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How Fox News Covered the First Night Without Tucker Carlson

The show (propaganda) must go on.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It was the first night on Fox News without Tucker Carlson in seven years, and his former colleagues barely mentioned him.

Fox announced Monday that Carlson would no longer appear on the network. The decision seemed to catch everyone off guard, considering the separation was effective immediately and Carlson had no formal opportunity to say goodbye. Fox even aired ads Monday for an interview with Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy on Carlson’s show before the decision was made public.

It now appears that Carlson is already persona non grata at Fox. His departure was announced on air, when host Harris Faulkner simply read the statement that had already been released.

But on Monday night, Carlson got only the most passing of mentions.

Temporary host Brian Kilmeade also took over the big Ramaswamy interview, a sign that Carlson was ultimately replaceable to the network despite being Fox’s most popular anchor for years.

Weird theories are already circulating as to why Carlson is no longer at Fox, including that the network is trying to minimize the fallout of multiple lawsuits. But the important thing to remember is that now, there is one less fount of hateful conspiracy theories on air.

Who Is Biden’s New Campaign Manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez?

More on the woman running Biden’s 2024 campaign

Julie Chavez Rodriguez
Brian Stukes/Shutterstock

President Joe Biden has named Julie Chavez Rodriguez as his 2024 campaign manager. The news comes as Biden announced his bid for reelection on Tuesday morning.

Chavez Rodriguez embodies some of the most defining features of the president’s contemporary posture.

In one sense, Chavez Rodriguez is a Washington veteran. She is currently serving as the senior adviser and assistant to Biden, as well as the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Before that, she served as deputy campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, as well as national political director and traveling chief of staff for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign.

Before the 2020 campaign season, Chavez Rodriguez worked in Harris’s Senate office, in the Obama administration, and in the Interior Department, including as the director of youth employment. All to say, she is a longtime fixture within the government—like her boss.

Biden’s lengthy presence in government has garnered trust, through a sense of reliability and relationship-building. It has also attracted scrutiny, in terms of all the undesirable outcomes he has tolerated or even advanced. Chavez Rodriguez’s own trajectory mirrors the dynamic.

Chavez Rodriguez began her advocacy as a child, knocking on doors and handing out leaflets with her grandfather, Cesar Chavez, in support of organizing farmworkers. According to the Los Angeles Times, Chavez Rodriguez and her cousins were around the famed organizer and patriarch so much, they joked that while others would go on family picnics, they’d be busy at family pickets.

After high school and on breaks from university, Chavez Rodriguez worked in AFL-CIO union summer programs. She worked with the United Farm Workers to organize strawberry pickers. She later worked for eight years as a program director at the Cesar Chavez Foundation, advocating for Latino and working families, before transitioning into volunteering for Obama’s campaign and then soon finding a job in the administration.

Besides her famed grandfather, Chavez Rodriguez’s mother, Linda—Cesar Chavez’s daughter—was active in organizing as a farmworker herself. Linda’s husband, Arturo, Chavez Rodriguez’s father, was just as active, serving as president of the United Farm Workers for 25 years.

While Chavez Rodriguez has deep roots in organizing and advocacy, her long arc serving in government has brought her to defend positions that may not offer confidence for what a fully progressive agenda looks like. In 2014, for example, when Obama faced criticism for operating as the “deporter in chief,” Chavez Rodriguez was serving as deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement, focusing specifically on Obama’s immigration reform efforts. She was tasked with overseeing outreach to Latino communities.

Chavez Rodriguez invoked her grandfather’s memory while explaining her role in defending Obama’s approach to immigration. “My grandfather helped me to understand that change isn’t immediate,” she told the LA Times. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It does take a lot of time and sacrifice. It takes consistent, sustained organizing and pressure to be able to see great progress in our country.”

“There’s no turning back,” Chavez also once said. “We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart.”

Chavez Rodriguez, like many campaign staffers, is but one cog in a larger machine. But in many ways, personnel does matter, or at least indicates the priorities of a politician. Since Ron Klain’s departure and Jeff Zeints’s empowerment as chief of staff, for instance, Biden has swung substantially right on a range of issues, from approving the overturning of Washington, D.C.’s criminal codes and proposing Trumpian immigration restrictions to greenlighting the Willow pipeline project.

