Report: Fox News Has a Secret 'Oppo File' on Tucker Carlson, Will Use It to Keep Him Quiet
Rolling Stone reported Tuesday that Fox News has a secret “oppo file” of dirt it could release on Tucker Carlson should the fired host decide to come after the network publicly.
Naturally, reporting from the far-left publication should be taken with a grain of salt given its issues with credibility.
However, the magazine reported it had spoken with eight people at Fox News who confirmed the existence of a data file that could be used to smear Carlson if the network feels he stepped out of line in some way.
The departure of Carlson, host of the top-rated “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” was announced in a news release Monday morning.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the network said in a terse statement. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
It concluded, “Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday, April 21st.”
The name of Irena Briganti, Fox’s senior executive vice president for corporate communications, was the first to appear below it.
Per Rolling Stone, the “notoriously aggressive” Briganti has long kept “oppo files” on current and former network talent.
According to the outlet, a former Fox News host said that while the network has described its separation from Carlson as mutual and amicable, it was anything but.
That person said Carlson left on “the worst” and “messiest possible terms.”
As for Briganti, reports that emerged from Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News quoted Carlson as saying in an email, “She hates us.”
The Rolling Stone report said, “Eight people familiar with the situation tell Rolling Stone that Fox News and its communications department — long led by the notoriously aggressive Irena Briganti — has assembled damaging information about Carlson.
“One source with knowledge calls it an ‘oppo file.’ Two sources add that Fox is prepared to disclose some of its contents if execs suspect that Carlson is coming after the network.”
“The file includes internal complaints regarding workplace conduct, disparaging comments about management and colleagues, and allegations that the now-former prime-time host created a toxic work environment, three of the sources say.”
In a comment to the publication about the story, Fox News denied the existence of such a file.
Carlson also declined to comment on the story.
However, the ousted host reportedly has retained aggressive entertainment lawyer Bryan Freedman, which could mean a lawsuit is coming down the pipeline.
Prominent network personalities such as Carlson typically are required to sign strict confidentiality agreements with their contracts. Some of those contracts include clauses that prevent employees from badmouthing a company for life.
We don’t know whether Carlson’s contracts included such a cause, but if so, he could pay dearly for smearing his now-former employer.
Whether Fox has a dirt file on him adds another layer of complexity to the question of whether he can speak out about his dismissal.
In addition, the report is another indication the split between the two was anything but amicable.
Carlson was dropped in the wake of the network’s decision to settle with Dominion for nearly $800 million and as he and Fox News were facing a lawsuit by former network producer Abby Grossberg claiming his show had a “toxic work environment.”
One report said Carson was axed by Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch because of his outward expressions of faith.
No answers appear to be forthcoming.
Carlson’s fans are not only currently unable to watch him, but they also do not and might never will know why any of this happened.
Thankfully, big media contracts do not disallow someone such as Carlson from landing another job, so whether America gets another chance to see him behind a desk is entirely up to him.
CORRECTION, April 27, 2023: Bryan Freedman is an entertainment lawyer. An earlier version of this article listed a different profession.
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