Liz interviews Chadwick Moore, who wrote the upcoming biography on Tucker Carlson called “Tucker.” Moore recounts his time spent with Tucker Carlson, detailing his personal life and insider information explaining the possible reasons for Fox News firing Tucker Carlson.
Moore describes Tucker Carlson as unapologetic and confident, but also caring and warm towards those close to him. He says that Carlson enjoys talking about topics beyond politics, such as trees, and remains grounded despite his former role in cable news.
In addition, Moore talks about Tucker Carlson coming to terms with the passing of his biological mother, emphasizing the importance of having people around who see him as a person rather than a television personality.
Then, Moore answers questions from Liz about Tucker Carlson’s ousting from Fox News. He brings up dubious statements from Dominion alleging the company’s settlement with Fox News did not include firing Tucker Carlson, although sources and other insider information conclude otherwise.
The discussion then shifts to the cable news industry. Liz and Moore talk about changing trends that could affect the industry, such as the growing influence of independent media, podcasts, and social media platforms like TikTok that are shaping the next generation of consumers.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.
Dominion, of course, has denied this. And since then, Fox News has denied this. Dominion’s denial, has interesting wording that has led many people to speculate that it is almost confirms that this is true. But they have denied it. And my sources are, they have, I have no reason not to believe that this is the case. So I you know, we went out with it that, you know, we felt that it was important that like we can, this might not be in, in the news by July, and people should know this because it, I think, has huge ramifications for our democracy and for our first amendment.
That was Chadwick Moore, author of the upcoming biography on Tucker Carlson, which is appropriately named Tucker. You can go to tucker the book.com to order the book. Now. I’ve already ordered mine. I can’t wait. Listen, I just got done interviewing Chadwick Moore, and it was it was fascinating. I was mesmerized and in fact, a little bit differently than some other interviews. This interview with Chadwick got progressively more interesting. The topics got juicier and juicier as the interview went on. So you wanna stick around to the end? We talked about all kinds of things. All kinds of things. And by the way, stop what you’re doing right now. Go over to LizWheeler.com, make sure you drop me your email address, sign up for my email newsletter. We have all kinds of stories from Target to the LA Dodgers to what’s happening with Tugger Carlson that we wanna drop in your inbox to make sure that you are in the know when you need to be, go to LizWheeler.com, sign up for that email newsletter with Chadwick Moore.
Today, we talked about Tugger Carlson. The man Chadwick just embedded essentially with Tucker and his family at his workplace, dived into the history of who Tucker Carlson is for the last year. It’s a coincidence actually, that his book is coming out right now, is already scheduled to be dropped this summer, even before Tucker Carlson got fired. But I ask him, listen, what did you have to change about this book When Tucker was fired? How did you find out about Tucker being fired? And I asked him about the video that he posted on social media this week that said, I have sources that have intimate knowledge of why Tucker Carlson got fired, and I can confirm why Tucker Carlson got fired. And it’s not what Fox News says. It’s not what Dominion voting system says. In fact, I mean, you saw that little, that little teaser of what we’re gonna talk about. There’s some really shady stuff that has been happening. We’ve been following it a lot on this show. All of that. Plus Chadwick talks about what the executives at Fox News are freaking out about right now, behind the scenes at Fox, all of this and more with Chadwick Moore. Let’s get to it.
Alright, with me today is author of the upcoming book, Tucker. He’s also the contributing editor at The Spectator, Chadwick Moore. Chadwick, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
Hey, Liz. It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me on.
All right. First of all, congratulations on this new book. I know what a process writing a book is, and especially when you’re writing it about a live subject. My first reaction to your video that you posted on Twitter this week actually was Oh wow. What an amazing time to debut, to announce a book, you know, right in, in the middle of this Fox News, Tucker Melee. But also from a process standpoint, I have to ask you, did you have to rip up your original manuscript and like completely rewrite this after Tucker was fired?
No, I mean, so the day the news broke, my editor called me and I’ve never heard someone so sad and panicked in his life. And we were like, what are we gonna do? But then we sat for a minute and we’re like, wait, like this is a book about Tucker’s life. This is a book about since the day he was born. And before that, his father’s life, his father’s ancestors, his mother, you know, it goes way back. So honestly, we didn’t really have to change much. What we did have to do is add, which was much easier. You know, we had to add in. We added a couple chapters about what happened and just to sort of bookend it more. And I’ve been in co I’ve been in contact with him since his show was pulled off the air.
