Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, an apparent ally and cheerleader for former president Donald Trump, actually couldn’t wait for him to leave office, according to a text message that was released as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit.
“I hate him passionately,” Carlson wrote, adding that he “can’t handle much more of this,” according to the recently released court filings. In the message, he said he “truly can’t wait” to be able to stop covering Trump — and added that he has grown to despise him.
The juicy revelation was just one of many buzzy details that were released in the trove of documents that are part of Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit filed against Fox News. The documents shed new light on how the top talent and leaders at Fox may have really felt about Trump. Their true feelings, as revealed in the texts, often contradicted what was said on air.
The Dominion-Fox lawsuit is one of a series of defamation cases filed by the voting machine manufacturer against key election deniers, suggesting their unfounded claims caused “severe damage” to the company. A trial in the case is expected to begin in April.
In a statement, Fox said the filings showed Dominion “using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press.”
Here are the key takeaways.
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Tucker Carlson: Not a fan of Trump
Previously released messages from Carlson had smack-talked key Trump allies, but the latest messages released focus on Trump himself.
Carlson’s messages may come as a shock to some people as he has long defended the president and, most recently, inaccurately depicted the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack as a peaceful gathering during a segment containing exclusive footage from that day. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Carlson and Fox News exclusive access to over 41,000 hours of Capitol Security footage.
Dig deeper:‘Shockingly reckless’: Fox News hosts privately shot down Trump’s ‘big lie’ over election fraud
Murdoch has ‘never seen’ Dominion fraud evidence
In Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch’s January deposition, the media titan said he had seen no evidence that Dominion interfered in the 2020 election to disadvantage Trump.
“You’ve never believed that Dominion was involved in an effort to delegitimize and destroy votes for Donald Trump, correct?” a Dominion lawyer asked.
“I’m open to persuasion; but, no, I’ve never seen it,” Murdoch replied.
Murdoch also indicated that he never believed the election was stolen in any capacity, though any lingering doubts were put to rest when court actions failed and then-Attorney General William Barr declared in December 2020 that the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
What we know:Dominion Voting sued Fox News for defamation over election fraud claims
Fox anchor asked executives to revoke call that Arizona was won by Biden
Two days after the 2020 election, Fox News anchor Bret Baier urged three executives to reverse the network’s call that Arizona was won by Joe Biden.
“I know You guys are feeling the pressure. But this situation is getting uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable,” Baier wrote on Nov. 5, 2020, according to the filings.
He added that defending the call on air was “hurting us” and suggested the network was “holding on for pride.”
Managing editor Bill Sammon replied that the network would stick to the call, adding it was “math” not “pride” informing the call, which ended up being accurate.
‘Shockingly reckless’:Fox News hosts privately shot down Trump’s ‘big lie’ over election fraud
Murdoch questioned whether top hosts went ‘too far’ with election fraud claims
In an email to Fox CEO Suzanne Scott sent the day after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Murdoch questioned whether the network’s top hosts “went too far” in promoting Trump’s claims of election fraud.
“Still getting mud thrown at us!” Murdoch wrote, according to court filings. “Maybe Sean and Laura went too far,” he said, referring to hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Top Fox officials call claims of election fraud ‘insane’
Top Fox officials acknowledged that then-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s election fraud claims were “insane,” seeking to distance themselves from Powell and the conservative media outlet Newsmax.
Fox Corp. Senior Vice President Raj Shah called Powell’s election fraud claims “totally insane” and “just MIND BLOWNINGLY NUTS,” in a Nov. 21, 2020, email to producers, according to the Washington Post.
In Murdoch’s January deposition, the Fox mogul said he had never heard of Powell, one of the lead promoters of Trump’s false election fraud claims.
“Have you ever believed that Sidney Powell unearthed any credible evidence about her claims of election fraud?” a Dominion lawyer asked Murdoch.
“No,” he replied. “I have never heard of her. I have never heard of her before.”