Tucker Carlson’s sudden departure from Fox News last week has left viewers and analysts questioning the motives behind the decision. But, as the dust settles, one thing is clear: Fox News lost more than just Carlson. Instead, the termination of the popular host signals a significant shift in conservative media, as many believe it marks the end of corporate media’s grip on conservative voices.
Carlson’s authenticity and independence made him a unique figure in the media landscape. As Matt Walsh with the Daily Wire pointed out, Carlson’s monologues were news events in themselves, resonating with millions of Americans. Moreover, in contrast to the old guard of conservative pundits like Bill O’Reilly, Carlson’s populist, anti-establishment, and non-interventionist approach resonated with a new generation of conservatives.
Fox News viewing audience falls completely off the cliff after Tucker Carlson firing.
Worse than ever imagined. pic.twitter.com/cNYoWBYmWN
— Big Fish (@BigFish3000) April 29, 2023
By letting Carlson go, Fox News chooses to return to the ways of establishment conservatism, with safe, filtered, and bland broadcasts. While this may shield the network from lawsuits and controversy in the short term, it ultimately spells the demise of Fox News as alternative online media takes over.
Ironically, Carlson’s departure may be a blessing in disguise for conservatives. As more people abandon cable news, it could lead to a greater embrace of alternative media, leaving the insipid programming of cable news to those who pride themselves on being misinformed. Moreover, the emergence of alternative media is a more profound embodiment of American freedom of speech. It allows for diverse voices to be heard and compete for audiences.
As Fox News ratings plummeted after Carlson’s termination, viewers have turned to alternative networks like Newsmax. Eric Bolling, who hosts a show in the same 8 p.m. Eastern slot as Carlson, saw his viewership skyrocket, with 510,000 viewers on Wednesday night compared to 168,000 a week ago. The challenge for Newsmax and other alternative outlets will be sustaining this momentum.
The left’s attempts to control online public discourse have been largely unsuccessful, often resembling a clumsy game of whack-a-mole. However, the threat to free speech and alternative media remains, and conservatives must remain vigilant against censorship and corporate monopolies.
Carlson’s potential move to a new medium that allows him greater freedom to express himself would be a fitting transition. His departure from Fox News may ultimately lead to a win for conservatives. By supporting alternative media and speaking out against falsehoods, conservatives can turn this setback into a victory, further undermining the dominance of corporate media and its influence on the American people.