That’s the call from the second piece in the New York Times on the Fox talking head….
(Here’s the link for the first NY Times piece)
The guy has bit off a big chuck of Donald Trump’s side walk act for himself and his Cable News channel’s growth and profit….
Tucker Carlson had a problem.
After years in the cable wilderness, he had made a triumphant return to prime time. And his new show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” had leapfrogged to the heart of Fox News’s evening lineup just months after Donald J. Trump’s upset victory shattered the boundaries of conventional politics.
But as Mr. Trump thrashed through his first months in office, Mr. Carlson found himself with an unexpected programming challenge: Fox was too pro-Trump. The new president watched his favorite network religiously, and often tweeted about what he saw there, while Fox broadcasts reliably parroted White House messaging. No one was more on message than Sean Hannity, then Fox’s highest-rated star, who frequently devoted his show to Mr. Trump’s daily battles with Washington Democrats and the media.
Newly planted in Fox’s newly vacated 8 p.m. time slot — previously held by the disgraced star Bill O’Reilly — Mr. Carlson told friends and co-workers that he needed to find a way to reach the Trump faithful, but without imitating Mr. Hannity. He didn’t want to get sucked into apologizing for Mr. Trump every day, he told one colleague, because the fickle, undisciplined new president would constantly need apologizing for.
The solution would not just propel Mr. Carlson toward the summit of cable news. It would ultimately thrust him to the forefront of the nationalist forces reshaping American conservatism. “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the host and his producers decided, would embrace Trumpism, not Mr. Trump. The show would grasp the emotional core of Mr. Trump’s allure — white panic over the country’s changing ethnic composition — while keeping a carefully measured distance from the president himself. For years, as his television career sputtered, Mr. Carlson had adopted increasingly catastrophic views of immigration and the country’s shifting demographics. Now, as Mr. Trump took unvarnished nativism from the right-wing fringe to the Oval Office, Mr. Carlson made it the centerpiece of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”….
From the beginning, Mr. Carlson’s on-air provocations have been part of a painstaking, data-driven campaign to build and hold Fox’s audience, according to former Fox executives and employees — an experiment that has succeeded wildly in bolstering Mr. Murdoch’s profit machine against the long-term decline in cable news subscriptions.
image …NY Times