Tucker Carlson’s surprising departure from Fox News rocked the media landscape Monday, and predictably shook up the faux conservative network as well. Within hours of the news, Fox Corp. lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of market share and countless viewers promised never to return.
Not helping matters was Brian Kilmeade, who seems like a genuinely decent human being but is simply not cut off the same cloth. Kilmeade, whether by choice or by managerial selection, stepped in to Carlson’s vacant 8:00 pm primetime slot and before the show got started was immediately rocked.
“Join me at 8 pm tonight!” Kilmeade tweeted a couple of hours before his ill-fated sojourn into Carlson’s beloved spot. Hopefully, he didn’t read the responses, because he got absolutely wrecked.
Join me tonight at 8 pm!
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) April 24, 2023
“Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile read the room,” wrote Lavern Spicer.
“Nah,” posted the account aka.
“Maybe Gutfeld makes fun of Brian for fun – but no one is more of a RINO, company guy than Brian. Tremendously nice family guy… but that was weak,” said another user.
“Hard pass. You should have refused. Someday @FoxNews will do to you what they did to @TuckerCarlson. It won’t matter that you dutifully bailed them out of a programming gap the size of the Grand Canyon,” observed another account.
And a few great memes got put up as well.
— Savannah (@BasedSavannah) April 24, 2023
— Dpa (@dpdgigi) April 24, 2023
Kilmeade was clearly feeling the pressure of stepping into his former colleague’s shoes. Just seconds into the show, he was already fumbling for words. Here was how his opening moments sounded:
Brian Kilmeade takes over for 'Fox News Tonight' in replace of Tucker Carlson.
Great show if you are wanting to fall asleep.
Fox News is dead.pic.twitter.com/eNL3aYzLAC
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) April 25, 2023
“Hi everybody, and welcome to Fox News Tonight. I am Brian Kilmeade. As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson and Fox News have agreed to part ways,” Kilmeade said, with an obvious stammer.
“I wish Tucker the best. I’m great friends with Tucker and always will be. But right now, it’s time for Fox News Tonight so let’s get started,” he continued.
In some ways, it’s probably not fair to Kilmeade. Whoever stepped in was going to be a target; it’s less about the new host and more about a reaction to Fox and the loss of Carlson. Still, the vehemence is telling. American conservatives, thanks largely to the exposure of the corrupt media by Donald Trump, expect more from their news sources. Fox News has long been a source of ire for many, whether that’s keeping RINO Sean Hannity or calling Arizona with less than 1% of the vote in 2020 for Joe Biden, people have seen enough.
With Tucker Carlson gone, there is basically no reason to tune in anymore.
Conservative commentator Collin Rugg aptly summed up the most common feeling in the wake of Carlson’s departure.
“Brian Kilmeade takes over for ‘Fox News Tonight’ in replace of Tucker Carlson. Great show if you are wanting to fall asleep. Fox News is dead,” he posted.
The move has likely been a long time coming. Carlson has explored certain subjects that the powers that be simply don’t want to be touched. The injections, the insurrection, and a host of other taboo subjects for corporate media were becoming regular features on his nightly show, and he must have rankled someone for the last time.
For now, at least, it seems like Carlson wields most of the power. Whatever Fox paid him he should easily find on the open market, and Fox News looks as lost as CNN right now as it navigates the post-internet world where more reliable news and journalism can be found on Twitter and Substack than from any of the former legacy giants.
Featured image: Brian Kilmeade, U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Tucker Carlson, Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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