Fox News has sent a new cease-and-desist letter to Tucker Carlson after the release of his second episode of “Tucker on Twitter,” a massively successful new venture for the network’s former primetime host.
The letter, as first reported by Axios, boasts an all-caps “NOT FOR PUBLICATION” at the top and comes shortly after Carlson released his second episode of “Tucker on Twitter” which has drawn nearly 55 million views as of Monday morning. His combined audience for just two episodes has reached 169 million views.
At issue is Fox’s assertion that Carlson must refrain from essentially all public commenting on news of the day while he continues to draw a salary from Fox through the end of 2024. Carlson’s attorneys have pushed back with force, citing his First Amendment right to speak out while claiming material breaches by Fox of its contract with the former primetime host.
Harmeet Dhillon, the lead attorney for Tucker Carlson, gave a classic takedown of Fox News on Monday morning.
“My friend and client @TuckerCarlson will not be silenced — by the far left or by Fox News. For all the friends who have been asking ‘why don’t we see you on Fox anymore?’ — This is why. I am passionately committed to free speech and a free flow of information necessary for a free society. Until Fox stops trying to silence Tucker, it’s not a place for me,” Dhillon tweeted.
For all the friends who have been asking “why don’t we see you on Fox anymore?” — This is why. I am passionately committed to free speech and a free flow of information necessary for a free society. Until Fox stops trying to silence Tucker, it’s not a place for me. And I feel for…
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) June 12, 2023
Sources close to Carlson’s new production team told Axios he plans to ramp up a series of longer, more varied episodes and eventually include guests. Justin Wells, Carlson’s executive producer, tweeted Sunday “Next Episode of Tucker on Twitter coming Tuesday: Tucker’s response to the indictment of President Donald Trump.”
Next Episode of Tucker on Twitter coming Tuesday: Tucker’s response to the indictment of President Donald Trump
— Justin Wells (@justinbwells) June 11, 2023
In a statement to Axios, Dhillon reiterated that Fox is backsliding on its commitment to viewers.
“Fox News continues to ignore the interests of its viewers, not to mention its shareholder obligations. Doubling down on the most catastrophic programming decision in the history of the cable news industry, Fox is now demanding that Tucker Carlson be silent until after the 2024 election,” the statement continued. Tucker will not be silenced by anyone … He is a singularly important voice on matters of public interest in our country, and will remain so.”
Fox declined to comment when asked about the publication of its cease-and-desist letter.