So we really don’t have to change that much. You know, it was mainly actually a lot of it just kind of going through and changing the tents in some things. Cuz you know, he is past tenses Fox News Show. So surprisingly it wasn’t, it wasn’t that bad because we were covering, you know, it’s not a book about his firing. It’s sort of his origin story. And the more this is all settled in, I’ve and now that Tucker’s announced that he would like to do something else, and it would be away from cable news and away from this world he’s inhabited for so long, it really does now feel like the true origin story of Tucker Carlson. A lot of people thought maybe that ended it when he got onto Fox News, but I think it kind of, it’s the next chapter now that he’s left Fox News to see what he’s gonna do next. You know, he really came into his own on Fox, and that’s sort of how most people either knew him from the crossfire days or knew him from Fox, where he was a very different on-air personality and represented something very different than he did in the crossfire years. So we didn’t really have to change much. He was just really adding it. And then you know, just kind of adjusting the tents, which was a relief after we realized that.
Well, listen, I, what I think is interesting about a project like this is there is unofficial biographies. Anybody who works in the public eye, anybody who’s prominent a a bunch of people try to make money off of their name, right? So they write all these, all these usually biased against the person, but all these salacious pieces that are trying to, they’re trying to use that person’s name to make money. This is an official biography because you worked directly with Tucker and with his family. You said you’ve been working on this for a year. Take us a little bit behind the scenes here. Were you embedded with his family? What did, what did that process look like?
Sure. Well, it’s actually, I’m an independent biographer, so this is not an authorized biography. A lot of people have said that recently. They think I’m an authorized biographer that I’m working with Tucker Carlson. I’m not. He has not read a word of the book. He has not asked to read a word of the book. He just simply trusted me, I guess. You know, I, when, when my publisher called me with the idea about doing this book, and they said they wanted me to write it you know, I had Tucker’s phone number. I asked him what he thought about it. I was skeptical about doing it because I thought, you know, I’m a guest on a show. I don’t know if I should be doing this. But I talked to Tucker and he was like, yeah, he was like, I sure, you know, I love your writing, and why not?
Let’s do it. So he gave me unprecedented access. I mean, more than I would expect actually from someone like him, especially when he has no editorial control. He doesn’t know what I’m writing and I’ve complete editorial independence. But he welcomed me into his homes. I’ve met his family. I went as met his friends, his father, his stepmother, you know, everyone you can think of I stayed with in his house in in Florida and in Maine. And I just really got to know him and see what he’s like off camera and who he is as a person. And and I really wanted to capture that. You know, I didn’t want this to be a book about politics per se, or issues per se. Like, here’s Ukraine, here’s Covid. I wanted to just find out who this man is.
And and for a writer, he is an incredible subject because he’s so amusing and he’s so colorful and he talks nonstop because he really enjoys talking and he really loves being around people, and he really loves, like, he’s, he’s one of those people that and I’m the opposite of this, but, and that’s why I respect people like this so much, is that he feeds off the presence of other people so much and off entertaining and conversing. You can tell that’s really where he’s his most happy. So for a writer that is a dream subject, especially when they’re as, as high energy as Tucker. So it was a lot of just spending time with him and letting him rip just whatever he wanted to talk about. And you could just ask him the simplest question and he would go into an hour long spiel about something. And it was always very delightful and amusing. And then also digging into the past, of course, and getting to know his father and fighting about his childhood and, and the, and the family history going back, you know couple centuries now.
So the phrase that you said, and I think this is probably what readers or even fans of his shows or his show are most curious about. You said, I got to know the real him, what he’s really like. What is he like?
He is, he’s someone who is he’s a very complicated person, but he’s, he’s, he’s, first of all is very, he’s very, very high self-esteem. And he, but not in a stuck up way shocker like that. He’s just, yeah, he’s just very confident. And, and I think that’s one of the reasons why people hate him so much both on the right and the Left, is they really can’t stand people who exude that much confidence. He’s very unapologetic, except when he realizes he’s done something wrong or made a mistake. And then he’s deeply apologetic. He’s very caring. He’s very warm. He and su his wife Susie, they’ve been together since they were 15 years old. They met at boarding school in Rhode Island. And she absolutely lovely and wonderful. They are so in love, and that was just such a wonderful thing to see.
