Bill O’Reilly Says Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Ouster Will Impact Republicans in 2024

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
April 26, 2023Tucker Carlson
Bill O’Reilly Says Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Ouster Will Impact Republicans in 2024
Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter's 5th Annual 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media in New York on April 6, 2016. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Hollywood Reporter)

Bill O’Reilly has predicted that Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News could negatively affect the 2024 presidential race for Republicans.

The host of the eponymous Fox News primetime show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” parted ways with the cable news network Monday despite consistently garnering one of the network’s largest audience bases.

O’Reilly, a former Fox News host who also parted ways with the network in 2017, said Carlson’s departure “will have a tremendous effect on the future of the Fox News channel, no doubt about that, but more importantly on Republican politics in the 2024 presidential election.”

O’Reilly argued that Carlson’s departure from Fox News, combined with the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh in 2021, has diminished the influence of conservative voices in the news media environment—and that it will now take longer for conservative ideas to permeate beyond Republican and conservative circles and into the conversations of independent voters.

“The Republican profile in the media is much less now, and that will have an effect on mostly independent voters because the … word won’t get out as fast—whatever the word may be,” O’Reilly said.

While Fox News still has other conservative commentators like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, O’Reilly argued that it cannot simply be assumed that Carlson’s particular brand of conservatism will transfer over to other sections of Fox News, which he indicated is somewhat fragmented. O’Reilly said that instead of a tightly structured operation, the network now had internal “fiefdoms,” and that essentially, “each show did its own thing.”

Carlson had consciously decided to appeal to an audience of what O’Reilly called the “committed right” or “committed conservatives,” he said.

“Committed conservatives, they’re different than casual conservatives, they’re right there every day, okay, [they] want to know what is going on,” O’Reilly said.

However, O’Reilly said Carlson had also leaned somewhat into speculation on a number of conspiracy theories.

“You can make a lot of money [raising speculation on conspiracy theories] and there’s nothing wrong with doing that as long as you tell people ‘this is my opinion, it’s speculation, but this is what I think,'” O’Reilly said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t disparage that. I’m a hard news guy. My opinions are based on facts, but the conspiracy industry is huge. Russian collusion, I mean that was insane—and every news organization except Fox embraced that conspiracy, did they not?”

Other Commentators Say Carlson Doesn’t Need Fox News

While O’Reilly predicted Carlson’s departure would diminish the reach of his particular brand of conservative viewpoints, other news media commentators suggested Carlson will have a powerful reach outside of Fox News.

In an interview with Newsmax, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly said Carlson could pursue his own independent avenue of political commentary, and will enjoy more latitude to express his views without having to answer to a larger corporate structure.

“This is just my supposition, that he’ll go independent like I have,” said Kelly, who has gone on to host her own satellite radio show and podcast since parting ways with Fox News. “He will no longer answer to a corporate master. He will be free to say whatever he wants to say, within the bounds of defamation law, of course, and he’ll be totally unleashed.”

“And [Carlson] leaves directly from his prime-time post, so he will have a massive audience that will be looking to hear him and follow him,” Kelly added. “And I think if you look at what’s happening online already, there are a lot of Fox News fans who say, ‘He was the only reason I was still watching Fox, and now you’ve taken that away.'”

Some self-described Fox News audience members have taken to Twitter, indicating Carlson was the last reason they continued to watch the network and suggesting they are waiting to see where Carlson will go next.

Other news networks have also indicated they would be interested in bringing Carlson on board.

Glenn Beck, who hosted a Fox News show before leaving and founding The Blaze, said on his Monday show that Carlson could easily join his network.

“We would love to have you here, you won’t miss a beat, and together, two of us will tear it up—just tear it up,” Beck said.

OANN founder and CEO Rob Herring has also invited Carlson to begin discussing terms for joining his cable network. Elon Musk has also said he wants to turn Twitter into a platform where Carlson and other independent content creators could prosper.
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