Tucker Carlson has spoken publicly for the first time since leaving Fox News, calling TV debates “stupid” and hitting out at “liars” who he said were trying to silence “honest people”.
Posting a two-minute video on his official Twitter feed titled “Good evening”, the 53-year-old host did not directly mention the reason for his abrupt exit from Fox News, just days ago.
His departure came less than a week after parent company Fox Corp agreed to pay $787.5m (£631m) to Dominion Voting Systems to avert a defamation trial.
In his video monologue, Carlson said he was addressing “things you notice when you take a little time off”, including “how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are”.
He said: “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years we won’t even remember we heard them. Trust me, as somebody who participated.”
He went on: “But when honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful.
“At the same time, the liars who have been trying to silence them shrink, and they become weaker.”
He also claimed that debates about “big topics, the ones that will define our futures” like “war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources” are “not permitted in American media”.
Previously Fox News’ most popular host, Carlson regularly drew more than three million viewers to his nightly show.
Fox News announced he would be leaving the network on Tuesday, and said rotating Fox News personalities would be helming the interim show until a new host was named.
While Fox has not explained why they “agreed to part ways” with Carlson, the legal battle between the network and Dominion Voting Systems had led to the publication of messages that publicly aired Carlson’s private views about Donald Trump and his colleagues at Fox.
Carlson would have been expected to testify if the dispute had gone to trial.
Carlson, who worked at both CNN and MSNBC earlier in his career, replaced Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time line-up in 2016. He quickly established himself as a key player in the network, and an influential voice in Republican politics.
He has regularly drawn controversy for incendiary statements about race, LGBTQ rights and other topics, and earlier this year Carlson came under fire from Republicans when he described the deadly riots on the US capitol on 6 January 2021 as “mostly peaceful chaos”.