know how you can find somebody like that: Who has the ability to articulate those positions but is not crazy.

"Tucker came from one of the wealthiest families in California. He was an aristocrat.

"So for him to come up like that as an aristocrat to become a populist; yet, know how the aristocratic mind works is very unusual."

Carlson's firing was "emotional" and a miscalculation that Fox News was bigger than the host, Hanson contends.

"I don't think there was a serious cause to fire him, other than an emotional one," he said, saying Fox News was taking arrows from Carlson and "felt like it was a betrayal."

"Before they fired him, they thought Fox is bigger than any one anchor. We fired Bill O'Reilly, and guess what? Tucker showed up, and he has the same size audience or bigger.

"And we can do that because people tune into us because of the brand, but I don't think they understand it's not quite like that."

Ultimately, it is death by a thousand cuts.

"It's cumulative — it's like a cut, a cut, a cut, and each one magnifies the prior one," Hanson said.

"So when you get rid of Bill O'Reilly, and you get rid of Megyn Kelly, and you call Arizona too early. And you go up and down and Newsmax and competitors creep in and grab your audience.

"They lost over $800 million in stock. Newsmax has doubled its audience. That 8-9 key eastern time slot has lost about a million viewers, like that.

"I'm not sure that they can find somebody like that to come in," he concluded, "that is funny, affable, and knowledgeable."

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Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Fox News is miscalculating in its "emotional" firing of Tucker Carlson, severing ties with an irreplaceable force in new-age populist conservativism, according to Victor Davis Hanson.
tucker carlson, fox news, firing, viewers, murdoch
Sunday, 30 April 2023 09:15 AM
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