I’ve never seen a couple who’s been together, especially for that long, that just exuded so much love. They, you really care about each other and really respect one another. And, and you can tell they have a lot of fun. And that was super nice to see, you know, Tucker’s favorite things in the world. If you ask him, if you leave it up to him, what he wants to talk about, it’s not gonna be politics. There was one time that we were sitting in his kitchen one morning, he’s sitting in his underwear and his shirt from the night before, hair is all messed up. And we just started talking about trees and he talked for tree about trees for like an hour. And I thought it was just the most wonderful conversation that I tried to put as much of that into the book as possible.
you know, he’s someone who loves the outdoors, he loves nature. He loves his family deeply. He is very protective of his family. And those are the sort of things that he values. And he’s also someone who, unlike most people on television and cable news especially, he’s extremely humble. He’s very cognizant of the fact that that position can turn you into a jerk to put it lightly, and that you can start believing your own BS about yourself and start thinking that you’re God. Because when you’re on cable news and you in that role, a part of the role is that you are God. You know, you are there to tell people what is going on, what is right, what is wrong. You’re telling people what to think. So that can easily go to someone’s head In his entire life, since he started in television, he’s been very cognizant of that and always re wants, he’s always reminding himself of just how he’s not in control, how he’s not God.
How you know, he’s just as weak and feeble as everyone else. And he is just a person that really shows when you meet him and when you get to know him. And, you know, if you meet a lot of people on television, some are great and fine, others are really not. And you kind of don’t ever wanna have a drink with them. And Tucker’s someone that you definitely wanna spend a lot of time with, which I think makes him unique. And, and everyone who has worked with him, people on the Left even say, there’s something interesting because I write about Rachel Maddow in the book some, because she got his start on one of his shows. And people have always said that Rachel is the Tucker Carlson of the, so conservatives I know have said that Rachel is the Tucker Carlson of the Left.
And they, and what they meant by that was not hor her politics, but that everyone who meets her likes her and thinks she’s a really good person. And this is what they all say about Tucker, even if they absolutely hate what he stands for, and they really don’t b believe any of it. They all, when they meet him, think he’s a really good guy. And you’ll hear that from anyone who’s ever met Tucker Carlson and apparently Rachel Maddow too. But that is I think kind of a good introduction to, to what you’re in for.
I think that’s really interesting. I’ve observed, having worked in this same industry for almost a decade now, I’ve observed this same thing that there is vulnerability when you’re on air, especially when you’re the host of a show, to get inside your own head too much and to have an inflated ego. And one of the things that I’ve observed, I’m interested to see how this applies to your experience with Tucker. One of the things I’ve observed is the people who stay grounded are surrounded by family and friends and community who don’t look at, you know, the talent as talent. They just look at them as the regular old person that they are. And oftentimes that means at their home and at social events, there’s no discussion whatsoever or any reference to what that person does for a living. And I’m interested to hear your experience at Tucker’s house. Is, is his show, is politics discussed among his family members, his children, his friends his wife? Or is it, what do they discuss? What’s, what’s that like?
not at all. In fact, they don’t own a television. Tucker’s wife Susie has they don’t she’s never seen the show, but she reads his monologue every night or every day before it gets filed. So sh and she you know, is his biggest fan. And she loves, she thinks he’s a brilliant writer, and he is a brilliant writer. And but they don’t watch the program. You know, they don’t pay attention to what’s being said on social media. They don’t pay attention to the haters as a family. They don’t. And I think that you’re right when you said that it’s important to have those people around you who see you as a person, and, you know, there’s so many, I guess, especially when you’re at that level there’s so many people who just want something from you, and you really have to have a protected space where you don’t have that you know, Susie, you know, laid out their house in a way that would be a kind of sanctuary for him. Like that, you know, lots of green space. And they have four dogs, four spaniels, they’re big dog people. They’re big parts of the family. The kids are now out of the house. They’re, they’re a little more grown up. So it’s he and his wife and the dogs, and and they really do, you can tell protect they have that sanctity that’s away from all that noise, which seems very important to them. And, and it must be.
So when you, when you talk about going into his family history, you know, not just his parents, but generations, what did you find that you thought, oh, this is something people don’t know, but they’ll find really interesting and really maybe integral to the formation of who Tucker is today?
Well, probably what’s most interesting is his parents his father, Dick Carlson who’s very fascinating guy, very fascinating, colorful guy was a journalist but he was also an orphan. And he was adopted when he was a little boy from an orphanage in Boston. And Tucker’s biological mot name was Lisa Lombardi. She abandoned the family when Tucker was six years old. She abandoned her children and he never saw her again after that. He’s talked about that here or there publicly before. But I think, you know, that’s, people are really fascinated when they hear that. And she kind of just didn’t wanna be a mother. They’re living in Southern California at the time. She wanted to pursue this kind of Artie Farty, bohemian lifestyle. And she became, she started traveling around with David Hockney, who’s one of the most famous living artists today.
