The latest skirmish in the war over Fox’s decision to remove Carlson from the airwaves without notice has the network saying Carlson’s recent appearance with a commentary on Twitter violated his contract.
That commentary drew a stunning 102 million plus – and growing – views, many times the viewership he routinely had on Fox.
A report from Deadline said the network told Carlson’s attorney that they believe his new Twitter show violated his contract.
The report said, “The letter from the network to Carlson’s attorney did not include threats or suggest recriminations, but stated the network’s belief that Tucker on Twitter, which debuted on the platform on Tuesday, amounted to a contract violation, according to a source.”
The network’s broadside was immediately rejected by Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, who said in a statement, “Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events. That’s not going to happen. Not in the United States of America.”
Carlson was canceled by Fox only days after it agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle defamation claims. That stemmed from comments on the network about the 2020 election and Dominion’s actions then.
Carlson’s lawyers earlier charged that Fox breached its contract with him in reaching that settlement, and that a “non-compete clause” essentially had been abandoned.
Deadline said it was Axios that said Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar claimed Carlson’s contract still is valid, and prohibits other appearances like the Twitter show.
The Guardian explained the exact terms of Carlson’s departure are not known.
Various reports have said the move was part of Fox’s settlement with Dominion, which Fox has denied.
In his recent monologue, Carlson promised “viewers the truth without the constraints of mainstream media,” the report said.
Subjects included Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, and an attack on a dam that has caused widespread flooding.
In response, Twitter owner Elon Musk said it was “great to have shows from all parts of the political spectrum on this platform!”
NBC cited “a source with direct knowledge of the matter” in explaining the dispute arose over Carlson’s first Twitter monologue.
The Washington Examiner said Carlson’s original complaint of breach of contract by Fox came up weeks ago.
The report said, “Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, sent a letter to Fox News on Tuesday, alleging that the network’s executives and employees, including ‘Rupert Murdoch himself,’ intentionally broke promises made to Carlson ‘with reckless disregard for the truth,’ constituting fraud, according to a report.”
The Examiner explained, “The letter also alleges Fox broke an agreement with Carlson to keep his private communications confidential, not to use them ‘to take any adverse employment action against him,’ and not to settle with Dominion Voting Systems ‘in a way which would indicate wrongdoing’ on Carlson’s part, hurting his reputation.”
Freedman’s letter reportedly charged, “These actions not only breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the Agreement, but give rise to claims for breach of contract, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation.”