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The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition | Main | Noted Scientific Genius Kamala Harris Ponders the Mysteries of Time Itself
April 27, 2023

Fox News Is Smearing Tucker Carlson to Intimidate Him


That's a real screenshot.

The Wall Street Journal, a Murdoch publication, publishes a hit on a former Murdoch employee.

This is apparently a textbook Fox move: Fire and smear.

Several weeks ago, as Fox News lawyers prepared for a courtroom showdown with Dominion Voting Systems, they presented Tucker Carlson with what they thought was good news: They had persuaded the court to redact from a legal filing the time he called a senior Fox News executive the c-word, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Carlson, Fox News's most-watched prime-time host, wasn't impressed. He told his colleagues that he wanted the world to know what he had said about the executive in a private message, the people said. Mr. Carlson said comments he made about former President Donald Trump--"I hate him passionately"--that were in the court documents were said during a momentary spasm of anger, while his dislike of this executive was deep and enduring.

Ethan Van Sciver has an interesting point: He says that Gina Carano wasn't canceled when she was fired. Firings happen all the time. She was canceled, he says, when Disney fabricated a charge that she was anti-Jewish (because she said the Nazis dehumanized people before they moved on to worse things) on her way out the door, salting the earth around her feet and attempting to make sure that no one else would hire her.

Fox News seems to be following the Disney example. They're not just firing Tucker, they are trying to make sure that the man they just fired can never secure work elsewhere.

By the way, Tucker Carlson never met Abby Grossberg. Her own lawyers confirm that. He lives in Florida and never comes to New York, where she works. This "hostile work environment" concerns his staffers who work in New York and are actually under the direct management and supervision of... Fox News's New York executives.

One of the things she claims created a "hostile work environment" was a bad picture of Nancy Pelosi which the staffers had printed out and put on a wall. This triggered her, so you know you can completely trust her judgments as to what does and does not make for a "hostile work environment."

She also claims the staffers -- not Tucker Carlson himself -- made "antisemitic" comments.

I think she's naming Tucker Carlson just because it will get more press and put more pressure on Fox News to settle.

This smear was leaked to Noted Conservative Standard-Bearer, the New York Times.

Tucker Carlson is facing a lawsuit from his former head of booking, Abby Grossberg, who says she was subjected to a hostile and discriminatory work environment.

Ms. Grossberg, who was fired by Fox News shortly after she filed two lawsuits against the company in March, joined Mr. Carlson's team in 2022 after several years as a senior producer for Maria Bartiromo, another Fox host.

Ms. Grossberg said in the lawsuit naming Mr. Carlson that male producers regularly used vulgarities to describe women and frequently made antisemitic jokes.

Oh dear, not vulgarities used to describe women!

I'll wait for details on this one, but I'm currently observing a world in which stating the true fact that George Soros funds the Soros Prosecutors is claimed by media fact-checkers funded by George Soros to be an "antisemitic trope" because it encourages people to think that Jews control the world. As opposed to evil foreign criminal billionaire masterminds who once "broke England" by shorting the British pound.

But you can't say that George Soros donates huge sums of money to Democrat and/or Communists because it's a "trope."

On to the c-word smear.

who did Tucker Carlson call the c-word?

Well, Megyn Kelly is pretty sure Tucker called Irena Briganti a c-word.

Who, Megyn Kelly says, and has said before, actually is a c-word, and made her own exit from Fox a poisonous ordeal as well.

Megyn Kelly pointed a figurative finger on national television at Irena Briganti, a Fox News flack who Kelly said "is known for her vindictiveness," including against individuals who have accused men at Fox of sexual harassment. On Monday, she slammed Briganti on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today, after calling out Bill O'Reilly for claiming that no one had ever complained about him to the network.

Briganti is infamous within media circles, but not among the general public. Who is the powerful woman at Fox News who Kelly describes as an enabler of harassment at the network?

According to her bio page on Fox News's media relations site, Briganti is the executive vice president of corporate communications for Fox News and Fox Business Network, a role she took on in September 2013....

That seems to include Briganti going after the media as well as employees when they disparage Fox News, alleges Kelly.


Those unfriendly roadblocks have apparently included Briganti, who Kelly said "is known for her vindictiveness. To this day, she pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now." The lawyer Doug Wigdor and former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy, one of the women who has accused O'Reilly of harassment, also came on Kelly's show and criticized Briganti for allegedly leaking the identity of another accuser to the National Enquirer.


Kelly is not the first to use the word vindictive in describing Briganti. A 2008 Gawker post titled "Irena Briganti, the Most Vindictive Flack in the Media World" has Hamilton Nolan describing her as "the face of Fox's feared, vengeful media relations operation," and "the female alter ego and mouthpiece of Fox boss Roger Ailes."


Nolan followed up his first post with a slew of stories--anonymous emails describing Briganti as "she-devil," "hatchet woman," "crazier than a bitch on crack."


"Several Fox women told me that one of the reasons they did not speak up about sexual harassment in the past was that they were terrified Briganti would find out and smear them in the press," he wrote for New York magazine last year, in an article about Ailes negotiating his exit...

Apparently Irena Briganti's big move is to leak damaging smears to a friendly reporter, and then have that reporter quote her as saying, "Fox News does not comment on personnel files."

She is hated and reviled for her use of personnel files to intimidate and punish Fox News producers and hosts:

Briganti leads Fox's infamous "media relations" department that has functioned as one of Ailes's primary tools of control. Fox anchors and producers live in fear of crossing Briganti, who is known for leaking damaging personal stories about Fox employees to journalists.

So the best theory is that Irina Briganti released that personnel file dirt that Carlson had called a female executive a "c**t." Fox News hid which executive he called that, claiming they wanted to protect the woman so-slurred.

