I made the point clearly below that there’s going to be one big reason why Tucker Carlson got canned, not a bunch of little reasons that tipped the scales against him. It’s going to be one big, big thing that renders the secondary good and bad things basically irrelevant. Except there’s maybe one other possibility. Let me caveat this by asking you to think of this as somewhere between an edge case possibility and an explanation from an alternate universe.
Got it? Great. Let’s dig in.
Maybe there’s actually no reason at all. Rupert Murdoch is a 92 year old man. He just suffered one of the biggest professional humiliations of his life. It cost him almost $1 billion. Maybe he felt the need – the impulse really – to do something dramatic, dominating and by design almost inexplicable simply to demonstrate being in charge. A sort of blood sacrifice to bring the gods and animal spirits back on side.
One of the things powerful men do is act crazy sometimes. By design. Some of them don’t have to act it. Some do. Being predictable can be dangerous. Being unpredictable and unbounded warns people off. I may be too much under the influence of Succession. Because it has the feel of something Logan Roy would do. But I think Succession has a lot of insight into this world.
It’s been reported that Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News, didn’t tell Carlson why he was being fired when she gave him the news. If that’s true, that pushes me more to consider this possibility. It also might explain why you have all this miscellany of often contradictory theories and explanations about what “contributed” to the decision. Maybe no one at Fox has any idea and all the sources are basically speculating about possible vulnerabilities they believe must be the answer. Yes, this is speculation. But when something doesn’t fit you have to consider all the possibilities.
I likely would have kept all this to myself if I hadn’t seen this Semafor piece by Max Tani: “Rupert Murdoch’s management grows erratic.” The piece lists a series of odd and drastic events over the last year and suggests, though not explicitly, that Murdoch may be losing it. As Tani puts it, “the sudden moves, the endless leaks, and the general sense of an out-of-control train has also raised questions in the middle and top ranks of the company about the elder Murdoch’s state of mind and temperament.”
If you’re wondering, yes, I still think my initial theory is right. But this one is worth considering.