Many astute businesspeople we know, who are former fans of Fox News, have been perplexed by the carpet-bombing of Tucker Carlson by the various outlets that are part of
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Settle and move on is what big media and other big businesses typically do when management and top talent part ways, but that is not what Fox is doing, so what IS going on?
We say "part ways" because it isn't entirely clear what Tucker's status is with Fox, other than he's definitely off the air.
Our friends at Ace of Spades HQ may have the answer.
The Wall Street Journal, The UK’s Daily Mail, and the New York Post – all owned by Murdoch – published hit pieces on Tucker Carlson in the days after the top host on cable news and his network employer parted ways. The smear that Carlson was somehow involved in the harassment of a former Fox employee, that her own lawyer admitted he never met, was repeated ad nauseum in Murdoch outlets.
Part of the motivation for those hits may be political. It is very well known that Rupert Murdoch and the top management of Fox, including son Lachlan and Board member Paul Ryan, dislike Christian conservatives and were extremely unhappy with Tucker Carlson’s regular framing of the spiritual war going on in America in terms of good and evil. Smearing Tucker Carlson by associating him with claims of sexual harassment and anti-Semitism that Fox’s own lawyers say are unfounded undercuts Tucker Carlson’s moral authority.
Editors Note: Some may find language in a few of the following paragraphs offensive.
However, our friends at Ace of Spades HQ one of our favorite sources of conservative/libertarian thought and humor has a completely different take based on inside knowledge of the backlot at Fox News.
According to the Ace of Spades HQ’s reporting, “fire and smear” is a standard Fox tactic. “They're not just firing Tucker, they are trying to make sure that the man they just fired can never secure work elsewhere,” Ace reported.
And, it turns out there’s even a high-level employee whose job it is to implement that tactic, Irena Briganti, Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications at Fox.
Apparently, Irena Briganti's big move is to leak damaging smears to a friendly reporter, and then have that reporter quote her as saying, "Fox News does not comment on personnel files."
Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who left Fox in circumstances akin to a low-level nuclear blast, is no fan of Ms. Briganti and the tactics the Fox communications department uses against former employees and insider critics.
You can read Megyn Kelly’s take here, the short version is Irena Briganti, is a Fox News flack who Kelly said “is known for her vindictiveness.”
Now, let’s bring the reporting by our friends at Ace of Spades HQ, the departure of Tucker Carlson from Fox and the Dominion vs. Fox lawsuit around to its nexus – Irena Briganti.
It was widely reported that one of the reasons Fox found for settling with Dominion was that the network didn’t want a huge trove of insider emails and text messages disclosed at trial.
And that included a message in which Tucker Carlson allegedly called a female senior executive the “c-word.”
As the Wall Street journal reported:
Several weeks ago, as Fox News lawyers prepared for a courtroom showdown with Dominion Voting Systems, they presented Tucker Carlson with what they thought was good news: They had persuaded the court to redact from a legal filing the time he called a senior Fox News executive the c-word, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Carlson, Fox News's most-watched prime-time host, wasn't impressed. He told his colleagues that he wanted the world to know what he had said about the executive in a private message, the people said. Mr. Carlson said comments he made about former President Donald Trump--"I hate him passionately"--that were in the court documents were said during a momentary spasm of anger, while his dislike of this executive was deep and enduring.
Tucker was having none of it and declared, "I want people to know who I called that," because it was Irena Briganti. Here’s a link to another Megyn Kelly take on why Tucker may have used that slur against Irena Briganti.
According to Ace’s reporting, the best theory is that Irena Briganti released that personnel file dirt on Carlson because she was the object of his ire.
As Ace put it, everyone in media including the leftists who hate Fox, understand perfectly well that she is a "c*nt." Fox News didn't hide that information to protect an executive; they buried that fact to make things look bad for Tucker.
Because if the story were "Tucker called Irena Briganti a c*nt," everyone would say, "Well that's fair, innit?"
So, they're trying to pretend he called some other, less vicious executive a "c**t."
There’s a lengthy backstory on all of Ms. Briganti’s “c-word worthy” activities at Fox, most of which involve devious and vindictive ways of censoring and controlling the network’s on-air talent through a secret list of “Unsayable Words,” however, you will have to go to Ace of Spades HQ for all the details because we’re up against our 500-word fair use limit using Ace’s material.
By the way, if you haven’t seen Tucker’s monologue, posted to Twitter during his old timeslot a few days after his departure (which crushed Fox ratings BTW) it is worth watching.
Dominion lawsuit Fox settlement
Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch
Abby Grossberg discrimination lawsuit
senior executive producer Justin Wells
January 6 tapes
Irena Briganti, Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications