Unrevealed Tucker Carlson texts "threw Fox News into a panic" on eve of trial

If there's an emerging consensus that Tucker Carlson's firing by Fox News had more to do with boss Rupert Murdoch's personal whims than anything else, don't underestimate the extremity of Carlson's misogyny and racism and his willingness to put it in black and white. The New York Times reports that unrevealed texts forced a quick end to the Dominion lawsuit saga and a sudden end to Carlson's career at the channel. The Times seems to imply it knows what's in the texts but makes clear it has not reviewed them itself.

Private messages sent by Mr. Carlson that had been redacted in legal filings showed him making highly offensive and crude remarks that went beyond the inflammatory, often racist comments of his prime-time show and anything disclosed in the lead-up to the trial. … It is unclear why the Fox board and other executives did not know about the contents of the redacted messages until just before the trial, which was focused on whether Fox News had knowingly aired false claims about Dominion and its voting machines after the 2020 election. Unredacted portions of the documents, including some in which Mr. Carlson spoke derisively about former President Donald J. Trump, were widely reported on in the weeks before the trial.

Carlson already has amazing things on the record, including him taking a sexual interest in his underage daughter's friends and defending statutory rape. People skip over it (as they do with most of his white power stuff) because to acknowledge its extremity means they can't cast him as the relatively normal, mainstream right-wing persona that's most convenient for media-beat content generation. He gets the benefit of the doubt. He gets the right to play. But the lack of accountability comes with its own hazards.

However, you have to contend with the ambiguity of this story, too. To The New York Times, it would be more scandalous for Tucker to toss off vulgar language in workplace text messages than, say plainly-expressed antisemitism, racism, misogyny or homophobia. The C-word would throw the Old Gray Lady onto her fainting couch for a week. There's every chance that such a remark–crude and vulgar but nothing substantially worse than what he's already said a hundred times over, is the entirety of this story.