Tucker declared, "I want people to know who I called that."

Everyone in media, including the leftists who hate Fox, understand perfectly well that she is a "c*nt." Fox News didn't hide that information to protect an executive; they buried that fact to make things look bad for Tucker.

Because if the story were "Tucker called Irina Briganti a c*nt," everyone would say, "Well that's fair, innit?"

So they're trying to pretend he called some other, less vicious executive a "c**t."

Your honor, let the record reflect that Irena Briganti is, legally, a c**t.

I mean: Just look at her.

L to R: A c**t, and also a c**t

Apparently there are only four pictures of Briganti online. Gawker says that's one of them. Somehow she's managed to keep herself a secret while smearing everyone else.

Briganti is said to deliberately cultivate a climate of fear. She doesn't tell anchors or commentators what they're not allowed to say or do. She keeps this secret, so that people have to guess what the Forbidden Phrases are. This she does, perhaps, so that people are so afraid to say one of the secretly unsayable things or do the undoable things that they avoid saying or doing other possibly controversial things, too.

But people at Fox walk around in constant fear that they're going to be fired for a violation they didn't know was a crime.

I speculate that Fox keeps its Secretly Unsayable Things list secret not just to inculcate a general feeling of insecurity, fear, and paranoia, but because Fox News doesn't want it to ever leak that they have official, written policies against promoting actual conservative ideas and complaints.

Fox is worried. They are brave-facing this and saying "We lost O'Reilly too, and came back stronger than ever" -- with Tucker Carlson, of course -- and saying that the network is the star, not the actual people on camera.

But in the actual C-suites at Fox, they're secretly panicking that This Time It's Different.

How many times can Fox News announce to its conservative audience that they're actually liberals or liberal-leaning neocons at best and expect to keep them?

Not only did Tucker bring in huge ratings, but he also brought in young viewers. He had huge ratings among younger viewers (the coveted "demo" of viewers aged 25-54, which doesn't sound so young, but this isn't my business).

Fox can barely draw anyone under 60.

And now? Are the younger viewers who tuned into Fox for Tucker showing up for his replacements?


Fox just got beaten in the demo by CNN and MSNBC in the 8 o'clock hour.


As Megyn Kelly and that article linked above alludes to, Fox has personnel files -- kompromat as Chuck Todd would say -- that they collect on every employee and everyone is aware that Fox will release this kompromat to bully you.

Fox News is leaking dirt about Tucker to scare him. Tucker is going to sue them for breach of contract and force them to pay him his $20 mil per year, x2 because he has two years left on his contract, and he's also going to compete with them, probably setting up his own podcast/interview network that he'll charge $12 a month for -- and people subscribing will economize by cancelling Fox Nation, and maybe just cancelling cable, as well.

Plus Tucker has his own dirt to share about Fox, as he started hinting at in his brief message last night.

So Fox is attempting to scare him into not suing, and to agree to just stay off the air for two years and accept his salary, being paid not to be on TV.

That's Fox's goal -- just pay Tucker his salary, while denying him the ability to actually communicate with his audience.

Fox is claiming he wasn't even fired, so he can't leave -- they're saying he wasn't fired, his job has just evolved into a non-broadcasting position.

Prepping the battlespace for 2024, eh?

Fox is also floating the idea that the firing of Tucker was righteous because of the Dominion settlement. Well that's wrong, because Tucker didn't push the Dominion claims and in fact angered Fox viewers by saying during his show that he had repeatedly asked Sydney Powell to provide evidence of "The Kraken" and she had repeatedly refused or failed to do so.

And also, word is, Dominion wasn't settled because of Tucker's emails. Those were already out there and discovered.

Fox News, one very plausible theory goes, was settled because they didn't want Rupert Murdoch and top executives to take the stand, because Dominion would have attempted to read their emails into the record, in which they state in no uncertain terms how much they absolutely LOATHE the populist base, the real conservatives.

They don't mind the Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan corporate favor-banking types -- those people are just soulless moneygrubbers, just as Rupert Murdoch and his senior executives are -- but they absolutely hate the actual conservative base, who they routinely malign as crude, evil, and intellectually stunted. Making money they understand; believing in God or natural rights that the state and corporations cannot steal from you strikes them as Voodoo that only crazy people believe in.

One point Megyn Kelly makes -- and this is undeniably 100% true -- is that it's not Tucker Carlson who caused the Dominion debacle.

It's Fox News' pollster/election projection caller Arnon Mishnik.

She points out that Mishnik blew the Arizona call, and then arrogantly doubled and redoubled down on it, causing big defections from Fox News, and a huge bump in competitor Newsmax's ratings.

Because Fox was in a crisis caused by its liberal, Hillary-donating polling "expert," they wound up overcompensating and pushing the Dominion/Kraken story -- just to mend fences with viewers.

And that is what caused the Dominion settlement. Fox News attempting to reverse the damage that Arnon Mishnik did with his Arizona call.

To this day, Fox News maintains that the Arizona call was the correct call to make, even though no one else (except the egregious AP) was willing to call a razor-thin race until the actual ballots had been counted.

As far as a replacement:

The most likely replacement -- or attempted replacement -- is Laura Ingraham. They will bring in one of Fox's fill-in hosts to take over Laura Ingraham's show. They know that Hannity is a spent force, out of gas and aging fast, and is mostly just watched because he's on after Tucker, and cannot carry the 8pm show.

Or maybe they'll attempt to recruit someone big from the outside, though I can't imagine a big name on the outside who would bring heat to the show.

The question is: Who wants to host the Most Censored Hour on Television, where you can be snap-fired for violating one of Fox's Secret Unsayable Things list? And where you'll be smeared as an antisemite and misogynist when they decide, inevitably, to fire you?

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posted by Ace at 12:00 PM

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