Tucker Carlson Moves Talk Show to Twitter, Sends Cryptic Message to Media

Tucker Carlson gained 400,000 followers on Twitter after announcing he would host his new show on the site.

Tucker Carlson speaks while sitting at a news desk.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” had 3.3 million viewers in 2022. Getty Images

Tucker Carlson is taking his talk show to Twitter, he announced yesterday (May 9) on the social media app. The move follows Fox News parting ways with Carlson, whose show held a primetime slot for six years.

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Twitter is the last big platform that allows free speech, Carlson said in a video announcement posted on the site—which is why he chose it to host Tucker Carlson Tonight 2.0. Carlson has 7.2 million followers on Twitter, up from 6.8 million directly before he posted the video.

Bringing Carlson’s audience to Twitter could help Elon Musk’s fledgling platform remain relevant. Twitter traffic has been trending down for months, according to Similarweb, an internet analytics company. Advertisers have also fled the app, which threatens the site’s ability to earn revenue. Carlson’s show was one of the big ad sellers at Fox, making more money than shows from hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. It is unclear if a Tucker Carlson Tonight sequel on Twitter could attract advertisers, but the host does bring 3.3 million viewers who tuned in to his FOX (FOXA) show last year.

In his video, Carlson had a cryptic message for the media. Cable news and publications are misleading and manipulating people all the time, he said. “What’s it like to work in a system like that? After more than 30 years in the middle of it, we could tell you stories,” he said, suggesting his new show could uncover some of his experiences working at Fox, MSNBC and CNN. The “we” Carlson is referring to isn’t clear, but it could include Justin Wells, the Tucker Carlson Tonight executive producer who departed Fox along with Carlson.

Carlson isn’t immune to claims of misleading his audience. He downplayed the riot on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, calling many protesters “sightseers” and “peaceful,” in a move that even Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, called a “mistake for Fox News.” Carlson also perpetuated the claim on-air that the 2020 election was stolen, despite it being repeatedly disproved. In a 2020 defamation case against model Karen McDougal, Fox’s own lawyers argued Carlson wasn’t stating facts when talking about McDougal, but exaggerated for effect. The judge sided with Fox and dismissed the case.

In the video announcement, Carlson suggested his departure from Fox could be a result of disagreements with the Murdoch machine. “The best you can hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can. But there are always limits,” he said. “And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it. That’s not a guess. It’s guaranteed.”

Tucker Carlson Moves Talk Show to Twitter, Sends Cryptic Message to Media