Started traveling around with his group in Los Angeles, and she was kind of this art world groupie. Everyone I spoke to said she was, you know, drank a lot and did a lot of drugs and was kind of obnoxious at parties and galleries and stuff like that. But she died a few years ago without ever having seen two sons, Tucker and Buckley ever again. So that, you know, he says that that doesn’t, didn’t really affect him much. I mean, he’ll sort of acknowledge that it’s, that he’s kind of dealt with it. I think that once, once she did die, he felt at peace with the situation. You know, he said that he, you know, he worried that when he got the news that she died, that he would, you know, have a breakdown because maybe he was holding up all of this stuff from being abandoned as a child.
But he said he didn’t, he said he felt at peace with the situation. And you know, and his wife sort of confirmed that too, that, you know, she’s like, yeah, mu you know, must he said they talked about it and that he expressed those concerns. But he, I think he forgave her a long time ago. And, and that has just settled in, you know, he, and he even said things that, you know, he said he felt lucky to not grow up with her because how horrible I’ve been to grow up in a household with this, you know, this crazy woman, you know, maybe he was, he was actually probably blessed that she wasn’t around because he didn’t have to deal with that.
That’s heartbreaking, isn’t it? It’s really heartbreaking. It’s in a sense, phenomenal to think that it, that he considers himself undamaged from what’s clearly a form of abuse. This, this neglect. Take us, take us to the day about a month ago. You know, you probably had ju finished this manuscript and, you know, usually you finish these books a couple months before they actually go to print. When you get the news that Tucker’s show on was being taken off the air at Fox News. How did you find out this news? Was it something that you saw publicly on Twitter? Like a lot of us, did you have inside information? Did he text you? How’d you find this out?
Oh, I saw it on Twitter like everyone else. I had no inside information, neither did he. He had already filed his manuscript that morning. I, I was a guest on his show in the, on the last show April 21st, which of course we didn’t know it was gonna be the last show. He and I were sitting around making fun of the, the plus people and the LGBTQ plus and wondering what the heck a plus was. And, you know, do you date pluses? What’s goes on? That was a fun second. That’s the sort of stuff we usually talked about when I was on his show. We made fun of LGBTQs. But so he didn’t know he had filed his manuscript that morning with his producers, which was unusual for him, because usually he, you know, he’d still be writing it at 7:50 when I was there and, you know, dashing it off and sometimes still writing it on his way to the studio.
But for some reason he woke up very early that morning, finished it, fouled it off around 11 in the morning. Suzanne Scott from the, who’s the president of Fox News, called him it happened to be the six year anniversary to the day of his show moving into the 8:00 PM time slot. So he thought she was calling to congratulate him, and instead she just said, we’re taking your show off the air. Thank you very much, goodbye. No explanation according to him. And he was left to speculate for a couple weeks. So I was hit with the news at the same time everyone else was. And I thought it was like fake at first. I’m like, what? There, there’s no way, you know, I was, what? No, this is impossible. What happened? and you know, I was I think with a lot of people, cuz yeah, I make, I make no bones about the fact that I was a regular on the show.
And like, I agree with most of the things that Tucker says, and you can tell by this interview that I genuinely like him as a human being, which is sort of my, you know, if I wanna hang out with someone, that’s why measure or not whether you’re a good person. And I think he certainly is one. But it it sort of disrupted, you know, for a lot of us, it was like, I watch a show every night, not becau not just because I’m writing this book and I had to for the book, but it was just a part of a routine. I still feel really lost to eight o’clock at night, you know, like, what do I do now? So that’s been kinda a hole that needs to be filled, I guess. But yeah, that’s how I found out just like everyone else. And no one including Tucker or anyone on his team knew about it.
And by the way, I don’t think I’ve turned on Fox News. I was like doing a little inventory of my own life for the last month. And I was like, I don’t think I’ve turned on Fox News once since his show was canceled. I don’t think I’ve seen it once and I’m, I’m not, I’m sure not the only one that is behaving in this way. What, so what was interesting about the video that you released announcing this book is you said there’s some information in this book that’s been confirmed by sources close to Tucker, which we all know what sources close to an individual means. It means off the record that’s a reliable source, I should say off the record, reliable source that we do actually, or people around Tucker, including Tucker, know why he was fired. Now even if Fox is denying it yeah. So two sources told me that people who would know, who have intimate knowledge of the situation told me that it was a condition in the settlement with Dominion. And this had, this already was out there in the news and I was told this information before it was out there. And we are sort of deciding what to do with it. Dominion, of course, has denied this, and since then, Fox News has denied this Dominion’s denial has interesting wording that has led many people to speculate that it is almost confirms that this is true. But they have denied it. And my sources are, they have, I have no reason not to believe that this is the case. So I you know, we went out with it that, you know, we felt that it was important that like we can, this might not be in, in the news by July and people should know this because it, I think has huge ramifications for our democracy and for our First Amendment and how, what kind of a country we want to be, where as part of an agreement a couple members on the board of a private equity firm can decide what Americans are allowed to listen to on the news ahead of a presidential election, if that is in fact the case.
