Tucker Carlson is back – on Twitter.
The best wing TV personality said in a video on his Twitter feed Tuesday that he’s relaunching his show on the social media platform, which is owned by Elon Musk. Carlson was abruptly fired from his prime time post at Fox News weeks ago, shortly after the network paid a settlement to Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation lawsuit.
In a 3 minute video, Carlson – who has worked for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News – berated the mainstream media for allegedly lying to the general public. He told viewers: “You’re being manipulated.” Carlson also said Twitter is not partisan.
“Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining on the planet, the just one, is Twitter, where we at the moment are,” Carlson said in Tuesday’s video. “Twitter has long served because the place where our national conversation incubates and develops. Twitter will not be a partisan site, everybody’s allowed here, and we predict that is an excellent thing.”
A Fox representative didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. A Twitter spokesperson responded with a poop emoji when asked for comment on Tuesday.
“On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, persons are capable of interact, critique and refute whatever he or anyone may say,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. He added “we now have not signed a deal of any kind by any means. Tucker is subject to the identical rules & rewards of all content creators.”
“I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also decide to be content creators on this platform,” Musk said within the tweet.
Carlson’s shift to Twitter comes as former President Donald Trump is running for election again in 2024. Within the wake of President Joe Biden’s overcome Trump in 2020, each media outlets and social media platforms are contending with the spread of false claims about essentially the most recent election.
Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle Dominion’s defamation lawsuit that the network and its hosts spread false claims concerning the election. Fox faces an identical lawsuit with voting machine tech company Smartmatic USA.
Carlson has not publicly addressed his firing from Fox News, although he broke his silence days after he was booted from the network, also in a video posted on his Twitter feed. “If you take a little bit day off, you realize how unbelievably silly the debates you see on television are, they’re completely irrelevant,” he said during his April 26 video.
Since then, various media reports have emerged saying that text messages from Carlson, including a racist remark about how “white men” fight, sealed his fate at Fox. The texts were unearthed throughout the discovery process within the Dominion defamation case.
In recent days, unredacted portions of evidence from the Dominion lawsuit have come out in media reports, which have also said Carlson was pushing the network to let him find his own platform. Carlson was reportedly in a contract dispute with Fox, which is alleged to last through 2025, and was said to have had discussions with Musk.
Carlson’s last show on Fox aired on Friday, April 21. The next Monday, Fox said in a press release: “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a bunch and prior to that as a contributor.”
Fox has seen its prime-time rankings dip since Carlson’s exit, although top advertisers have returned to the timeslot for the network. Carlson’s program was amongst one among the best rated cable TV segments. Fox still touts being the top-rated cable news network, which CEO Lachlan Murdoch noted on Tuesday’s earnings call with investors.
Meanwhile, much smaller networks like Newsmax have seen a stark increase in viewership since Carlson has gone off Fox’s air, based on Nielsen rankings data.
In his last week on Fox News, Carlson hosted Musk on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Throughout the interview, which aired over two nights, Carlson asked Musk whether he thought Twitter would weigh heavily in future elections because it had for Trump. “I feel it would play a major role in elections, not only domestically but internationally,” Musk told Carlson.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery’s CNN will hold a live town hall with Trump. The network has vowed to carry Trump accountable, with CEO David Zaslav saying because the Republican frontrunner, Trump must be on air.
–CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this text.