'Treasure trove of secrets': Why the bitter battle between Tucker Carlson and Fox News could grow even uglier
When former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced that he was bringing his show to Twitter, it may have been, according to media reporters, a violation of a noncompete clause he signed with the right-wing cable news outlet. But fighting Carlson in court may not be worth it for Fox News, as he has an incredibly devoted following on the far right — and those followers may be more loyal to Carlson than to the Fox News/Fox Business brand on the whole.
In an article published by the Daily Beast on May 22, journalist Lachlan Cartwright lays out some reasons why the tensions between Carlson and Fox News are likely to grow even uglier in the months ahead.
"Tucker Carlson and his loyalists have begun an intense pressure campaign against Fox News in the hopes of getting him released from a noncompete clause — and people familiar with the situation tell (the Daily Beast's) Confider the squabble may only get worse as the fired prime-time star may know where some proverbial bodies are buried," Cartwright explains. "A steady stream of leaks about Fox News over the past week, designed to embarrass the network or further undermine its standing with conservative viewers, have come after negotiations between Carlson's lawyers and Fox have stalled out."
READ MORE: Revealed: The text that toppled Tucker Carlson
Noncompete agreements are not uncommon among major media outlets like Fox News. A noncompete says that if one's employment with a company ends, the person will not work for a competitor for a set period of time.
Liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has been a scathing critic of noncompetes, arguing that it is ridiculous to ask a low-paid fast-food worker or a hair stylist to sign such an agreement. Warren favors a nationwide ban on noncompetes.
But there is a huge difference between a fast-food worker signing a compete and a multi-millionaire like Carlson signing one. Major media figures who sign noncompetes and are later fired for whatever reason can, under the agreement, continue to be paid millions for a year or two even though they're no longer working. That's way different from a fast-food worker losing a job in a food court and being asked not to work for another fast-food company.
According to Cartwright, "Fox had been willing to let Carlson appear on a digital platform so long as he stayed off traditional TV — something which they have since backtracked on as the former on-air host announced he's taking his show to Twitter. That stalemate has pushed Carlson and his team to ratchet up the pressure with newly planted stories about his ex-employer."
READ MORE: Fox News' ratings plummet after firing Tucker Carlson
Cartwright adds, "According to people familiar with the situation, Carlson and his team's deep industrial knowledge of the network means they are sitting on a treasure trove of potentially damaging Fox secrets, including revelations about extramarital affairs and workplace misconduct."
READ MORE: Russian state outlet RT reaches out to Tucker Carlson
The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required).
- 'I’m stuck with Fox': Unredacted Tucker Carlson texts highlight post-election turmoil at Fox News ›
- How Tucker Carlson could become even more dangerous after Fox News ›
- Tucker Carlson and Alex Jones exchanged coronavirus conspiracy theories through text messages: report ›