US star conservative host Tucker Carlson leaves Fox News

It’s the end of a conservative collaboration. Tucker Carlson, an iconic Fox News presenter who hosted a much-watched evening show on America’s favorite conservative channel, is stepping down with immediate effect, the channel announced on Monday.

The resounding departure comes amid turmoil for Fox News, which last week was forced to pay nearly $800 million to avoid an embarrassing libel lawsuit over its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” Fox News said in a terse statement. “We thank him for his services to the channel as a host and, before that, as a consultant”, adds the channel. Fox Corporation stock lost nearly 4% on Wall Street around 4:30 p.m. local time.

“Enemy of lies”

At the head of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” since 2016, the fifties had become one of the most influential voices in conservative America, accused by some of popularizing conspiratorial and racist theses.

His Friday show was the last, and he must be replaced, as of Monday, on this strategic slot, at prime time, specifies the channel, property of the media empire of Rupert Murdoch.

Opposed to abortion, great defender of the right to bear arms, the presenter has never hesitated to expose his opinions in a program which claims, on its site, “the sworn enemy of lies”, promising to “pose the questions you would ask and demand answers”. Despite the challenges, he was supported at all costs by Fox News. Until Monday.

Salt addition

Fox News did not give a reason for Tucker Carlson’s departure. But a week ago, the chain had to sign a $787.5 million agreement with the electronic voting machine company Dominion, to avoid a libel lawsuit over the 2020 presidential election.

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The same evening, Tucker Carlson devoted his usual monologues to the Democrats, who would incite young people to violence, before carrying out an interview with the boss of Tesla and owner of Twitter, Elon Musk. At the time of Donald Trump’s indictment, Tucker Carlson denounced “a political purge”, dropping this sentence: “It’s probably not the best time to part with your (assault rifle) AR-15”.

Fox News, launched in 1996 to compete with CNN, remains firmly established as the cable leader in terms of audience ratings. Coincidence of the calendar? CNN also announced on Monday that it was parting ways with one of its star presenters, Don Lemon. The latter had sparked controversy by suggesting that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, was “on the comeback”.

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