Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to comment upon Tucker Carlson’s Twitter video and recent firing from Fox News.
Leahy: Roger Simon, you are you’re friendly with Tucker Carlson, right? You’ve known him for many years.
Simon: Yes. I’m not his best friend by any means, but we’ve been friendly for a long time.
Leahy: A long time. And, of course, he was fired unceremoniously by Fox on Monday. He’d been quiet until last night at, guess what time? At 7:00 p.m. CST. Oh, let’s see. I could watch some no-name on Fox News Tonight.
Simon: Brian Kilmeade.
Leahy: Yes. Or I could listen to Tucker’s two-minute and 15-second video at the same time.
Simon: Like half the country.
Leahy: We’ve got the audio from that, Roger, and I’m going to play it for you right now.
(Tucker Carlson clip plays)
Good evening. It’s Tucker Carlson. One of the first things you realize, when you step outside the noise for a few days, is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country. Kind and decent people who really care about what’s true, and they are a bunch of hilarious people also. A lot of those.
It’s got to be the majority of the population even now, so that’s heartening. The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are. They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing.
In five years, we won’t even remember that we had them. Trust me as someone who’s participated. And yet at the same time, and this is the amazing thing, the undeniably big topics, the ones that will define our future, get virtually no discussion at all.
War, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, and natural resources. When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues? It’s been a long time. Debates like that are not permitted in American media.
Both political parties and their donors have reached a consensus on what benefits them and they actively colluded to shut down any conversation about it. Suddenly, the United States looks very much like a one-party state.
That’s a depressing realization, but it’s not permanent. Our current orthodoxies won’t last. They’re brain-dead. Nobody actually believes them. Hardly anyone’s life is improved by them. This moment is too inherently ridiculous to continue, and so it won’t, the people in charge know this.
That’s why they’re hysterical and aggressive. They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion. They’re resorting to force. But it won’t work. When honest people say what’s true calmly and without embarrassment they become powerful.
At the same time, the liars who’ve been trying to silence them shrink and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe. True things prevail. Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some, and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.
Leahy: And that was Tucker Carlson that video he put out on Twitter and on tuckercarlson.com last night at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Roger, since then, 13.5 million people have viewed it.
Simon: Not enough. And, and my piece this morning in The Epoch Times I can pretty much say what I really believe, which is Fox is the huge loser in this. They’ll never be the same. It’s not like losing O’Reilly, who had things against him that were weird, but I’m not even getting into that. (Leahy chuckles) But Tucker really is the smartest guy in the room in that place, and they just blew it out.
But I think they knew they were going to do it. And I also believe that Lachlan Murdoch who runs the show now, Rupert’s son wants to sell Fox. And he wants to sell Fox, not as a hard right cable network, but as some kind of middle-of-the-road, semi-CNN like it was years ago or something. Anyway, it’s a very interesting situation and one of the other things that’s interesting is Fox is supposed to be the host of the first Republican debate in August, and it shouldn’t be now.
Leahy: Yes. I would agree with you on that. In fact, I think if the Republican National Committee had its act together, it would just say, hey Tucker, why don’t you host this debate? (Laughs)
Leahy: I think it’s very interesting. You’ve had some people say that really historically, the platform has been the star at Fox News, the platform created by the late great Roger Ailes. And I think in the case of Glen Beck, who went up on Fox and then they got rid of him and he’s doing fine.
Simon: I like Glenn Beck.
Leahy: And then you’re talking about Bill O’Reilly, who was the guy there for 20 years and he had some other things going on and they fired him and he’s doing okay as an independent.
Simon: I’m not that interested, frankly.
Leahy: The point is that I think in 2017 when they let Bill O’Reilly go and then Tucker Carlson actually, has done much better than Bill, frankly, in terms of setting the agenda for six years.
Simon: No comparison really.
Leahy: Yes. I would agree with that. But back in 2017, the platform was the star. I don’t think that’s the same in 2023.
Simon: I totally agree. That also meshes with what I just said earlier, that Lachlan wants to sell the property. And that’s what happens. Things change in the media landscape. There used to be something as a very important newspaper in New York when I was growing up, called the Herald-Tribune. Where is it now?
Leahy: Which is gone.
Simon: The New York World-Telegram and The New York Sun no longer exist. Fox News is not forever, any more than anything else is or any more than you and I are.
Leahy: It seems to me that Tucker Carlson right now, although I think surprised by the suddenness of his departure, and by the cold-hearted nature that Fox told him to hit the road, he’s sitting right now and he’s thinking, and putting this two-minute video together…it’s very good. It’s typical. It’s classic Tucker. But he’s going to take a period of time and he’s going to think about what he’s going to do next.
Simon: Being fired was the best thing that could have happened to him.
Leahy: I think you’re probably right.
Simon: You know what they say in the I Ching…change opportunity.
Leahy: And this is an opportunity for our good friend Tucker Carlson.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Tucker Carlson” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.