so we thought we should put that out there. And Tucker Carlson’s Twitter account shared it with like the little like looky curious eyes emoji, which we didn’t know was happening. I think people think it was some sort of coordinated thing that Tucker wants this out there. He didn’t know we were making this video. As I said, he has no idea what’s in the book. So we, he retweeted that and we were as shocked as anyone, like, oh my God, Tucker shared this. Okay. I guess that’s sounds like, you know but that’s the information that we came by. And so people have specula people have said first of all, the what my source told me, what more than one source told me is the reason that this agreement was reached moments before they were supposed to go to trial.
so Fox was dragging its feet and didn’t want this to agree to this, but it was a moment we were about to go to trial. Fox didn’t wanna go to trial, even though Fox felt they would win at trial they didn’t want to go because I heard, this is what the person told me, they didn’t want Rupert Murdoch to testify. So this was the last minute agreement that was reached according to the source. And you know, I’ve asked both of them, or I asked two of the sources what you know, okay, Fox is like their I’m sorry, Tucker’s, their number one host. He’s like the’s the king of cable news. Like, why would they, this seems so stupid. Like, it seems unbelievable that Fox would do this as a condition of the X, Y, and Z.
And they said somebody I guess knows the people who make these sorts of decisions. My source said that. He said, you wouldn’t understand how stupid not have touched these people. Are they they don’t understand their audience. They don’t understand what’s going on. They essentially thought that getting rid of Tucker would be the same as getting rid of Bill O’Reilly. the, the, my Source said they basically thought they were getting rid of Harris Faulkner on outnumbered. Like they think that some people might be mad, it’ll blow over. These people are interchangeable. What they didn’t realize is that Tucker was a movement. He wasn’t just a cable news host, and that he brought people to Fox that never would have cable or watch Fox ever report, particularly 18 to 45 year olds in which they had the top demographics of that time slot. So they didn’t understand that that Tucker’s br this is what the source is saying. They didn’t understand that Tucker’s brand was as powerful, if not more powerful than the entire network. So they’re pretty blindsided is what the source told me by the fallout from this. They sort of thought that he can just, we can throw anyone in that time slot and we’re Fox, we’re invincible. We’ll do just fine. So that’s what I’ve heard when people say it doesn’t seem believable that they would get rid of this powerhouse over this issue.
And by the way, I think there was a recent poll just a day or two ago that confirms exactly what you’re saying, that Tucker Carlson is more popular with conservatives and Republicans than the Fox News brand, is people trust Tucker, far more like far away, like not even comparably compared to Fox News. But go, go back to go back to what you said before for a second. When you, when you said, well, what your sources told you that it was a last minute part of a deal that was struck between Fox News and Dominion as part of this settlement, just literally moments before they went to trial, and you said, dominion has denied this, Fox News has denied this, but Dominion’s denial was phrased in a really tricky way. Do you remember what, what was tricky about it? What did they say?
So I so forgive me, I don’t have the exact wording in front of me, but the words that were interesting was they, I’m paraphrasing, but the key word is insists. They, in one of them, they said Dominion made no insistence on any of Fox personalities being fired. And another one, they, and I’m paraphrasing with the words were insist and fired, and the other one was dominion has made no request to Fox about the condition of employment for any Fox employees. Something like that condition of employment was the key phrase in that other statement. That’s interesting because I mean, they, the word insist is doesn’t really make much sense. The, instead of doing a full stop denial, but fired and employment I mean, if they made this deal, then they’re being honest in that statement because Tucker is still employed by Fox.
He’s not fired. He’s still a Fox employee. He’s still getting paid by Fox News. I talked to him last week and he got his paycheck that week. So he’s still on contract. So Dominion, if this is true, dominion statement is not a lie because they, because he is not fired. Do you see what I’m saying? so the the wording in that is very tricky. Yeah, yeah, yeah. the, the agreement could have been take his show off the air. That doesn’t mean he’s fired if this is in fact true. So other people pointed to this there’s been Megan Kelly some, some people that have more in are better skilled at law than me have, have pointed to the word insist being interesting there, rather than a full denial of what’s happening. But I focus on the words fired and employ and condition of employment because he is still employed.
