Tucker Carlson’s tumultuous departure from Fox News has gotten even more interesting as the alleged source of the admittedly hilarious leaks, which show Carlson as a witty and empathetic human being, is tied to the Ron DeSantis campaign as his biggest donor.
While nothing has yet been firmly established, Carlson’s camps, Fox’s lawyers, and deductive reasoning would all suggest that recently-appointed Fox board member, and ex-wife of billionaire Ken Griffin, Anne Dias, is the source of selective leaks to the media that are now becoming central to the case of Carlson trying to exit his contract with Fox.
As the Daily Caller first reported, the corporate network’s chief legal counsel had reached out to Carlson’s camp to address the leaked videos. He wanted to reassure Carlson that Fox had “not authorized the footage getting out.
“Fox News’ Chief Legal Counsel Viet Dinh allegedly called a close associate of Carlson’s on May 3 asking to have a message relayed to Carlson. Dinh expressed regret at how the previous week had played out in the media, according to two sources, reassuring Carlson’s camp that Fox News had “not authorized” the leaks that led to several negative headlines,” the Daily Caller wrote.
It continued: “Sources say Dinh also relayed that the head of Fox News PR, Irena Briganti, had been warned she would be “fired” if she were caught leaking. Critically, he also confessed, according to the sources, that the network’s leaders suspected a member of the board of directors had been speaking to the press about Tucker without authorization.”
Ken Griffin’s ex-wife Anne Dias identified as Fox News board member leaking smears on Tucker Carlson….Murdoch’s smear campaign central to Tucker’s breach-of-contract fight… https://t.co/lida0fBa3A pic.twitter.com/Z4IINsHDHT
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) May 20, 2023
After the Daily Caller’s initial story pinning the leaks on Dias, it said Fox reached out for a short exchange. “Any claim that Anne Dias has spoken to the media on these matters is absolutely false,” Fox is reported to have told the outlet.
When asked if Fox knew this after conducting an internal investigation, the same spokesperson replied: “Just for clarification and off the record, I’m on the corporate side and since there was an accusation about Anne Dias, that’s our response.”
“It strains credulity that, immediately after agreeing to pay almost $780 million to settle serious allegations of misconduct that a member of Fox’s Board of Directors would be engaging in an attempted smear campaign by illegally leaking information about Tucker Carlson,” Freedman said. “However, we have to trust that it is true when the Chief Legal Officer informs Tucker that he believes it to be the case,” Tucker Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, described.
It will be fascinating to watch this play out. In the meantime, Fox continues to struggle in the aftermath of abandoning Carlson, as demonstrated by truly awful viewership data.
Host Sean Hannity and his primetime show, for example, have faced a serious decline, particularly in the 25-54 advertising demographic, since Tucker was given the boot from Fox News. Yahoo News reported on the decline Hannity has faced, saying, “Fox fired Carlson, its most-watched on-air presence, last month following a steady string of controversies and dwindling participation in his primetime show by premium advertisers. Fox News’ rating performance declined around 50% in the key adults 25-54 audience demo in the immediate aftermath of Carlson’s final April 21 show.”
Despite the troubling ratings news, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said, while speaking Wednesday morning at MoffettNathanson’s Inaugural Technology, that he is confident in Fox News Channel’s future despite Tucker’s ouster, saying, “We’ve done it before, right? You know, Bill O’Reilly was a superstar. Megyn Kelly was a superstar. Glenn Beck was a superstar, and we’re able to move forward with programming decisions that ultimately result in long-term growth and profitability of the business.”
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