Before Tucker Carlson’s Fox rise, Jon Stewart ripped him live on CNN

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Practically twenty years earlier than he grew to become host of the top-rated present on cable information and probably the most influential voices in conservative media, Tucker Carlson might solely give a half-smile and awkwardly snort when Jon Stewart accused of him of being a d— who was “hurting” the nation.

Carlson, then identified for sporting bow ties and his media presence on PBS and in New York journal, was one of many featured co-hosts within the rotating forged of liberals and conservatives on CNN’s “Crossfire,” a program designed to problem opinions on the left and proper that always became hyperpartisan debate. So when Stewart appeared on “Crossfire” to assist promote his new e-book in October 2004, the comic, who didn’t draw back from his disdain for this system, confronted Carlson and co-host Paul Begala about what Stewart believed have been “partisan hacks” sowing division each afternoon.

“It’s not a lot that [the show’s] dangerous because it’s hurting America,” Stewart advised Carlson and Begala.

Carlson tried to interrupt Stewart, however the comic held him off and continued: “Here’s what I wished to let you know guys: Cease. Cease, cease, cease hurting America.” Stewart added, “You’ve gotten a accountability to the general public discourse, and also you’ve failed miserably.”

Then, because the section went on, Carlson quipped that he thought Stewart, who was internet hosting Comedy Central’s “The Every day Present,” was “extra enjoyable in your present, simply my opinion.” What occurred subsequent could be one of many turning factors within the early a part of Carlson’s tv profession.

“You understand what’s attention-grabbing although?” Stewart replied. “You’re as huge a d— in your present as you’re on any present.”

The trade with Stewart has adopted Carlson in a profession that’s seen him go from a conservative speaking head with canceled reveals on CNN and MSNBC to the face of Fox Information in the course of the Trump years. That modified Monday when Fox introduced it had dropped Carlson in a sudden and shock firing lower than per week after the community settled a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.

Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News after Dominion lawsuit disclosures

As Dominion sued Fox for airing false claims that it had conspired to rig the 2020 presidential election — which resulted in a historic $787.5 million defamation settlement — Carlson’s private messages have been amongst 1000’s of inside communications made public. The lawsuit induced angst and embarrassment for Fox and heightened the corporate’s authorized jeopardy. Allegations surrounding Carlson’s employees tradition and feedback about Fox colleagues, as partly revealed within the Dominion case, are additionally believed to have performed roles in his sudden departure from the community.

Carlson has not publicly commented on his firing in almost 24 hours because it was introduced. Former president Donald Trump mentioned he was “shocked” over Carlson’s firing, whereas Fox Information hosts comparable to Sean Hannity made it clear that his former colleague’s dismissal wouldn’t be mentioned on-air: “We’re not speaking about Tucker.”

Jimmy Kimmel, Desi Lydic, Jimmy Fallon and different comedians poked enjoyable at Tucker Carlson’s break up with Fox Information throughout their reveals April 24. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Submit)

However as his firing has dominated headlines and social media, some have shared the video of Carlson’s encounter with Stewart, which unfolded at a time when Carlson didn’t have the platform or affect on Republican politics that he would have in 2023.

In 2000, Carlson arrived at CNN on the heels of a powerful profession as a columnist whose work appeared in retailers just like the Weekly Normal, New York and Reader’s Digest. His 1999 interview with Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush in Discuss journal earned him reward as Carlson captured the Texas governor regularly utilizing the f-word and showing to mock a feminine death-row inmate who was executed in Bush’s house state.

Carlson acknowledged to The Washington Post in a 1999 profile that he recognized as each boastful and combative, however claimed he acted that means with goal.

“I could be nasty, and more often than not it’s a very good factor to be nasty,” Carlson mentioned on the time from his Weekly Normal workplace. “Lots of people deserve it. But it surely’s a foul factor to be chopping or merciless for no motive.”

From 1999: The Opinionated Journalist

After a short-lived run co-hosting “The Spin Room,” Carlson was named one of many co-hosts of “Crossfire,” a present affairs debate present that had loved success within the early years of CNN earlier than its transfer to a day time slot. Regardless of being dubbed a “conservative wunderkind” by Selection, Carlson couldn’t assist a present that had suffered within the scores. Considered one of his extra notable interviews got here in 2003, when Carlson acquired Britney Spears to say she supported and trusted Bush within the Iraq Struggle.

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However that modified on Oct. 15, 2004. After Carlson requested Stewart about whether or not Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry was the perfect America needed to provide, the comic took the dialog in a distinct route — yet another directed at “Crossfire” itself.

“I made a particular effort to return on the present as we speak, as a result of I’ve privately, amongst my buddies and in addition in occasional newspapers and tv reveals, talked about this present as being dangerous,” Stewart mentioned, eliciting laughter from the reside viewers at George Washington College.

In the course of the course of the episode, Stewart and Carlson went backwards and forwards in a dialog that was humorous, and at instances uncomfortable. Carlson questioned Stewart’s interview with Kerry, describing the fake newsman as a “butt boy” for the Democratic nominee. Stewart laughed at Carlson evaluating “The Every day Present” to “Crossfire,” contemplating that the lead-in for the Comedy Central program was “Crank Yankers,” which Stewart precisely described as “puppets making crank telephone calls.”

Stewart then accused Carlson and Begala of failing miserably of their jobs.

“You should get a job at a journalism college,” Carlson responded.

Stewart replied, “You should go to at least one.”

Carlson then tried to get Stewart to be as humorous as he was on his nightly present.

“I assumed you have been going to be humorous. Come on, be humorous,” Carlson mentioned.

“No,” Stewart responded. “I’m not going to be your monkey.”

When Stewart referred to as Carlson part of the anatomy distinctive to males earlier than industrial break, Carlson pushed out a smile and laughed: “Now you’re moving into it. I like that.”

Begala recalled in 2015 how excited he was to have Stewart on the present, and the way the co-host’s spouse, Diane, was excited to observe.

“By the point Stewart completed disemboweling my present, I hoped she wasn’t watching,” Begala wrote for CNN.

The back-and-forth between Carlson and Stewart made headlines in what The Submit and different retailers described as “a brawl.” Three months later, there was a bigger fallout: CNN canceled “Crossfire” and lower ties with Carlson in January 2005. Jonathan Klein, then the president of CNN, cited Stewart’s look on “Crossfire” as a part of why Carlson was dismissed, telling the New York Times, “I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s total premise.”

“There are retailers for the sort of present Tucker desires to do and CNN isn’t going to be one in every of them,” Klein mentioned on the time.

Carlson claimed he had already resigned from the present in April “many months earlier than Jon Stewart got here on our present, as a result of I didn’t just like the partisanship, and I assumed in some methods it was sort of a pointless dialog,” in response to Insider.

The second, nevertheless, adopted Carlson each on “Dancing With The Stars,” the place the pundit was lower within the first spherical of the present’s third season in 2006, and at MSNBC, the place his present was canceled in 2008 after lower than three years.

When Carlson agreed to be a paid contributor at Fox in Might 2009, he was searching for stability at his third cable information community in 4 years. Carlson was about to show 40 and hoped Fox was lastly the place for him, he advised the Times.

“I’m doing no matter they need me to do,” Carlson mentioned.

Jeremy Barr and Sarah Ellison contributed to this report.

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