While Chavez Rodriguez holds deep ties to labor and immigrant rights, she also has been in the tough position of having to defend officials who have fallen short of honoring those causes. She certainly has her own agency, and Biden’s trust in her may offer confidence in the direction he’d like his campaign to go; but it still depends on who else surrounds her and how much her being picked is about her actual work, rather than simply the succession of someone who has been in government for a long time.

To this day, Biden has a bust of Chavez in the Oval Office in commemoration of the famed labor leader. It will soon become apparent whether he will now welcome the full spirit of his granddaughter, or if he’ll simply prop Chavez Rodriguez up to shield off criticism—just as he has kept her grandfather’s statue in full view while lurching to the right.

Hot Indictment Summer: Georgia D.A. Tells Law Enforcement to Get Ready

It’s not looking great for Donald Trump and his supporters.

Donald Trump
James Devaney/GC Images

Donald Trump and his friends can look forward to a Hot Seat Summer, after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis revealed Monday that she plans to announce possible criminal indictments this summer.

Trump is under investigation in Georgia for his actions following the 2020 presidential election. A leaked phone call revealed he had pressured the Georgia secretary of state to “find” the exact number of votes needed to flip the state in his favor.

Willis sent a letter to local law enforcement Monday asking them to be ready for “heightened security and preparedness” during the summer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. She plans to announce “charging decisions resulting from the investigation my office has been conducting into possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia’s 2020 General Election” between July 11 and September 1.

We have seen in recent years that some may go outside of public expressions of opinion that are protected by the First Amendment to engage in acts of violence that will endanger the safety of those we are sworn to protect,” Willis said in the letter. “As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to prepare.”

While she never mentions Trump or any of his allies by name, it is clear that she has her sights set on the former president and his inner circle.

Norm Eisen, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, told the Journal-Constitution that there is a “substantial likelihood that Donald Trump and his princip[al] co-conspirators will be included” when Willis announces the charges.

One major hint is Willis’s request for increased security. New York City police stepped up their presence around the Manhattan district court where Trump was arraigned earlier this month. Trump has previously called for protests around his indictment, although only a handful of people showed up to support him in New York.

Trump is already facing 34 counts of business fraud in New York for his alleged role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He is also under investigation for his role in the January 6 insurrection and for his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He will go on trial Tuesday for allegedly defaming writer E. Jean Carroll, who has also accused Trump of raping her.

Why Rupert Murdoch Is (and Should Be) Terrified of Abby Grossberg

Tucker Carlson’s sudden departure shows how worried Fox is about an ex-producer’s lawsuit against the network.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Lawyers representing Dominion Voting Systems talk to reporters following a settlement with Fox News on April 18.

Tucker Carlson isn’t off the hook yet.

While far-right Fox has shedded far-right Carlson, the network is still liable for damage he leaves in his wake.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that Carlson’s sudden departure was related to a discrimination lawsuit filed by former Fox producer Abby Grossberg. And the order came directly from Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Grossberg has accused Carlson and other executives of managing a newsroom rife with hostility, where antisemitism and gross misogyny ran rampant. Such an environment, plagued by “poisonous and entrenched patriarchy,” was part of an atmosphere that Grossberg said forced her to give misleading testimony in the historic defamation lawsuit against Fox brought by Dominion Voting Systems.

Grossberg had worked at Fox for four years, mainly on Maria Bartiromo’s programs. But last year, she began working on Carlson’s show. In court documents filed last month, the ex-producer accused Fox lawyers of trying to scapegoat her and Bartiromo for the network’s lie-peddling about the 2020 election and voting system companies like Dominion.

The culture was not just hard on specific employees, but outwardly gross. Large photos of Representative Nancy Pelosi in a plunging swimsuit emblazoned the walls. Carlson’s producer, Justin Wells, who was let go alongside Carlson on Monday, once asked Grossberg whether Bartiromo was having a sexual relationship with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

Carlson’s staff would joke about Jews, throw out vulgar terms for women, and debate whether they’d rather have sex with Republican Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon or Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

After Grossberg once complained about harassment from two male producers, Human Resources confronted her and accused her of not performing her duties.