Yeah. And my people sent me the exact phrase or the exact statement from Dominion, let me read it, and you’re correct by the way. But this is what they said as the Fox principals who negotiated the settlement, well known Dominion made no demands about Tucker Carlson’s employment orally or in writing. Okay? So it is employment, it’s very tricky. It actually reminds me of what the intelligence community always does when they’re denying that they’re infringing on rights. They do these very tricky little, little word play which, okay, and so this is why, this is one of the reasons I’m so interested in this story, right? Because it doesn’t seem to me that it’s just a case of CNN firing Don Lemon because Don Lemon is sexist and terrible to work with and gets terrible ratings. It seems to me that there’s something deeper behind this.
Something that is very similar to the Swamp or the administrative state, the captured institutions that we’re facing in every aspect of our life, from school to corporations to the government. It seems like there might be something similar happening at Fox that played into the firing of Tucker Carlson. We heard that Fox News producer James O’Keefe recorded or a journalist for James O’Keefe recorded that Fox News producer saying the same thing about Dominion, but the Dominion PR people who are putting out these statements, that’s Michael LaRoza, who is yes, the PR person for Dominion, who used to be Jill Biden’s press secretary. He’s like fresh out of the Biden administration. It seems very shady to me.
Yeah. And that producer that James O’Keefe got I don’t know him and he wasn’t one of my sources. So when I saw that, I mean that there was another person saying that. But it does seem, it does seem really shady and, and everyone is correct to question these things. I mean, I’ll say what Tucker had to say about that, but I guess I have to say that the big picture is it’s just further reason why ev why everyone is tuning out this mainstream media. It’s either tuning into shows like yours and everyone else because they don’t trust this narrative. And Tucker was this the sole outlier in all of mainstream media who really went against the grain and really went against the uni party narrative. And that’s why people rightfully so speculate that it had something to do with his opinion on things.
I mean, if someone wanted him off the air for, and they used this this lawsuit as an excuse for that, of course it could have been any number of things. He took a counter narrative stance upon why they disliked him so much and why they had to get him off the air when it came to Fox itself. You know, I, because at first I thought, you know, people were saying it was, you know, his stance against vaccines or the war, or J six, he was getting ready to expose something big on J six. And I kind of brought that up. My, my personal meaning was maybe it was the war because there’s so much money wrapped up in that and they can’t have, you know, the biggest naming in cable news being against the war in Ukraine. And I asked Tucker directly about that, and he said I mean, one thing I’ve always known about the show is he had absolute editorial independence.
They never ran anything by anyone at, at Fox higher up, like Tucker was allowed to do it, whatever he wanted on the show, have whoever he wanted as a guest. And, and that was great, and he was always grateful for that. And I asked about these issues, especially with particularly Ukraine. And he said that, you know, the Murdochs, Locklin and Rupert are super pro zelensky. They really support the war in Ukraine. But they were happy to let him disagree. And he said February, 2022, Lachlan came to his house for dinner and, you know, said, and this is when Tucker was coming under a lot of heat for opposing the war. And and Lachlan said, I disagree with you, but you can say what you want. You can have your own opinion. So Tucker said he was always super grateful for that. And you know, you can tell he had a very fond relationship with Lachlan. And so he told me he was grateful for that they never pressured him to do anything. So that’s all I can really tell you with that. But I know it seems suspicious, of course, but I do know that he always felt he had, he had independence.
Yeah. Which is important because if you feel even coercion, you can’t fully you can’t fully expose the truth. You can’t fully stand for reality if there’s someone on your shoulder that’s bullying you, even if it’s not technically against the rules to say what you’re saying, by the way, for anyone wondering, you can go, and I highly encourage you, go to LizWheeler.com and look, watch that video, that James O’Keefe video of the Fox News producer undercover talking about exactly what Chadwick is confirming via two sources in his book. Just go to LizWheeler.com. Let me ask you a broader question here, right? I, when, when I have been analyzing this situation between Fox News and Tucker Carlson, it doesn’t just seem like thoughtless and just self-destructive move by Fox News because they don’t understand that their audience is based and they linger in outdated, ineffective establishment tactics, right? To me, it actually goes beyond this. I don’t think this is just gonna be destructive for Fox. To me, this seems like the beginning of the end of the cable news industry, which a lot of us in this industry or people we’ve been in this industry before have seen this coming for almost a decade now. What are your thoughts on this? Like, is this the beginning of the end?
