Tucker Carlson is scheduled to make a speech at an Alabama fundraiser on Thursday evening, while he also sent a prerecorded video to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Hungary that aired on Thursday.
“Greetings to CPAC Hungary and all you Americans in the audience,” Carlson said in the footage posted on social media. “You are very brave. You’ve landed up on one of [U.S. Agency for International Development chief] Samantha Power’s lists. The State Department is keeping track! You went to a forbidden country!”
It isn’t clear when the CPAC video was recorded, but notably, Carlson made what appears to be a joking reference to being “fired” from his job at Fox News. “I wish I was there in Budapest. If I ever get fired and have some time and can leave, I will be there with you. But in the meantime, Godspeed, we are thinking of you and cheering you on,” he said.
It hasn’t been confirmed if Carlson was fired from Fox News or if the two parties parted amicably. Also unclear is whether Carlson is still under contract with the network.
Fox, in a news release last month, announced that it would be parting ways with the popular host but has provided no further details since then. Carlson also has not issued a comment about the matter, and it’s not clear whether he will address his departure at the Alabama fundraising event.
According to an online schedule, Carlson will appear at the Oxford Performing Arts Center in Alabama to raise money for a group helping adults with “developmental and intellectual disabilities.” An executive with the group also confirmed to local news website AL.com that he’s still set to attend the event on Thursday.
Since Fox News announced he’s leaving, the network has suffered a decline in ratings during its primetime hours and among the key 25–54 age demographic that is coveted by advertisers. To replace his 8 p.m. ET primetime show, Fox is now airing “Fox News Tonight,” which features a rotating cast of hosts.
On Monday, MSNBC topped Fox News for total primetime viewership, while other hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have seen their ratings drop, according to Nielsen. A spokesperson for Fox News told The Epoch Times that the cable news network is still outperforming its competitors on a daily basis.
“For more than 21 years, Fox News Channel has been cable news’ most-watched network in all categories with more Democrats, Independents and Republicans now tuning in than either CNN or MSNBC,” the company said in a statement this week. “Attracting more than 50 percent of the cable news viewing audience with the top 12 programs in cable news, Fox News’ powerhouse team of journalists, analysts and opinion hosts are trusted more by viewers than any other news source.”
Meanwhile, video footage and text messages linked to Carlson have been leaked to several mainstream media outlets as well as left-wing activist nonprofit Media Matters for America. Dubbed “FOXLEAKS,” Media Matters has released several behind-the-scenes clips of Carlson while he worked at Fox News in which he appears to be making jokes with members of his staff.
Some right-wing commentators and former Fox News personalities—namely Megyn Kelly—have claimed that those videos are being leaked from staff who still work at Fox News in a bid to denigrate Carlson after his departure. Carlson hasn’t yet publicly responded to the footage or reports about his time at the network.
In a statement to The Epoch Times on Wednesday, a Fox spokesperson said the claims that Fox News is leaking the video are false. Another spokesperson directed The Epoch Times to the company’s initial news release about Carlson.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the network said in a statement last month.
Days after he departed, Carlson was seen driving a golf cart with his wife, Susan Andrews, in Florida. He appeared unfazed by the development.
“Retirement is going great so far,” he told the Daily Mail. “I haven’t eaten dinner with my wife on a weeknight in seven years,” he added, suggesting his future included “appetizers plus entrée.”
From The Epoch Times