Tucker Carlson, Twitter Public Access Show Breach Contract: FOX "News"
Tucker Carlson unveiled his social media public access show on Twitter - just in time for FOX "News" to claim that he's breached his contract.
We would be lying if we said that this wasn't exactly the kind of "Freddy vs. Jason" face-off that we were hoping to sit back & eat Red Vines to. By now, we all know that FOX "News" and Tucker Carlson parted ways back in April – though considering it looked like Carlson was expecting to be back on the air the following Monday, it was safe to assume that FOX "News" did most of the ways-parting. Since that time, Carlson released a weird, almost manifesto-like video that seemed to be aimed at… someone? And then there was the matter of those "leaked" videos that made their way to Media Matters, not exactly showing Carlson in the greatest of lights (even worse than what he was presenting every night) – including trashing FOX "News'" own streaming service. And then there were the rumblings that Carlson was looking to call out his old boss – for what and with what still remains a mystery. On their end, there were rumblings that the "news" network had a "dirt file" on Carlson that it would be more than happy to share with others – if needed. And then, Carlson took things to the next level by announcing a show that would be coming to Twitter "starting soon" (a show on Twitter but not affiliated with Twitter, which Elon Musk made a point of pointing out). Well, Carlson's creepy public access social media s**tshow finally hit Twitter on Tuesday – and now, on Wednesday, Axios is reporting (based on an obtained letter) that FOX "News" has notified Carlson's legal folks that their client is in violation of his contract.
In a statement released to Axios, Carlson's lawyer, Bryan Freedman, argued that FOX "News'" action is a violation of Carlson's First Amendment rights. "FOX defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson's right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events," said Freedman. For their part, Carlson's team is accusing FOX "News" of fraud and countered that FOX "News" broke the contract when senior executives reportedly back-peddled on promises to Carlson in ways that were "intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth." In addition, Carlson's attorneys take issue with FOX "News" settling the Dominion Voting Systems case in a way that "would indicate wrongdoing" on the ex-primetime host's part. According to a source familiar with all of this awesomeness, Carlson's legal team also takes issue with the challenge since they don't consider Twitter to be comparable competition to FOX "News."
According to the Axios report, FOX "News" General Counsel Bernard Gugar sent a letter to Carlson's lawyers not long after the first episode of Carlson's new show hit Twitter earlier this week, making the charge that Carlson "is in breach" with his current contract with the rumored news channel. "In connection with such breach and pursuant to the Agreement, FOX expressly reserves all rights and remedies which are available to it at law or equity," the letter reportedly stated at one point. "This evening, we were made aware of Mr. Tucker Carlson's appearance on Twitter in a video that lasted over 10 minutes," the letter read. "Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Mr. Carlson's 'services shall be completely exclusive to FOX."
In terms of Carlson's Twitter video manifesto, FOX "News" offers a reminder in the letter that Carlson is "prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether 'over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised'" – and as far as they're concerned, Carlson's Twitter lovefest falls under the banner of "prohibited." One of Axios' sources shared that FOX "News" believes that it's been handling things on the up-and-up when it comes to finding a resolution to the matter – though another source tells Axios that FOX "News" is perfectly fine with Carlson wallowing in obscurity on the media sidelines until 2025. Ouch. In pop culture years, it might as well be 2087.