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He's Baaaaaack!

We used the headline we did for the item above because we couldn't think of anything better. But inasmuch as the original movie line and song actually reference a cold-blooded psychopath, it might be a wee bit better fit here. Tucker Carlson has decided he just can't bear to sit the rest of 2023 and all of 2024 out, and so he announced yesterday that he is going to quickly re-launch his show... on Twitter. Here is the video where he shared the news, if you're into, you know, S&M.

Carlson decreed that "there are not that many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining ... is Twitter, where we are now." That is both ridiculous, and yet... pretty correct. Carlson is not really referring to free speech, of course, what he's referring to is speech without consequences. Since he will now be Twitter's biggest star, Elon Musk is going to let him do and say whatever the hell he wants. And given the changes to the platform's algorithm, and to it's blue-checkmark program, Carlson's not even going to get much in the way of negative feedback. These days, when someone posts vitriol and/or lunacy, the algorithm prioritizes like-minded haters and loons, particularly those who have paid $8/month to make sure their vitriol and lunacy are heard. Note that it happens with left-wing haters and loons, too, although thanks to Musk's policies, the platform is skewing ever more rightward these days. Neo-Nazi participation is way up, for example. Undoubtedly, they will be delighted to once again enjoy daily programming from their favorite entertainer.

Carlson is still under contract to Fox, of course, and this new venture could threaten his ability to claim the $30+ million in salary he is still owed. He seems to be prepared to make two arguments to try to counter that; the first is that Fox breached its contract with him (dubious, since they're still signing the checks), the second is that Twitter does not directly compete with Fox (probably also dubious, because media non-competes tend to be pretty broad, and generally cover all different kinds of platforms).

Still, Carlson doesn't want to sit on the bench, and it's not like he's at risk of going without food (even if it's Swanson frozen dinners). Plus, Fox is probably not eager for a(nother) ugly lawsuit. So, our guess is that Carlson and Fox settle somewhere in the middle, and he gets the majority of the salary that is owed to him. That said, Twitter has 70 million users in the U.S., while Fox is in the homes of about 280 million people. That means that Carlson's potential audience just dropped by 75%. It's not going to be easy for him to remain relevant, especially since the Trumpers now know his true feelings about their Dear Leader. (Z)

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