Yeah you nailed it. Absolutely. I mean, cable news, the whole, it seems like a model that has way outlived when, when it was supposed to end, you know, it seems, who would’ve thought that it would still be around now? And it really does feel like Tucker was the last thing, keeping it together and keeping it alive because that was the only thing exciting happening on cable news. And people would tune in just for that. I mean, I got a stupid cable subscription just to watch him. I’d never would’ve done that before, never had cable in my life. And so it does feel like that, and it feels like a long time coming. And I don’t think that cable executives understand that. I think that they still think that they’re top dog one thing, however, though I have to say with that, and I think this is why, I think this is why Tucker’s departure is so upsetting and why it felt like a death, I think for a lot of people when we first were heard it because, and that’s because while we’re not interested in what happens on cable, we plebeians aren’t, aren’t interested.
Our leaders deeply care about what happens on cable news. They do not care what’s happening on Twitter. They don’t care what’s happening on the internet. They still want to know what’s happening on cable, and they listen to cable because they’re also out of touch and don’t relate to anyone. So that I think is really upsetting for a lot of people because Tucker did have their ear when he was on cable, and now if he goes to Twitter or whatever, I think there’s a fear that, you know, he’s not gonna be able to embarrass Lindsay Graham or whoever, like he was so effectively able to on Fox. That’s I think, where it has its power. And same with like, you know, these horrible rags like the New York Times, who I used to write for, that all these politicians, all these incredibly vain and shallow and insecure people still deeply care about being on cable news. And in those pages that, you know, they, that’s what they really care about.
Yeah, I think that’s actually a very insightful point because a lot of republicans, even establishment lived in fear of the wrath of Tucker. And if they’re not watching cable, if he’s not on cable news anymore, and that’s what they watch, maybe they won’t, maybe they won’t feel that same pressure for him. On the other hand, they’re going to entirely miss as the Republican party becomes more based as the Republican party wants to fight back and play offense and construct a nation of ordered liberty, instead of this squishy Republican big spenders nonsense, basically Democrat light. They’re just gonna be surprised when they’re voted out of office by the people that they refuse to listen to. So I look forward to that day. Ted Wick, this was delightful to talk to you. I hardly even need to pitch your book cause I know that every single person who’s listening to the show and watching this show probably has already bought it. If you haven’t, go to tucker the book.com. It’s always better to buy directly from the publisher. Go to tucker the book.com. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
Thank you. Such a pleasure.
But here, here’s what’s interesting. Here’s what’s interesting when we’re talking about this industry of cable news and kind of taking a step back from it, not just thinking about the shows we like to watch at a certain time when we’re talking about the longevity or lack thereof of this industry. There’s a report that was just out this week from Fox News that it was from Rolling Stone that reported that Fox News has laid off their investigative team for their website, for their digital side. And reportedly this was because perhaps they didn’t have, or the speculation I should say, is that they didn’t have the money following the Dominion settlement to pay this team. Fox denies this. Fox says, no, these people on this team were just realigned. They were offered different positions in the company even though the team itself was dissolved. I don’t know that seems to me like corporate language that says if someone’s offered a different position and they turn it down, it generally means that they were offered a, in an inferior position with a pay cut.
which may be why some of these people on the investigative team didn’t take this money. But even this, I’m not sure that this is exclusive to Fox. Maybe maybe it’s related to Fox not having money now because they settled with Dominion for what, almost 800 million. But maybe this is just an illustration of what’s happening in cable news in general. Cuz it’s not just Fox, it’s laying people off. It’s all cable news organizations or almost all of them are having massive layoffs because the industry itself is dying. I know I talk about this a lot. I find this interesting because I think in 10 years from now you and I sitting here, it’s not going to be the news industry isn’t going to be what it is today, right now, it’s divided between new media, like what we’re doing here, building this together and legacy media, which is either cable news like Fox and cnn or print media like New York Times and Washington Post.
We’ve seen over the course of the past decade, regional newspapers, citywide newspapers already are going under. People already rejected that because they wanna read their news online. We’re seeing cable news dying, but dying sort of this slow, agonizing death that those involved with it are still in denial about 10 years from now. It’s not going to exist in its current form. There is something like between 2016 and now, 70% of people had a cable subscription you know, 10 years ago, and only 40% of people do right now that is only going to increase. That number is going to be there’s going to be even a greater disparity, which means those on cable news are not going to be as influential. And those on cable news are not going to be creating the revenue both for the company and then for themselves that they are right now.
In fact, in fact, this conversation not just related to this show, what we’re building here, this is becoming more obvious to a lot of powerful players within conservative media. In fact, Sean Spicer, the former press secretary for President Trump, he sat down and talked with Dave Rubin, who is one of the pioneers of new media building this media empire. First he built his own show and then, you know, he helped found locals. He, he combined locals with Rumble. I mean, this is like a massive player in new media. Sean Spicer sat down with Dave Rubin and talked about the exact reasons that you and I often discuss about why cable news is dying. Sean said, this is why he left his primetime role at Newsmax, because, and I’ll let you hear him say this for himself because of who he wants to influence, take a listen.
