Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly spent Monday breaking down the events surrounding the dismissal of the network’s highly rated anchor Tucker Carlson and surmised the decision may have to do with forthcoming lawsuits against Fox.
Speaking on his “No Spin” podcast, O’Reilly declared that Fox was not interested in letting Carlson go but that the pressure from facing three separate lawsuits made the situation untenable, especially after previously reaching a $787 million agreement with Dominion Voting Systems to settle allegations that the company’s inferior machines contributed to the loss of President Donald Trump in 2020.
.@BillOReilly says Fox News didn’t want to part ways with Tucker Carlson, but pending lawsuits forced the network to remove him. Watch #CUOMO: https://t.co/s8z9kEhRC4 pic.twitter.com/26SllPRaSi
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) April 25, 2023
“Fox News did not want to remove Tucker Carlson because, as you pointed out, he was the second highest-rated program on the network next to The Five, and he was the most well-known individual host. But there are lawsuits coming on the wake of Dominion… now you have Smartmatic coming up and you have two individual lawsuits… So one of Tucker Carlson’s producers taped a whole bunch of stuff… and those tapes are not good for the Carlson program. The second things was last night on 60 Minutes, Ray Epps told the audience ‘Tucker Carlson ruined my life and my family’s life by accusing me of having some kind of provocative role in the January 6th riots at the Capitol.’ That was setting Epps up for a massive lawsuit against Fox News and Tucker Carlson.
“So that’s three lawsuits we know about and there will be more by shareholders that are angry about the $800 million settlement. Faced with that, the board of directors said, ‘We’ve gotta start cleaning this up,'” said O’Reilly.
The Smartmatic lawsuit referenced by O’Reilly relates to a second vote-tabulation company suing Fox for $2.7 billion and naming network personalities Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and former host Lou Dobbs. The company claims that all three contributors did not just report doubts raised about its software but also “effectively endorsed and participated in the statements with reckless disregard for, or serious doubts about.” Fox has countered that claims by Smartmatic against the network are “implausible, disconnected from reality, and on its face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms.”