Tucker Carlson: The ousted news anchor polarising America

Tucker Carlson has become the face of his own media brand, the Tucker Carlson Network
Tucker Carlson has become the face of his own media brand, the Tucker Carlson Network - Reuters
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tucker Carlson has become one of America’s most controversial media personalities.

Known primarily for his work on Fox News, the 54-year-old anchor rose to fame in the 2010s as presenter of Tucker Carlson Tonight – a polemic news programme that was one of the network’s most popular broadcasts.

Carlson amassed a record viewership on Fox News, becoming a key figure in Republican politics and often interviewing Donald Trump. He was also widely criticised for spreading misinformation on his programmes.

He aired a firestorm of conspiracy theories, including the idea of the “great replacement” of white Americans, and was quick to spread Mr Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

His show featured extensive discussion of the pandemic, including claims that have been described as misleading, and focused on immigration as a major talking point.

Carlson was later ousted after a defamation case, in which Dominion Voting Systems accused Fox News of airing false claims after the election.

Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump during the final round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV golf tournament
Tucker Carlson often interviewed Donald Trump - Seth Wenig/AP

The presenter has said he does not know why he was fired from the network, but said he was not “angry” about it. Other news outlets have reported that his contract was terminated after he was found to have made unflattering comments about Fox News executives.

Since the public break, Carlson has become the face of his own alternative media brand, the Tucker Carlson Network, which airs on its own website and livestreams content on X.

The platform has published interviews with major figures on the American Right, including Mr Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Javier Milei, the new president of Argentina.

Fox News has launched a legal battle to halt his shows, arguing they violate the terms of his contract.

The son of Dick Carlson, the Voice of America journalist, Tucker Carlson began his career on local and national newspapers and magazines, before moving to CNN as a commentator in 2000.

In 2003, he interviewed Britney Spears, eliciting a response from the pop star on the Iraq War: “We should just trust our president in every decision he makes.”

After stints at the US networks PBS and MSNBC, he took part in a series of Dancing with the Stars, then took a job at Fox News in 2009.

Tucker Carlson in a Fox News studio in 2017
Tucker Carlson in a Fox News studio in 2017 - AP

Tucker Carlson Tonight, one of the network’s flagship shows, debuted in 2016.

Throughout his career, Carlson has been critical of mainstream media outlets, often accusing them of deliberately omitting facts to present a partial view of events to readers and viewers.

In a video to launch his new channel in May 2023, he said: “At the most basic level, the news you consume is a lie, a lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind.

“Facts have been withheld on purpose along with proportion and perspective. You are being manipulated.”

He has an estimated net worth of $370 million and owns property in Florida. He married his high school girlfriend, Susan Andrews, in 1991. The couple have four children.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.