Two longtime Fox News contributors have resigned after Tucker Carlson’s new special Patriot Purge premiered on the network.
New York Times reporter Ben Smith noted that Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes quit the network after the special appeared on Fox’s online subscription streaming service Fox Nation.
Hayes and Goldberg have regularly appeared on the network since 2009.
The New York Times reports that Goldberg and Hayes texted each other after viewing the trailer for the special and discussed leaving Fox News.
The trailer for the special about the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol dropped on October 27.
That evening Goldberg, sent a text to his business partner, Stephen Hayes, which said, “I’m tempted just to quit Fox over this.”
Hayes replied, “I’m game. Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.”
The pair founded The Dispatch in 2019 as “…a place that thoughtful readers can come for conservative, fact-based news and commentary.”
Tucker Carlson Tonight is regularly the highest-rated prime-time cable news show, outstripping the competition on rival networks.
Goldberg told the Times in an interview: “Whether it’s Patriot Purge or anti-vax stuff, I don’t want it in my name, and I want to call it out and criticize it. I don’t want to feel like I am betraying a trust that I had by being a Fox News contributor. And I also don’t want to be accused of not really pulling the punches. And then this was just an untenable tension for me.”
Goldberg added: “There are lots of people there that I respect and like and consider friends, and they’re making a decision based upon how to provide for their families and deal with their careers and all of that. And I’m not going to second-guess them. And there are also lots of people over there who think the Fox opinion side today is awesome.”
“Resignations like Mr. Hayes’s and Mr. Goldberg’s remain rare at Fox. Cable contributor jobs are lucrative — often six figures or more — and open doors to book deals and speaking engagements.”https://t.co/VRRwLLbf9g
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 22, 2021
The funniest part of the story involves Tucker’s response.
When asked by Smith for comment about the two Never-Trumpers leaving the network, Carlson said it was “great news” and that “our viewers will be grateful.”
Carlson’s Patriot Purge, a three-part series on Fox Nation, details the incident at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
In the series, Carlson suggests the incident was not orchestrated by Donald Trump’s supporters but rather his foes, including left-wing groups and maybe even some in the government.
“Features interviews with a series of criminals and con artists all of whom are selling their own versions of events to the point the show contradiction itself consistently. The event was peaceful, also all the violence was done by instigators. The media is making things up but also they retract and apologize for making mistakes. All the permits were proper but also no permits were needed. The patriot act was bad but also several sources are pro-patriot act. The Knowledge on display is limited at best. It seriously is in a Fight with itself,” the description of the show states.