Recently, Tucker Carlson, a cable news personality, announced the creation of a new version of his show on Twitter. However, Twitter CEO Elon Musk swiftly clarified that the platform had not entered into any kind of agreement with Carlson. Musk stated that the platform allows users to interact, critique, and refute content, and that misleading content will be flagged with @CommunityNotes.
Musk went on to confirm that Carlson is eligible for the same incentives as any other content creator on Twitter, including memberships and a cut of advertising revenue proportional to the number of subscribers and ad impressions related to the content. However, this is a significant issue as Carlson is currently under a non-compete provision in his contract with Fox News until January 2025. This means that he is unable to work in the media until this time, and any potential work with Twitter could be seen as a violation of this contract.
In light of this, Musk’s statement that Twitter has not entered into any agreement with Carlson is important, as it could potentially impact his ongoing legal battles with Fox News. Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, has already written to Fox executives Viet Dinh and Irena Briganti, accusing the network of fraud and contract breach. Freedman’s letter prepares Carlson to argue that the non-compete term in his contract is no longer enforceable, which would allow him to launch the show or start a new media company. The letter accuses Fox of fraud for making “material representations” to Carlson that they subsequently broke.
This is not the first time that Carlson has had legal issues with his employer. In 2020, former Fox News employee Jennifer Eckhart filed a lawsuit accusing Carlson and fellow Fox News anchor Ed Henry of sexual misconduct. Although Carlson was not accused of sexual misconduct, the lawsuit did reveal that he had made sexually inappropriate comments to Eckhart.
Despite these legal issues, Carlson remains a popular figure on Fox News, with his show regularly drawing in high ratings. His announcement of a new version of his show on Twitter has generated significant interest, particularly as it could potentially be seen as a violation of his non-compete contract with Fox News. Musk’s statement that Twitter has not entered into any agreement with Carlson is therefore significant, as it could impact the outcome of Carlson’s legal battles with Fox News.
In addition, Musk’s encouragement for users, particularly those on the political left, to participate in the platform as content providers is noteworthy. This suggests that Twitter is actively seeking to increase the diversity of voices on the platform, which is a positive development. It remains to be seen how successful Carlson’s new show will be on Twitter, and whether it will lead to further legal issues for the controversial news personality.