(Note: be sure to read the edit at the bottom where apparently Elon insists he isn’t in fact subsidizing Carlson. Other than not banning him for racism, that is.)
The news just came out that Elon Musk has partnered with Tucker Carlson to revive his “news” show on Twitter.
This just happened, so not a lot of concrete details, but some things are already immediately apparent.
- Tucker Carlson had a $25 million no-compete with Fox. So presumably Musk is paying Carlson at least that much. There’s no official word as of yet, because Elon Musk doesn’t bother to talk to anyone that’s not a far-right Twitter poster. He has been quoted as saying he wants Twitter to begin hosting premium video content, and it’s very difficult to see Carlson making this announcement without some sort of collaboration - unless he just plans to post links to Rumble videos or something.
- It’s also worth noting that in the past few days Musk has notably stepped up his open embracing of far-right conspiracy theories, most recently regarding the Allen, TX mass shooter. He ridiculed the thought that someone in America (who presumably, at least before Musk’s tenure, would be banned from every major social network for being a genocidal Nazi) would have an account on a second-tier Russian social network (Odnoklassniki) and repeated accusations that painting the genocidal Nazi as a genocidal Nazi was “a psyop”, far-right lingo for a government conspiracy to conceal the truth.
- Carlson is, let’s not forget, fired from Fox for being too toxic. Too toxic for Fox News is a very high bar to clear, and Carlson cleared that bar with regularity and gusto. He is the leading proponent of the “white replacement” conspiracy theory that postulates Democrats are intentionally importing illegal immigrants from Latin America and giving them voting power to cancel out the votes of white people. (This is, need I not explain, false and hella racist.) He so consistently parrots the Russian propaganda line on Ukraine (sample quote: “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he ever tried to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”) that he is a regular fixture on Russian state television. He was forced to let his lead writer go when it was revealed he was a regular poster on white supremacist message boards. Basically, he’s really not a nice guy.
Given all this, it’s really hard to argue with the logic of Arieh Kovler:
Or, as someone else said on Bluesky, the new Twitter invite-only alternative (no, I don’t have any invite codes yet):
This newsletter’s official motto (“everything continues to be terrible”) just doesn’t seem to be enough, so let’s throw it to Viktor Chernomyrdin while we wait to see what develops:
Stay safe, space ghosts. You can find me on Mastodon (email@example.com), Bluesky (@brokentoys.social) but on Twitter, at least a whole hell of a lot less, I’m thinking.
EDIT: Elon Musk just tweeted that he had nothing to do with this, which means Carlson is indeed throwing away $25 million to post links to his Rumble videos. Or something. I don’t even know any more. Everything is still horrible.