© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Fox personality Tucker Carlson speaks at the 2017 Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media conference in New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Former Fox News star Tucker Carlson surfaced publicly on Wednesday for the first time since abruptly leaving the network this week, releasing a videotaped statement in which he criticized the state of public discourse on U.S. television.
Carlson in the videotaped statement did not directly address his departure from Fox, where he hosted the highest-rated cable news program in the key age demographic on the most-watched U.S. cable news network.
Instead, he took aim at American media and the U.S. political system.
“Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it,” Carlson said.
“Suddenly the United States looks very much like a one-party state. That’s a depressing realization, but its not permanent,” he said.
“Where can you still find Americans saying true things?,” Carlson asked. “There aren’t many places left, but there are some.”
Despite signing off the roughly two-minute clip with the words “see you soon,” Carlson did not give any hints of his next move.
Carlson and Fox parted ways less than a week after parent company Fox Corp settled for $787.5 million a defamation lawsuit in which Carlson played a starring role.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that a tipping point for Fox executives may have been private messages containing what the paper called “highly offensive and crude remarks” by Carlson. The Wall Street Journal reported that Carlson called a senior executive the “c-word.”
Dominion Voting Systems said in its lawsuit that Carlson allowed debunked election-fraud claims about the voting-technology firm to air on his show, while casting doubts on the plausibility of those claims in some of the private messages.
Carlson is also key to additional legal battles facing Fox, including a lawsuit filed by his former head of booking, Abby Grossberg, who said Fox coerced her testimony in the Dominion case.
Grossberg last month accused network lawyers of pressuring her to provide misleading testimony and said Fox exposed her and others to rampant sexism and misogyny. Fox fired Grossberg, saying her legal claims were “riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees.”
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