FOX Demands Media Outlet Stops Sharing Leaked Tucker Carlson Videos

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FOX News Media has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the progressive watchdog outlet Media Matters on Friday (May 5) demanding it take down leaked behind-the-scenes videos of recently fired former host Tucker Carlson bashing its FOX Nation streaming service and making crude remarks while speaking with staffers during his tenure with the company, CNN reports.

The letter said that the "unaired footage" was "confidential intellectual property" and demanded that Media Matters “cease and desist from distribution, publication, and misuse of Fox’s misappropriated proprietary footage, which you are now on notice was unlawfully obtained.”

“Reporting on newsworthy leaked material is a cornerstone of journalism,” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said in response to the cease-and-desist letter on Friday via CNN. “For FOX to argue otherwise is absurd and further dispels any pretense that they’re a news operation. Perhaps if I tell them that the footage came from a combination of WikiLeaks and Hunter Biden’s laptop, it will alleviate their concerns.”

On Monday (May 1), Media Matters shared the footage of Carlson bashing the streaming service while setting up an interview with a representative for internet personality Andrew Tate shortly after Tate was arrested on charges of human trafficking in 2022.

“I don’t want to be a slave to Fox Nation, which I don’t think that people watch anyway. We’re gonna, because, you know, I’m like a representative of the American media now, speaking to an exile in Romania and welcoming him back into the brotherhood of journalists,” Carlson said in the footage from 2022, which was leaked to Media Matters. “But nobody’s going to watch it on Fox Nation. Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks.”

“I’m just frustrated with,” Carlson added. “It’s hard to use that site. I don’t know why they’re not fixing it. It’s driving me insane. And they’re like making, like, Lifetime movies. But they don’t, they don’t work on the infrastructure of the site. Like what? It’s crazy. And it drives me crazy because it’s like we’re doing all this extra work and no one can find it. It’s unbelievable, actually.”

On Tuesday (May 2), the New York Times shared a text message believed to have led to Carlson's recent firing. Carlson reportedly sent a text to a producer regarding the events of the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol and described a video he watched in which three supporters of former President Donald Trump "surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living s*** out of him," which set off a panic to FOX executives ahead of the company's billion-dollar defamation trial.

Carlson initially called the attack "dishonorable" and claimed it was "not how white men fight" before admitting that he found himself "rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they'd hit him harder, kill him."

"I really wanted them to hurt the kid," Carlson wrote. "I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?”

FOX News Media announced it and Carlson had "agreed to part ways," in a news release obtained by on April 24.

"We thank him for his service to the network as host and prior to that as a contributor."

Carlson's tenure as host of FOX News Tonight concluded April 21 live broadcast and the company said it plans to have "an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named," according to the news release.

The announcement came days after FOX News Media reached a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over its personalities amplifying Trump's false voter fraud claims during the 2020 election. Text messages released through the Dominion lawsuit revealed that Carlson, who had publicly supported Trump on FOX News Tonight throughout his presidency and during his voter fraud claims, texted an unknown recipient, "I hate him passionately," when referring to Trump on January 4, 2021, two days before the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Carlson was cable news' highest-rated prime time host, with FOX News Tonight averaging 3 million viewers per night. The conservative political commentator joined FOX News in 2009, having previously contributed to CNN (2000-05), PBS (2004-05) and MSNBC (2005-08).

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