The dynamic is a familiar one in big-box network news, especially at Fox, where the company has cultivated a notoriously toxic racist and sexist environment for years.

Fox has denied such allegations with the same vigor it denied accusations brought by Dominion in its case—one Fox settled for $787.5 million, an amount the network might not throw around if it truly believed it wasn’t guilty.

Tanvir Rahman, an attorney for Grossberg, said that Carlson’s exit indicates “in part, an admission of the systemic lying, bullying, and conspiracy mongering claimed by our client.”

The 10 Most Fascist Things Tucker Carlson Said on Air

The Fox News host may have left the network, but don’t forget all the damage he caused.

Tucker Carlson
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fox News has split with its host Tucker Carlson, who was notorious for his ultra-right-wing and at times bizarre commentary.

Here’s a look back at 10 of the most fascist things Fox’s top host said on air:

1. He has promoted the “great replacement theory.”

Carlson has repeatedly pushed the “great replacement theory,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center defines as a “racist conspiracy narrative [that] falsely asserts there is an active, ongoing, and covert effort to replace white populations in current white-majority countries.” He has argued that Democrats want to replace white people so they can control the country.

2. He said Vladimir Putin wasn’t so bad.

3. He said the desire to procreate has been “subverted” by birth control and abortion.

4. He complained about “the total collapse of testosterone levels in American men.”

Carlson has insisted that masculinity is supposedly on the decline in the United States. While both the theory and his suggested solution—tan your testicles—are ridiculous, they stem from a right-wing belief that attacks on masculinity upset the social order.

5. He said white supremacy is not a real problem.

6. He said the January 6 rioters were “peaceful protesters.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Carlson access to the security footage from the January 6 insurrection, and the television host used the videos to completely whitewash the riot.

“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6 was an insurrection—in fact, it demolishes that claim,” Carlson falsely insisted. His coverage was so bad that even a few Republican lawmakers criticized his show.

7. He knowingly lied that the 2020 election was stolen.

Carlson repeatedly insisted during his show that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged in favor of Joe Biden. But court documents published during the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox showed that Carlson knew better.

Text messages and deposition excerpts show that hosts including Carlson knew the election conspiracies were false and that former President Donald Trump’s lawyers weren’t credible, but they spread the conspiracies and invited the lawyers on air anyway. Carlson, who has repeatedly fawned over Trump on his show, even texted someone that he was looking forward to ignoring Trump. “I hate him passionately,” Carlson said of the former president.

8. He called for an insurrection after Trump was indicted.

After Trump was indicted, Carlson called for violence and for people to stockpile AR-15s. He also referred to the indictment as a “political purge.”

9. He called Trump “sensible and wise.”

Just a few weeks after the release of his text messages showing how much he hated Trump, Carlson had the former president on his show for an obsequious interview. Carlson barely got a word in during the hour-long show, but he did manage to refer to Trump as “sensible and wise.”

Trump was then given free rein to spout whatever falsehoods and fantasies he wanted. He had been arrested just one week before for 34 counts of falsifying business records.

10. He minimized the severity of statutory rape and said women are “primitive.”

Carlson made weekly calls to a shock jock radio show between 2006 and 2011. During those hour-long calls, he repeatedly made vile comments about women and sex. Media Matters for America resurfaced those recordings in 2019, revealing that Carlson had downplayed the gravity of statutory rape and called women “primitive.”

During one call, Carlson said that child marriage is not “the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child.”

“The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different,” he said, by way of a totally normal and not at all horrifying explanation.

In another call, Carlson called women “extremely primitive” and “basic.” “They hate weakness. They’re like dogs that way,” he said.

Check out even more bonkers things Carlson has said here.

AOC Got Tucker Carlson Fired, Says the Far Right

With the Fox host’s sudden departure, the conspiracy theories are everywhere.

Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The far right has a new theory to explain why far-right network Fox let go of far-right host Tucker Carlson: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The wild notion comes after Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on MSNBC on Sunday about how dangerous Fox, including Carlson, is to the stability of the republic:

Figures on the right proudly displaying Elon Musk’s blue check, including a self-proclaimed “Conspiracy Theorist” and “Unofficial Queen of the World Economic Forum,” are pushing the incoherent idea, even cheering on Fox’s slight downturn in the stock market following the news of Carlson’s departure.

Of course, the notion is wildly irrational. Why exactly Fox would acquiesce to Ocasio-Cortez is unclear, given the network has spent the past five years freely and gleefully attacking her. In one six-week period in 2019, in her early days in the House, Fox mentioned Ocasio-Cortez 3,181 times, or nearly 76 times a day. The ever-present focus on the New York Democrat has certainly not relented since.

The only possible way to even imagine Fox relenting on its favorite punching bag is to believe Fox is somehow on a leftward turn; they have gone woke, and now must become broke.

The delusion of believing Fox fired Carlson, its leading moneymaker, because a Democrat said he should not be on air because he incites violence (many people, political or not, believe this) requires a much deeper delusion that Fox, the anti-woke manufacturing plant, is somehow now woke itself.

Though some of the most fringe who believe a thing as convoluted as this may be hard to bring back, at least with Carlson’s removal from Fox’s airwaves, perhaps some in the future may be prevented from becoming so violently rabbit-holed.

Don Lemon Is Out at CNN

The network’s star anchor said he was “stunned” by the news.

J. Countess/Getty Images

Don Lemon will leave CNN, the network announced Monday, just hours after the veteran anchor appeared on what has turned out to be his last show.

Lemon has been under increased scrutiny almost since the beginning of CNN This Morning, which launched in November, for sexist comments made on air. The news of his departure came minutes after Fox News announced it will “part ways” with star host Tucker Carlson, giving this morning’s news a real bloodbath vibe.

Lemon  appeared on CNN This Morning on Monday as usual, and the announcement came just a few hours after. CNN CEO Chris Licht said that the network and Lemon had “parted ways,” making the decision sound mutual. But Lemon tweeted that he had been “terminated.”

“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” he said. “At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”

CNN disputed his version of events, saying that Lemon “was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”

Lemon was popular for his fiery political commentary but has come under repeated fire during his time on the morning show, first in December when he said the U.S. men’s national soccer team should get paid more than the women’s team—even though the women are vastly more successful—because the men are “more interesting to watch.”

In February, Lemon said that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was “not in her prime,” prompting immediate pushback from his co-hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. Harlow reportedly left the set after Lemon’s comments.

Lemon was temporarily pulled from the air over his comments and made to undergo “formal training,” although CNN did not specify what kind of training he would get. But this is allegedly not the first time he has made sexist comments.

CNN This Morning was the first time Lemon had co-anchored a show with a woman since he joined the network in 2008, according to a lengthy Variety investigation. He reportedly antagonized his then co-host, Kyra Phillips, because he felt she got better assignments than he did.

Through interviews with former and current colleagues, some of whom spoke anonymously, Variety found Lemon appears to be “a journalist who flouted rules and cozied up to power all while displaying open hostility to many female co-workers.” He reportedly insulted Nancy Grace and Soledad O’Brien, while former CNN correspondent Goldie Taylor said she was “banned from the network” for disagreeing with Lemon.

This post has been updated.

Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Have Confidence in Supreme Court

The drop in confidence comes as the Supreme Court debates the future of the abortion pill.

Supreme Court building

Nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t have confidence in the Supreme Court, a report released Monday found, an all-time low that comes as the justices weigh a controversial and unpopular case about abortion access.

A poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that 62 percent of Americans say they have not very much confidence or no confidence at all in the Supreme Court. This is the lowest number since this poll was first conducted in 2018, when almost twice as many people said they had confidence in the court.

Similarly, 68 percent of people think that Supreme Court justices should have term limits, instead of receiving lifetime appointments. These results spanned the political spectrum.

Marist, NPR, and NewsHour surveyed nearly 1,300 adults between April 17 and 19, meaning the poll was conducted a week after a Texas federal judge ruled that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should be yanked from the U.S. market. The Department of Justice appealed the ruling, and the Supreme Court issued an eleventh-hour stay on Friday while the lawsuit plays out.

