Tucker Carlson is back – on Twitter.
The right wing TV personality said in a video on his Twitter feed Tuesday that he is relaunching his show on the social media platform, which is owned by Elon Musk. Carlson was abruptly fired from his prime time post at Fox News weeks ago, shortly after the network paid a settlement to Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation lawsuit.
In a three minute video, Carlson – who has worked for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News – berated the mainstream media for allegedly lying to the public. He told viewers: “You are being manipulated.” Carlson also said Twitter isn’t partisan.
“Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world, the only one, is Twitter, where we are now,” Carlson said in Tuesday’s video. “Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops. Twitter is not a partisan site, everybody’s allowed here, and we think that’s a good thing.”
A Fox representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A Twitter spokesperson responded with a poop emoji when asked for comment on Tuesday.
“On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever he or anyone may say,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. He added “we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.”
“I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform,” Musk said in the tweet.
Carlson’s shift to Twitter comes as former President Donald Trump is running for election again in 2024. In the wake of President Joe Biden’s triumph over Trump in 2020, both media outlets and social media platforms are contending with the spread of false claims about the most recent election.
Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle Dominion’s defamation lawsuit that the network and its hosts spread false claims about the election. Fox faces a similar lawsuit with voting machine tech company Smartmatic USA.
Carlson has not publicly addressed his firing from Fox News, although he broke his silence days after he was booted from the network, also in a video posted on his Twitter feed. “When you take a little time off, you realize how unbelievably stupid the debates you see on television are, they’re completely irrelevant,” he said during his April 26 video.
Since then, various media reports have emerged saying that text messages from Carlson, including a racist remark about how “white men” fight, sealed his fate at Fox. The texts were unearthed during the discovery process in the Dominion defamation case.
In recent days, unredacted portions of evidence from the Dominion lawsuit have come out in media reports, which have also said Carlson was pushing the network to let him find his own platform. Carlson was reportedly in a contract dispute with Fox, which is said to last through 2025, and was said to have had discussions with Musk.
Carlson’s last show on Fox aired on Friday, April 21. The following Monday, Fox said in a statement: “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
Fox has seen its prime-time ratings dip since Carlson’s exit, although top advertisers have returned to the timeslot for the network. Carlson’s program was among one of the highest rated cable TV segments. Fox still touts being the top-rated cable news network, which CEO Lachlan Murdoch noted on Tuesday’s earnings call with investors.
Meanwhile, much smaller networks like Newsmax have seen a stark increase in viewership since Carlson has gone off Fox’s air, according to Nielsen ratings data.
In his last week on Fox News, Carlson hosted Musk on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
During the interview, which aired over two nights, Carlson asked Musk whether he thought Twitter would weigh heavily in future elections as it had for Trump. “I think it will play a significant role in elections, not just domestically but internationally,” Musk told Carlson.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery’s CNN will hold a live town hall with Trump. The network has vowed to hold Trump accountable, with CEO David Zaslav saying as the Republican frontrunner, Trump has to be on air.
–CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this article.