The very landscape of conservative media could be irrevocably altered if a new report is to be believed.
According to Axios, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is done playing defense and is gearing up to put some genuine pressure on Fox News to let him free from his contract.
To preface this, since Carlson’s unceremonious firing from the suddenly-struggling news network, there have been reports circulating that Fox News would use contractual obligations to tie up Carlson well through the 2024 elections. Axios reported that Fox News would be willing to pay Carlson $20 million a year to not work for the duration of his deal, which runs through January 2025.
Given Carlson’s firebrand personality, it’s little surprise that the prospects of being forced to the sidelines aren’t sitting well with him or his legal representation.
“The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous,” Bryan Freedman, Carlson’s lawyer, told Axios.
Indeed, Axios is reporting that Carlson is “preparing to unleash allies to attack Fox News” in an effort to pressure them into letting Carlson out of his current deal.
As to what Carlson’s plans are if/when his attack campaign against Fox News is successful, there have already been reports of Fox News competitors offering Carlson a hefty salary to come and work for them.
There’s also been a report that Carlson is wanting to moderate an independent GOP presidential debate — possibly even headlined by former President Donald Trump.
But Axios noted that Carlson’s ambitions may be far, far grander than moderating a debate or working for another conservative media outlet.
The outlet is reporting that Carlson may want to “start” his own “right-wing rival” to Fox News, and that may take the form of a “direct-to-consumer” platform, where Carlson’s most ardent fans can just pay him directly for his content.
Axios is also reporting that Carlson has had “a conversation” with Twitter head honcho Elon Musk about “working together,” but nothing remotely concrete has materialized from that yet.
One interesting tidbit from this new report is that, in perhaps a counter-measure to the reported “oppo file” of dirt that Fox News has on Carlson, the former network host also has his fair share of dirt on his ex-employers.
Carlson “knows where a lot of bodies are buried, and is ready to start drawing a map” one source told Axios.
The former cable news host also has a host of pro-Trump allies ready to leap into battle.
“They’re coming to him and saying: ‘Do you want me to hit Fox?”’ one source said. “He’s been saying: ‘No. I want to get this done quiet and clean.'”
“Quiet and clean” appears to have melted away after Fox’s shenanigans have continued.
“Now, we’re going from peacetime to Defcon 1,” that same source added. “His team is preparing for war. He wants his freedom.”
If Carlson does indeed successfully break away from Fox News, it will set up a fascinating showdown between him and his former employers.
Fox News has suffered dramatically in the wake of Carlson’s ouster, but is still the largest conservative-leaning network out there.
Carlson, as evinced by the raucous reactions he still receives, could be the one-man army that could topple Fox News — or at least knock it off its perch.
He just needs to get out from under their legally binding thumb first. And it appears Carlson is ready to start slinging mud to accomplish that.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.