This was the court’s first major decision on abortion access since it overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. That ruling was hugely unpopular, as almost two-thirds of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.

The Marist poll found that 64 percent of Americans also oppose a ban on medication abortion, and a majority of those people do regardless of political affiliation. Almost the same number of people (61 percent) think judges should not be able to overrule FDA approval of a drug. As Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, previously told The New Republic, abortion access is not the only issue at play in the mifepristone case. The lawsuit is also “about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

The Supreme Court has become increasingly politicized, from the appointment process to the justices themselves, and people are starting to see it. That politicization chips away at public trust in the institution. It’s no longer clear that the court will uphold people’s rights, as opposed to wielding its almost absolute authority to impose its personal beliefs on the country.

“The Supreme Court’s decision on medication abortion comes at a critical time for the Court as an institution,” warned Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute, in the poll release. “With Americans’ confidence in the Court on a decline, the Court’s decision will likely fuel the flames of debate and not squelch them.”

Did Fox Fire Tucker Carlson?

An announcement said the television host has already aired his last show.

Tucker Carlson
Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Tucker Carlson is leaving Fox.

The news comes just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Fox Corporation reached a $787.5 million settlement in a massive $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion.

Throughout the lead-up to the trial-that-never-was, a stream of documents revealed how many Fox hosts and executives, including Carlson, knowingly perpetuated lies surrounding the 2020 election and false conspiracies surrounding voting systems like Dominion’s rigging the election.

It’s unclear whether Carlson was fired. But in a press release Monday, Fox noted that his “last program was Friday April 21st.” Given the separation is effective immediately, and Carlson has no formal opportunity to say goodbye, the exit does not appear to be on entirely good terms.

The Washington Post reports that “a person familiar with the company’s thinking” believes that Carlson’s comments about Fox’s management may have led to the departure. The revelations in the Dominion case were just the tip of the iceberg; had the trial continued as planned, more details about the inner workings of Fox may have been revealed.

Carlson’s departure follows a series of incredibly deferential interviews to both Donald Trump and Elon Musk.

Two weeks ago, Carlson hosted Trump in an hour-long special, in which the Fox host barely said a word, while the twice-impeached former president rambled on, telling fantastic tales of courthouse workers crying as he was arraigned—and praising Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping.

Days later, in a two-part special with Musk, Carlson spent most of his time serving as the equivalent to a Twitter Blue subscriber brainlessly responding to every Musk assertion with laugh emoji after laugh emoji.

In his last segment on air, between bites of pizza and plugging a conspiratorial special about the establishment forcing everyone to eat bugs, Carlson seemed (or pretended) to have no idea that his departure was coming.

“We’ll be back on Monday,” Carlson said, while closing his segment last Friday.

This story has been updated.

Ron DeSantis Short-Circuits When Asked About Dropping Poll Numbers

The Florida governor is a walking meme.

Courtesy of CNN

Ron DeSantis’s costume is beginning to rip at the seams.

Ever since the Florida governor began leaning more and more into the possibility of his 2024 candidacy, he’s more and more adopted mannerisms of the previous Republican president, Donald Trump: his vocal cadence, his hand motions, and his relishing of not answering questions and attacking the media. DeSantis is under the illusion that he’s projecting strength and not, in fact, looking incredibly pathetic.

But the laborious efforts are beginning to wear on the not yet announced presidential hopeful. During a visit to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the Florida governor was asked about his thoughts about polling behind Trump.

And his face seemed to be glitching, perhaps while hearing the trigger word of what his blueprint is based off of.

The comments came while the Florida governor has constantly been everywhere but Florida. While Fort Lauderdale was flooding under the weight of the rainiest day in its history, DeSantis was journeying around Ohio to sell his book. Over the past few weeks, he’s visited other states and even Washington, D.C., courting Republicans and gloating about his radical agenda in Florida. It’s gone incredibly poorly, as DeSantis has a meager handful of endorsements, while Trump has already secured the approval of an array of members of Congress and governors—including many members in DeSantis’s own state.