I count you as a mentor and someone that blazed a trail. You look at Bonino and Beck what Megan Kelly’s done, Liz Wheeler the ability to go out and not be constrained by a network. And, and that the, don’t get me wrong, I’m not disparaging. I mean, they, they have a role and they, but it’s a set time for a set amount of minutes. I looked at the upcoming cycle. President Trump’s obviously the front runner in the pre in the, in the Republican nomination. I spent six years at the RNC last cyclist, chief strategist, two presidential cycles, 10 members of Congress, countless campaigns. And I thought, I have something to add and I don’t know that I wanna be constrained by a network. And was
It just technical constrainment, like meaning time? Like a lot of times when I do cable shows, when I would do your show, it’s like we’d have six minutes, let’s say, and by minute five, now we’re getting going and then they have to correct. So was that it or was it more of a content? Like they don’t want you talking about certain things. It’s
No, no, no. It wasn’t that much to your point. It’s, you have six minutes to break down a very complex subject. Why the rules of the party, why the debate structure is what it is. It doesn’t lend itself to six minutes first and foremost, and second, maybe you want to go on for 20 minutes, maybe you wanna do some additional videos. The thing that people have to understand is that when you sign a network contract, whether it’s newsmax or Fox or abc, they, the trade off that you’re making is, I will restrict what I do to that network. That’s what they’re buying from you is saying, well, you’ve got a lot of expertise or insight and we’re, we’re basically buying it from you so that you can’t go anywhere else and display that. I get that. But there was a point at which I realized the future is independent media, the ability to put stuff out and allow it to go on different platforms.
So maybe you want to put out a tweet, obviously Rumble and YouTube locals, there’s all these different ways of getting things out. And you look at the major cable stations, Dave, the average age of a viewer is 70 years old. Now, those are a very highly it’s a group that votes in a very high intensity. They vote. They vote, yeah, right? So it’s important, but if I want to have an influence in the next generation of Americans who I feel that I’ve got something to offer, talk about the ills of the direction of the current administration or what have you, I thought, is that really where I wanna be in constraint to that if I go and do something in the independent media field, I could still go on Newsmax, I could still go on CNN or Dave Rubin’s show or Liz Wheeler’s show and have a much bigger base to spread the message and the information that I think I have.
And I find that extremely interesting because the couple of things, people always want this salacious juicy stuff, like kind of the stuff we’re talking about with Tucker, right? That there’s something more than me than meets the eye. But oftentimes those who are in cable news become disillusioned with cable news because they realize that, listen the older generation in our country are incredibly valuable. This is, there’s no disrespect meant to people who enjoy watching Fox News or people who are in that age demographic that over 70 that typically watch Fox News. But the younger generation right now is being shaped by TikTok. They’re being shaped by the Left, they’re being shaped by Snapchat. And by the way, all of those different, different platforms, even if they’re social media, there’s political influences that are deliberately aimed at the younger generation on all of the apps where the younger generation resides, right?
In new media, whether it’s podcasts, whether it is, you know, TikTok, whatever it might be, if we want to influence these people, if we wanna take part in shaping their minds because they’re going to be the people governing our country like it or not, maybe they won’t, maybe they won’t govern it, maybe they’ll run it into the ground. But if we wanna take part in influencing them, then we have to adjust our perception of what the news industry is. I know I’m excited to welcome Sean Spicer into New Media away from Cable News. I think he said he’s developing a new show and he’s going to share the development of that show on his locals sean spicer.locals.com. So, I don’t know, I always find it very exciting when powerful influential people like Sean, like Dave recognize the reality of a dying cable news industry and where the future lies and helps take advantage of that so that we can help shape the next generation which is what you and I are doing here every day, right?
It’s why, again, I’ve mentioned this many times and I’m gonna keep mentioning it. Please sign up for my email newsletter at LizWheeler.com. New media is a little bit scary because you don’t have the institution of whatever network you worked for supporting you. You don’t have this preexisting structure that you just fit into that shows you how to operate with new media. You’re doing it yourself. We’re entrepreneurs, we’re individuals. There’s a tremendous amount of risk that comes with the privilege, the responsibility that comes with the privilege of being independent. And part of that is having to navigate how the Left tries to stifle independent content creators, independent journalists, independent commentators. So one of the ways that we are both hedging our bets, but making sure that we have full communication with you is through this newsletter. Drop me your email@LizWheeler.com so that it doesn’t matter what Big Tech does to us, we are always able to stay in touch right now.
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