Somebody leaked behind-the-scenes footage of Tucker Carlson complaining about Fox Nation to Media Matters. More leaked video may be coming.
If you ask me, the leaked video came from Abby Grossberg. But more on that later.
First, here’s Media Matters’ explanation of the video’s content:
The video shows Carlson speaking on the phone on the set of his [Fox Nation] Tucker Carlson Today streaming interview show. He is discussing preparations for an interview in which he says he will act as “a representative of the American media now, speaking to an exile in Romania and welcoming him back into the brotherhood of journalists.” The person on the other end of the call asks if Carlson can wear a sweater for the interview because the subject was “panicking” about needing to wear a suit. Carlson becomes apoplectic, saying, “This is airing on the nighttime show, and I want it to look official” rather than “like bro talk.”
The interview in question appears to be with Tate, a Romania-based right-wing social media star whom Carlson gave a friendly August 2022 Tucker Carlson Today interview about Tate’s bannings from several platforms for misogynist content. Tate appeared in a T-shirt, while Carlson wore a sweater. After Carlson aired part of the interview on his Fox News show, he put up a chyron which read, “Go watch the full Andrew Tate interview on Fox Nation right after this show.”
In December 2022, Romanian authorities arrested Tate, who reportedly remains under house arrest while “being investigated on allegations of rape, people trafficking and forming an organised crime group.” Carlson subsequently declared Tate’s arrest “obviously a set-up.”
In the video, Carlson says the following about Fox Nation, the streaming platform where he provided content in addition to his Fox News show.
CARLSON: But nobody's going to watch it on Fox Nation. Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks. So I'd really like to just put the — dump the whole thing on YouTube. But anyway, that's just my view. OK. I'm just frustrated with it. It's hard to use that site. I don't know why they're not fixing it. It's driving me insane. And they're like making, like, Lifetime movies. But they don't, they don't work on the infrastructure of the site. Like what? It's crazy. And it drives me crazy because it's like we're doing all this extra work and no one can find it. It's unbelievable, actually.
We're like working like animals to produce all this content, and the people in charge of it, whoever that guy's, whatever his name is, like, they're ignoring the fact that the site doesn't work. And I think it's like a betrayal of our efforts. That's how I feel. So I, of course, I resent it.
In his Reliable Sources newsletter, CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote that it is “rare for such footage to ever leak to an outside organization” much less to Media Matters. This comes less than a week after The New York Times also reported having obtained behind-the-scenes video in which Carlson discusses “postmenopausal fans” and is heard describing a woman as “yummy.”
I agree with Darcy in that the really interesting thing about the leaked videos is the question of who is leaking them and why?
It seems pretty likely that the video(s) came from Abby Grossberg, the former Carlson producer now suing Fox with allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic workplace. She reportedly has 90 tapes. In her recent MSNBC interview, Grossberg specifically mentioned Andrew Tate as an issue for her when she worked on the show (see the second video below). In another part of the same interview, which I cannot find online but which I saw live, she talked about how the men on the show wanted to have a bro-fest with Tate in Romania.
That does not mean that Grossberg or her lawyer leaked the video(s), even if they were made by her. They could have been turned over to Fox as part of her lawsuit and Fox could have leaked them. Fox’s PR department has a habit of leaking damaging information about those the network wants to be rid of. But would Fox leak to Media Matters?
Or maybe Team Grossberg is providing a drip, drip, drip of material designed to both back up her claim of a toxic workplace and to embarrass Fox, in the hope of prompting a quick settlement.
Or maybe the leaks are coming from someone else inside the house. Carlson seems to have been widely disliked at Fox.
Media Matters president and CEO Angelo Carusone points out that besides bashing Fox Nation, Carlson is also calling BS on Fox’s claims about Fox Nation viewership:
Two things of note:— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) May 1, 2023
The leak (leaks? hehe) itself is significant, especially now. But also, the substance. Tucker paid attention to metrics. What he's saying here is that Fox was full of shit in their proclamations about Fox Nation viewership.https://t.co/ZG4GwkyGSv
Whoever is doing the leaking, he or she seems to have more in the works.
I wonder what will come out next... https://t.co/WNT6UMImIh— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) May 1, 2023
You can watch the leaked video below, apparently from August, 2022, via Media Matters. Underneath, you can watch Grossberg bring up Tate early in her April 25, 2023 interview, starting at about 2:21.