When big and controversial events occur, it's often best to sit back, learn as much as you can, and let the dust settle before commenting.
The time has come.
FOX News parted ways with 8 pm host Tucker Carlson last month. He was leading the charge on allegations the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and a voting machine company. Dominion, was part of the conspiracy. FOX settled out of court, paying Dominion about three-quarters of a billion dollars. As I noted before, there was no way FOX could let this go to trial. The risk of exposing internal secrets and assorted dirty laundry was too much of a risk. Cut the check, pick up the pieces, and move on.
Carlson was the main face of the vote fraud story. Plus internal emails that came out in the pre trial process showed Carlson was tough to handle, abusive, out of control...
Another nail in the coffin was advertisers abandoning his show. Carlson was a dominant number one in his time period, but what good is it if you can't make money from the ratings?
It's unfortunate. Tucker Carlson was a talented young journalist, and I enjoyed his appearances on all of the political panel shows when he was starting out.
It reminded me of the CBS story on President George W. Bush's military service record, or lack of one. Dan Rather was convinced it was true, even if he didn't have the evidence. The only "proof" Rather had was a forged and phony document. The story and the half hearted, at best, apology wrecked Rather's career. He should have known better, but Rather's agenda apparently overwhelmed the truth.
Tucker Carlson has a ton of options. First, he's sitting on all that FOX money. Second, he can form his own company, putting his content on the internet. Others have done it, but there is no way Carlson will have the same clout as he had in prime time on the number one cable news network.
By the way, we'll all be better off when we realize most of the cable "news" on television is not news. It's opinion. Take it for what it's worth, and always remember, the way you can do the most harm to a broadcaster is to hit the "off" switch.
CNN bounced morning news anchor Don Lemon on the same day Tucker Carlson was shown the door.
CNN management took the very opinionated Lemon out of prime time and installed him on a revamped morning show, one that still fails to gain traction. You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube. We know how Lemon feels about everything, and making him an anchor on a straight news show just didn't work. Viewers couldn't trust a word he said because we heard everything he spewed at night.
I read an enormous Walter Cronkite biography several years ago. He was a liberal, but you never knew it. At 6:30 every night, Cronkite took it right down the middle, and he because the "most trusted man in America." Current news broadcasters, this paragraph is what I call a teachable moment. The path to long term success is not in uttering your opinion on everything. It's not dancing on web sites. It's being someone your audience trusts. It might not be flashy, and it might not earn you a ton of money. But, at least you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning. You can walk out of the studio every morning and night and not be ashamed of what you've said or done. It's not about you. It's about the news.
And, there is more. Published reports say Lemon wasn't a team player. There were frequent clashes with co workers, some of which were on the air.
Like Carlson, Don Lemon is sitting on a ton of money. He'll be okay. I wonder, however, about his options. Don Lemon is damaged goods tight now. It might be a while before we see him again.
But, we are a country of second chances.
I should also note the recent passing of singer Gordon Lightfoot. 84 years old. Folk music was never really my genre, but "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was a haunting masterpiece.