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Tucker Carlson trolls reporter in leaked text messages

By Sarah May on
 May 12, 2023

Though he has made lots of headlines of late in the wake of his abruptly shocking departure from Fox News, Tucker Carlson recently had a little text message fun with a reporter who was curious about his next career move, as the Daily Mail indicates.

The exchange at issue occurred between Carlson and Insider senior correspondent Mattathias Schwartz, who wondered if the former Fox News personality's new degree of freedom might push him in the direction of elected office, as some recent rumors had suggested.

Tantalizing Exclusive?

Specifically, Schwartz contacted Carlson via text message to ask directly whether a run for the Oval Office was in his immediate future.

Carlson replied simply, “Yes. Announcing Friday in New Hampshire.”

Hopeful that he was on the cusp of breaking a massive story, Schwartz responded by asking, “Can I call you? I would like to be the first with this.”

“But I can't stand it up with one text. Let me know. A voice call would be helpful,” Schwartz added.

“Totally Kidding”

Apparently not wanting to string the excited journalist along for an extended period of time, Carlson quickly owned up to the fact that he was “totally kidding” about running for president, after which he added, “sorry.”

That prompted Schwartz to admit, “You got me.”

Continuing his remorseful tone, Carlson wrote, “I can never control myself. I'm fundamentally a d**k. My apologies.”

In good-natured fashion, Schwartz responded, “It's okay. I can appreciate a good troll. So you've ruled 2024 out completely, it sounds like.”

Next Move Announced

Rather than hitting the campaign trail, Carlson has something planned for the near future that is rather more in keeping with his most recent endeavors, as CBS News reported earlier this week.

Carlson announced on Tuesday that he would be launching a new program on Twitter, despite reportedly having received lucrative offers to bring his talents to Rumble, One America News Network, BlazeTV, and more.

Explaining why he chose the social media platform led by Elon Musk, Carlson declared, “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. 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.”

Carlson concluded his announcement by stating that he and his staff would be “bringing a new version of the show we've been doing for the last six and a half years,” and which was a consistent ratings winner for his former network.

Legal Battles Ahead?

Though Carlson's promise to take his content to Twitter generated a great deal of excitement for fans who have been missing his presence on primetime TV, given his current contractual status with Fox, many questions about his ability to do so remain in the air, according to The Hill. Carlson remains under contract with the cable news network, and that fact introduces a number of legal variables that are the subject of simmering tensions between the two parties.

Citing a report in Axios, The Hill noted that attorney Bryan Freedman dispatched a letter to Fox executives declaring the network to be in breach with regard to its contract with Carlson in that it allegedly leaked private communications and subsequently took “adverse employment action against him,” a reference to communications that emerged in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit against the company.

Though Fox has not replied to the accusation, experts have suggested that even though moving to Twitter could constitute a breach on Carlson's part, his former network would be running a serious risk by pursuing a claim against a figure so many of its viewers still hold in very high regard.

One media executive told The Hill, “From a contractual standpoint, Fox's position is probably the right one, but from a PR standpoint, Tucker's point is probably the right one, which is why they should never have let it get this far in the first place.”