Tucker Carlson emerged on social media Wednesday night with a video on Twitter, finally breaking his silence days after his abrupt was announced Monday.
In the video, the controversial former cable host started by addressing the audience with “things you notice when you take a little time off,” like how “unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are.” Carlson made no mention of Fox News or the reasons behind his departure from the network, where he was its most-watched anchor.
In his signature delivery, and seated in what seemed like a professional studio, Carlson criticized both political parties and lamented that the “big topics get virtually no discussion.”
“Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them, and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it,” Carlson says. “Suddenly, the United States looks very much like a one party state. That’s a depressing realization, but it’s not permanent.”
The video — which runs a little over two minutes, and was seen by 1.7 million people within the hour after it was posted — is sure to invite more speculation about what’s next for Carlson, an influential figure in conservative media and politics.
“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some,” Carlson said near the end, before signing off with “see you soon.”
Carlson’s departure shook the world of cable news and political media. It came days after Fox Newssettlement with Dominion Voting Systems, and just before a defamation trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by the company against the network was set to begin. The company accused Fox News of knowingly airing false statements claiming Dominion helped to rig the 2020 presidential election against former President Donald Trump.
The company specified 20 broadcasts that it said were defamatory, including a Jan. 26, 2021, episode of Carlson’s show featuring MyPillow founder Mike Lindell.
Carlson has been a fixture of cable news for decades, hosting shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS before he joined Fox News. He also co-founded the conservative website The Daily Caller, which launched in 2010. Carlson stepped down from day-to-day oversight of the website after landing his show on Fox News and sold his stake in the outlet in 2020.
At Fox, he was the network’s most popular host, with his primetime show drawing an average of more than three million viewers nightly. But he also attracted controversy, including for demeaning comments about immigrants, people of color and women.