However, his successors don't seem to have quite the stomach for that. As evidenced by the fact Tucker's show operates on a wholly different defcon level than much of the rest of that channel. Sure, most of the rest of Fox News has their weapons aimed at the right targets. But their phasers are almost always set to stun.
Tucker, like the Klingons, doesn't take prisoners.
Herein is also why his show is the network's clear No. 1 program. Tucker goes beyond the trite Team GOP talking points that dominates much of Fox programming in the political version of soccer, with little scoring and the fear of getting punished with a dainty yellow card by Big Tech censors at the first sign of aggression.
Oh no, Tucker is the NFL, and I mean the old NFL. With the legendary John Facenda narrating as the steam pours off the top of Lyle Alzado's sweat-soaked head, Dick Butkus wipes someone else's blood off his jersey, and Ken Stabler grabs a quick drag from a lung dart during the two-minute warning.
That is a level of zero Fs given not even today's wokeified NFL has the chutzpah for, let alone Fox News. But that is also Tucker Carlson's sandbox. His happy place. He seems bored with anything that doesn't risk a political body count.
And that's why you know he's telling the truth, and not just grandstanding, about being targeted for Trump-style domestic surveillance by the swamp. Because if he were lying, as well as wrong or exaggerating at all, Fox News' current bean-counter management would eject faster than you can say “our next guest is Mike Lindell."
This is, after all, the same Fox News that has passed twice now on televising Donald Trump's first two rallies in the past few weeks. Literally handing its main linear competition, Newsmax, millions of viewers for free. Newsmax couldn't ask for better marketing help in competing against Fox News than, well, Fox News.
Trust me, a network that was serious about continuing to be seen as the primary alternative to Democrat media malfeasance wouldn't be voluntarily introducing Newsmax to its clientele. It would instead corner the market on it, like it did when it went to the mattresses for Trump during the 2016 primary and in opposition to Ted Cruz (full disclosure: I worked for the Cruz campaign).
While Tucker has proven to be far more about the agenda Trump touts than Trump himself, he has many of the same enemies. These are the kinds of enemies Fox News is willing to offend less and less. The kinds of enemies that mount almost weekly attempts to take Tucker off the air.
However, when it comes to pure mammon, Tucker is too much a cash cow for Fox to justify returning that virtue signal. Thus, he not only survives and thrives. Yet now that Tucker is shining a spotlight upon the swamp's cockroaches, some of whom would've been Fox regulars/sources in the Bush/McCain/Romney era of the GOP, Fox probably isn't as sure the juice is worth the squeeze. Which the fact the network has not come out in solidarity with its most bankable star at this time only reinforces.
If Tucker is right about being targeted for a take-out and Fox runs him, that is the end of their brand. For they have branded themselves as swamp simps. So Fox must ride it out. Not because it wants to, but because it has to.
Yet the minute Tucker attempts to wedge the Overton Window open even further and his reach exceeds his grasp, look for Fox News to bail. Like the Team GOP they share a hive mind with, they operate under the premise you'll keep watching regardless, because you have no place else to go.