The media world was shocked on Monday when news broke that popular primetime host Tucker Carlson had been fired by Fox News, but according to former network standout Bill O'Reilly, the star's staffers actually learned their fate while in the middle of preparations for that evening's broadcast.
O'Reilly's explanation of what took place behind the scenes appeared on his blog on Tuesday and painted a devastating picture of what Carlson's production staff experienced.
“Each morning TV News producers around the country hold meetings to figure out what to put on the air,” O'Reilly began.
“On Monday, the Tucker Carlson production team was smack in the middle of their meeting when they learned that their host was not coming to work. Ever again,” O'Reilly continued.
The longtime cable news personality then opined, “Stunning is the appropriate word.”
O'Reilly went on to assess the state of television news, noting that the industry is “a brutal place to work” but adding that the indifference of network bosses to employees seems to have worsened in recent years and saying, “media corporations have no loyalty to anyone but the bank teller.”
Turning his attention to his former network specifically, O'Reilly said, “Fox News is a far different place than it was when I spent 20 years there. And by this time next year, it will be a far different place again, of that I am certain.”
O'Reilly indicated his belief that the shift at Fox News will have a detrimental impact on the GOP in that “[i]t will be much tougher” for the party to get its messages out to voters.
Carlson, for his part, released a short video on Twitter Wednesday in which he, too, decried the current state of American media, saying that “big topics get virtually no discussion.”
“Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them, and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it. Suddenly, the United States looks very much like a one-party state,” Carlson continued.
With that said, however, Carlson offered a message of hope to his fans and followers, saying, “When honest people say what's true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful,” adding, “The liars who have been trying to silence them shrink. They become weaker. That's the iron law of the universe: true things prevail.”
Moving to the subject of what might lie ahead, Carlson asked rhetorically, “Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren't many places left, but there are some. And that's enough.”
Indeed, as CBS News reports, Carlson is already fielding offers from Fox News competitors such as One America News Network and BlazeTV, an outlet run by former Fox News notable Glenn Beck, who said of Carlson potentially joining the enterprise, “You won't miss a beat. And together, the two of us will tear it up. Just tear it up.”
While Carlson has thus far remained mum on where or when he might continue his contributions to the political conversation in America, his intention to remain in the area seemed apparent when he concluded his video message with the reassuring words, “See you soon.”