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A wild day in cable news that saw Fox News unceremoniously jettison Tucker Carlson and CNN similarly defenestrate Don Lemon was, unsurprisingly, picked over on late night television Monday night.
On NBC’s Late Night, host Seth Meyers dedicated his “A Closer Look” segment to Carlson’s ouster, saying, “I don’t think anything could shock me anymore and then this happened,” before asking: “Does this mean Fox News has gone woke?”
Meyers looked at how the news was reportedly a surprise even to Carlson, pointing to an odd segment on eating bugs that made up the final moments of what was to be the anchor’s final show on Fox News. “Truly amazing though, his last segment on TV was not a rousing monologue or a grand farewell, but a reminder to watch a special report, I guess about eating bugs — which apparently is a problem now?” said Meyers.
“This is all such a fitting end for Tucker because he was always terrified that he would lose his show after getting canned by two other cable networks: CNN and MSNBC. And he was specifically afraid that Donald Trump would be the one to destroy him. Which is why Tucker spent so much time spoon-feeding Trump’s bullshit to his viewers despite knowing it was all bullshit,” said Meyers on Carlson’s attempts to ride the tiger of Trumpism.
He added, “Tucker made the same mistake everyone else who sucks up to Trump makes. He thought he could harness Trumpism and use Trump for his own ends while remaining completely unscathed. But, ultimately, they all learn the same lesson: You can’t let a tiger loose and not get mauled, even if it’s the biggest, dumbest-looking tiger in the zoo.”
On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, longtime Carlson nemesis Jimmy Kimmel didn’t even attempt to hide his joy at the news, describing it as “an absolutely delightful shock.” He quipped, “Fox News has severed bow ties with Tucker Carlson after all these years. They are ‘parting ways,’ which means he was fired.”
Kimmel likened Carlson’s axing, reportedly at the prompting of Fox Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch, to an episode of HBO’s Succession and tried to convey how crazy a day it was in the world of cable news, especially as Lemon’s exit at CNN was announced not long after Carlson’s. “For those of you that don’t follow cable, this is like if Ronald McDonald and the Burger King got fired on the same day. Supposedly, neither network knew the other was doing this,” Kimmel said.
“Hi, I’m Jimmy Fallon. One of the few TV personalities who’s still employed,” is how The Tonight Show’s Fallon began his monologue Monday night. “Some people aren’t sure what led to [Carlson’s] exit, but Fox said they can think of almost a billion reasons,” Fallon joked, in reference to the $787.5 million defamation suit settlement reached between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems a week ago on the eve of trial.
Fallon didn’t dwell too long on the Carlson and Lemon news, but did add that it was “easy to make jokes about Tucker being gone,” although he wondered, “Who’s going to tell me which M&M is most woke?”
On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, guest host Desi Lydic didn’t hold back when she covered the topic. “Wow. I can’t believe that a network that’s so opposed to gender-affirming surgery just cut off their own dick,” joked Lydic about Carlson’s firing.
While discussing the reasons and speculation behind Carlson’s ouster, Lydic said, “Apparently Tucker was forced out by Rupert Murdoch, which is pretty ironic. Tucker spent so many years saying that Mexican people were coming to take our jobs away. Turns out, he should have been worrying about Australians.”
She added, “And we still don’t know exactly what led Rupert Murdoch to fire his network’s biggest star, but reportedly he was concerned over Carlson’s conspiracy theories about January 6. So let this be a lesson to everybody: If you try to topple America’s democracy, you can stay on TV for two more years and that’s it.”
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