When the cameras stop rolling, the pro-Trump pundit reveals his disdain for Fox viewers’ favorite politician
New text messages released through Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News reveal just how much Tucker Carlson despised Donald Trump and his allies, despite publicly going to the mat for the former president’s election lies.
“I hate him passionately,” Carlson wrote in a text message to an unknown recipient two days before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, “I can’t handle much more of this.”
In one exchange Carlson calls Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who was repeatedly brought on the network as a guest to promote election conspiracies a “lying fucking bitch.” In another, he agrees with an unnamed sender who states that there’s no “evidence of voter fraud that swung the election,” and that there’s “certainly no evidence the election was stolen. “Yep. All true,” Carlson replied.
Carlson torched the entirety of the Trump administration, writing that while “we’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.” In a separate exhibit filing released last week, Carlson called the former president a “demonic” force.
In another text exchange Carlson and fellow primetime hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham lambast the “news” side of the network as “pathetic” for pushing back against the election claims being aired by the network’s “opinion” anchors. At one point Carlson demands that Fox’s White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich be fired after she publicly fact checked the network’s election claims. “Why would we allow some 27 year old fake reporter to wreck our network,” Carlson writes. Hannity indicates that he forwarded the complaint to network CEO Suzanne Scott.
Despite the private criticism leveled by Carlson against Trump, the Fox host publicly carried water for Trump’s election lies, and still does to this day. On Monday night, Carlson kicked off a multi-day Jan. 6 propaganda blitz by telling his audience that the “2020 election was a grave betrayal of American democracy given the facts that have since emerged about that election. No honest person can deny it.”
Through the Dominion lawsuit, Fox News’ well cultivated culture of blatantly lying to their audience may come back to bite them in the wallet. The network faces more than a billion dollars in potential lawsuits should things go against them. But the reality is that the hosts at the center of Fox’s spin machine likely won’t face any direct consequences. In the words of Ingraham to Carlson and Hannity, “I think the three of us have enormous power…more power than we know or exercise.”