‘News you consume is a lie’: Tucker Carlson relaunches on Twitter

Conservative commentator rails against mainstream media in clip announcing ‘new version’ of his top-rated show.

Conservative television host Tucker Carlson has announced plans to relaunch his popular show on Twitter after Fox News fired him last month [File: Richard Drew/AP]

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has announced he will bring a “new version” of his top-rated show to Twitter.

Carlson made the announcement in a clip posted on Twitter in which he railed against the mainstream media in the United States and hailed the social media site as the last remaining major platform that allows free speech.

“At the most basic level, the news you consume is a lie, a lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind,” Carlson said in a three-minute clip posted on Tuesday that has been viewed more than 5 million times.

“Facts have been withheld on purpose along with proportion and perspective. You are being manipulated.”

Carlson, the most-watched host on Fox News until he was sacked last month, said mainstream media organisations were “thinly designed propaganda outlets” and journalists who breached the “limits” imposed on them faced dismissal.

“The rule of what you can’t say defines everything. It’s filthy really, and it’s utterly corrupting,” Carlson said. “You can’t have a free society if people are not allowed to say what they think is true. Speech is the fundamental prerequisite for democracy.”

The conservative commentator said he would relaunch his show and “some other things” on Twitter “soon”.

As the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson became the biggest name in US cable news, regularly drawing more than 3 million nightly viewers with a pugnacious style that took aim at targets ranging from liberal politicians to LGBTQ activists and the CIA.

While hugely popular among conservatives, Carlson’s show drew criticism and attracted advertiser boycotts over its allegedly racist and sexist content.

Carlson was fired by Fox News last month in the aftermath of the network’s $787.5m payout to Dominion Voting Systems over the network’s airing of false claims that the company rigged the 2020 US presidential election.

US media outlets have offered a range of explanations for Carlson’s ouster, including an ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit by an former producer and a racially charged text message to a colleague.

Carlson’s decision to relaunch his show on Twitter comes weeks after he interviewed the site’s owner, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on Fox News.

Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist and longtime critic of liberal bias on Twitter, has made it easier for right-wing voices to proliferate on the platform since buying the company last year for $44bn.

Musk said on Tuesday that Twitter had not signed a “deal of any kind whatsoever” with Carlson.

“Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

“Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (coming soon), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with the content,” Musk said.

Musk added that he hoped that “many others, particularly from the left” would become content creators on Twitter.

Source: Al Jazeera