After Tucker Carlson was fired, I can’t see myself returning to the old neighborhood

Fox’s firing of Tucker Carlson feels similar to what happened to Atlantic City. Seeing its decline can make you feel old and nostalgic. I can remember when Fox was the only cable news worth watching. Now, I’ve seen it morph into another mouthpiece for neoconservatives, warmongers and corporate interest groups.

Like Atlantic City, Fox News was, for a long time, the redlight district of cable news. It was everything liberals hated. It featured second amendment absolutists, anti-abortion and anti-science evangelicals.

What made Fox great was there was no political correctness. If a liberal came on the studio to speak about racism, equality and oppression, the host would shut the show down and bounce them off the set.

I miss the Fox of Roger Ailes. The network’s decline feels like the old family dinner you go to after work. It was like the kind of dinner you would have at a family business, where they took time to make a good pasta. But then, one day, you hear the family sold the business to some corporate entity. Instead of keeping the menu, the new owners change everything until it’s unrecognizable.

Was Ailes not a good person? I don’t know. To me, he was a J. Edgar Hoover. He had files on anyone who tried to place

him in a compromising position. He was also a genius at late-night broadcasting. It was Ailes who created “The Five,” and brought the likes of Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity to the network.

This was Fox’s appeal. Carlson was one hour of a white male showing no empathy or remorse for left-wing ideas or policies. He did not hold back. He triggered people. His documentary on Jan. 6, for example, provoked some fake neoconservatives to leave Fox entirely. Carlson was truly the modern-day Daniel. He never apologized or backed down from his convictions about vaccines or the jailed Jan. 6 protestors. He also loved bringing academics, experts and liberal scholars to his show. He gave them all the air time to speak. What was great about him was when they said something contradictory or ridiculous, he would give you this look, laugh and say, “We have to cut to the commercial.”

Like that neighborhood deli I loved, I saw it go downhill when they fired Ailes and appointed the “Never Trumper,” Paul Ryan to its board.

Fox’s standing began to unravel when Donald Trump ran for the presidency. His candidacy caused a civil war to break out between Trump enthusiasts and “Never Trumpers.” It was a battle between conservatives who wanted to defeat the Democrats and between those who were perfectly comfortable

with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden. Whenever someone said something unfavorable about Trump, the former president would call in and berate the guest as “second-rate.” If they tried to swing back, Trump would embarrass the person on Twitter.

Soon after, I stopped watching Fox except to tune into Carlson’s show. He was the only person on cable news that was not advocating for a pandemic lockdown to save peoples’ lives or persuading his audience that vaccines are safe and effective.

Carlson, like Joe Rogan, never took sides. But he was willing to bring on controversial guests such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kanye West, who had a friendship with Alex Jones.

I miss the old Fox. Carlson’s firing feels to me like experiencing a death in the family. There was once a time when Fox was a boomtown news channel. Fox has replaced Carlson with a panel of saccharine Republicans such as Brian Kilmeade and Lawrence Jones. I don’t have enmity for them and hope they fill the shoes of their predecessors.

However, I will continue to think of Fox in the same way I think of Atlantic City. There’s no reason to go back. I have no hard feelings, but there are times when you must part ways. So long, Fox. I wish you the best.

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