If you check the big media headlines from the past day or two, you’ll notice something odd: Fox News isn’t mentioned in almost any of them. That’s because Fox’s recent decisions to settle with Dominion and fire Tucker Carlson have managed to stop the bleeding. But it’s come at great cost, and it’s only temporary.
Fox News gave up three quarters of a billion dollars to make the Dominion scandal go away. Fox has also forfeited a significant amount of nightly ratings and revenue by dumping Carlson, as to distance itself from his worsening scandals. And so there are no new headlines coming out about Fox right now, which is surely what Fox was aiming for with these very costly moves.
But what else is going to come out from former Fox producer Abby Grossberg, as she pursues a discrimination case against Fox? What happens if Tucker Carlson can’t handle how irrelevant he’s suddenly become, and decides to publicly go to war with Fox in an effort at getting his name back out there? How long before the Smartmatic case puts Fox News back in the headlines? What if Smartmatic sticks to its vow not to settle? What new revelations will come out during a Smartmatic trial? And how big of checks might Fox end up having to write to Grossberg, Carlson, and Smartmatic in the end?
So if you’re in charge at Fox News and you’re relieved to be fading from the headlines right now, enjoy it while you can. It’s not going to last. And the next wave of ugly headlines about Fox News could end up being far uglier (and costlier) than the last.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report