Tucker Carlson dished what appears to be some inside scoop on Fox News’ “Wannabe Dictator” chyron dust-up – the first time he’s so much as acknowledged the existence of his former network on “Tucker on Twitter” – then used the offending notion as the basis for his entire monologue about President Joe Biden.
Fox has sent letters to Carlson’s lawyer, including a strongly worded cease-and-desist, claiming his Twitter show, now on its fourth episode, is in direct violation of his contract, which is still in place through 2025. Carlson’s legal team believes he’s in the clear because Twitter is not a Fox competitor – but the network might want to see what kind of do-not-disparage and do-not-disclose language is in that document.
Carlson opened his fourth episode by directly addressing Fox, and specifically the “Wannabe Dictator” chyron that a network producer saw fit to display beneath Biden the day his DOJ announced federal charges against former President Donald Trump.
“Inside Fox, the women who run the network panicked,” Carlson said. “First, they scolded the producer who put the banner on the screen. Less than 24 hours after that, he resigned. He’d been at Fox for more than a decade. He was considered one of the most capable people in the building. He offered to stay for the customary two weeks, but Fox told him to clear out his desk and leave immediately.”
Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. It’s notable that some of the details Carlson unspooled Thursday had not been reported elsewhere. He continued:
“Then the company issued a public apology for the 27-second long ‘wannabe dictator’ line. Quote, ‘The chyron was taken down immediately,’ Fox’s PR department said and then added ominously, it was, quote, ‘addressed.’ That was all true, but it was not enough to save Fox News from the ensuing scandal.”
Carlson then flipped the whole thing on its head, using the “wannabe dictator” notion as a frame for one of his signature meta-takes on Biden – making it seem as though he was mocking the notion while simultaneously underlining it.
“Joe Biden must ban all criticism of himself, because that’s what non-dictators do,” he said. “Of course Joe Biden’ isn’t a wannabe dictator, just because he’s trying to put the other candidate in prison for the rest of his life for a crime he himself committed doesn’t mean he has a totalitarian impulse, come on, that’s absurd!”
And for more on that rhetorical jiu-jitsu, watch the opening monologue in the video above.