NEW YORK — The day he was fired, Tucker Carlson was nearly invisible on the Fox News prime-time lineup that he used to dominate.
“We’re not talking about him,” former colleague Sean Hannity said in one of the two very brief mentions of Carlson’s name on Fox News on Monday night. In contrast, his ouster was the lead story on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts.
Carlson was abruptly bounced from his popular prime-time show earlier in the day without any explanation from Fox. It was less than one week after Fox had agreed to pay $787 million to settle a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems over the network’s dissemination of bogus election conspiracy theories, and it came as more legal threats loom.
Brian Kilmeade took over Carlson’s hour, telling viewers that Carlson and Fox had agreed to part ways, “as you may have heard.” He swiftly moved on to other stories.
Hannity led his hour-long broadcast with a story on Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and interviewed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.
Carlson’s name came up when Hannity did a segment on the other big media story of the day, CNN’s firing of anchor Don Lemon. He brought on Kellyanne Conway, former aide to President Donald Trump, to criticize Lemon as a studio audience cheered.
“We’re not talking about Tucker,” Hannity said, unprompted. “I don’t have any details on it. He had a massive audience and he had a huge following. This guy (Lemon) had nobody.”
Fox’s other prime-time host, Laura Ingraham, didn’t mention Carlson. Instead, she criticized Democrats in her lead story, “Whatever Happened to Hope and Change?” She also did a segment on a contest in Belgium where people pretended to screech like seagulls.
Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham appeared close in November 2020. That’s when they engaged in a three-way text conversation bashing their own network’s news division following the presidential election, according to documents revealed earlier this year as part of Dominion’s lawsuit.
Fox has said that rotating guest hosts will occupy Carlson’s old time slot until a full-time replacement is named.