The more we learn about Tucker Carlson, the more astonishing it is that he lasted five months at Fox, let alone however long it was. Once those texts were subpoenaed, it was all over. He called a top executive a cunt in one of them.
Also, this unpaywalled column by Jack Shafer at Politico gets it right, I think. Even superstars at Fox are just like those Fisher-Price people who can be plugged into, and pulled out of, holes in a child’s toy:
Roger Ailes, the original architect of Fox, who founded the network in 1996 with Murdoch, explained its show-making philosophy to Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard in 2017. The subject was the early evening news-talk program, The Five, which in recent months has outperformed even Carlson’s show. Ailes explained how he filled the slot vacated by solo artist Beck with an ensemble of pundits — building a sort of Archies talk show for the Fox audience. The Five would be performed by five commentators at 5 p.m. Get it?
“Go around the table,” Ailes told Ferguson. “Over on this end, we’ve got the bombshell in a skirt, drop-dead gorgeous. … But smart! She’s got to be smart, or it doesn’t work.” Next, he said, “We have a gruff longshoreman type, salty but not too salty for TV. In the middle there’s the handsome matinee idol. Next to him we have the Salvation Army girl, cute and innocent —but you get the idea she might be a lotta fun after a few pops. On the end, we need a wiseguy, the cut-up.”
When Ailes finally cast the show with his types, Ferguson writes, he summoned them to his office and had them stand in a semi-circle around his desk to explain why he was calling the show The Five. “‘I’m calling it The Five because you are types, not people. You all are about to become very famous, and you’re going to make a lotta money. A lotta money. But don’t ever forget. Right behind you I’ve got somebody exactly like you ready to take your place. So don’t fuck up.”
Tucker Carlson got too big for his britches, and by the time he started talking like an evangelist, even Rupert Murdoch knew he was living on borrowed time. By the time the texts dropped and the Dominion business reached a crescendo, he had a target on his back. This is an old story. Bette Davis made a movie about it.
Ultimately, though, I want to not think of Tucker Carlson after this week. It’s almost fly-fishing season in Maine; let him go get his lines wet and wonder if people will remember who he is when his non-compete expires.
Kate came over last night for her fortnightly laundry date and told some hilarious work stories I wish I could relate here, but they’d probably get her fired. She makes part of her living doing live sound engineering at a number of venues, and had a memorable gig recently. That’s all I can say, other than that I’m still chuckling.
I’m writing this in between gigs, so to speak, myself. Have an interview scheduled in about 20 minutes.
Would you like to se some real bullshit? How about this, Floridians?
A pair of bills making their way through the Florida Legislature could fuel a deluge of property sales and demolitions of historic properties in coastal cities, including Miami Beach and Palm Beach.
If the bills become law, Florida Senate Bill 1356 and House Bill 1317 would strip local municipalities of their authority to determine if certain structures can be demolished, and what could be built in their place.
…The proposed legislation would be a boon for developers.
It would allow owners and developers to demolish “non-conforming” properties within a half mile of the coast and within specific flood zones — regardless of whether the buildings are in a historic district. Non-conforming buildings are any that do not meet new construction requirements under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Sure, those Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach are pretty, but they’re so …short. We need to clear them out and make room for some more glass high-rises. As for Key West, I shudder to think.
Fucking Florida. It’s not going to be worth a fiddler’s damn once DeSantis and crew are done with it.
OK, nearly time for my phone chat. It’s Wednesday, and after it’s over, we’ll be on the downslope of the week.