The spokeswoman for Fox News is prepared to release a dossier of damaging information on Tucker Carlson if the network’s former host criticizes the company following his departure, according to sources inside Fox.
Eight individuals, speaking anonymously with Rolling Stone, detailed the extreme lengths to which publicist Irena Briganti will go to keep her network’s talent in line if they stray from Fox’s approved lines. Sources say a so-called “oppo file” she maintains on Carlson includes admissions of a sexually-charged and discriminatory atmosphere among those working for his primetime show, an allegation that jives with a lawsuit filed by a female former senior producer.
Carlson, who has hired entertainment super-lawyer Bryan Freedman to manage his exit from Fox, has been critical of network executives in text messages disclosed during discovery for the lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.
“Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience?” asked Carlson in one exchange, adding “A combination of incompetent liberals and top leadership with too much pride to back down is what’s happening.”’
Briganti, who one source called “Fox’s fighter,” has gone to the mat over transgressions made by former stars of the network. When Megyn Kelly left her show in 2017 for a rival network, Briganti allegedly pushed reporters to write about her low ratings and a rumor that she asked a star of the popular show Will & Grace if the show led to him being gay. Kelly has previously spoken out about the “vindictiveness” by Briganti to pursue consequences against those she deems insufficiently loyal to her employer.
Carlson expressed surprise at his exit though has so far declined to publicly criticize the network, a move that contrasts with the open hostility by former CNN host Don Lemon who was dismissed on the same day. Lemon blamed his network’s executives for failing to be upfront about his firing, though CNN’s public relations team disputed that characterization.