New York, NY—
Fox News has been no stranger to staff shakeups lately, and has lost several of its grossest old, white men employees to blatant sexual harassment incidents, but it’s starting to affect Fox’s audience base.
The former “King of Cable News” Bill O’Reilly spent years allegedly—but probably—being a pervert and finally got canned for it, and his audience really misses him. O’Reilly’s replacement, Tucker Carlson, is still a hack, of course, but a hack without the subtle race-tinged tendencies of Mr. O’Reilly.
“Man, I really miss Bill-O,” said longtime Fox viewer Cletus Dimmer. “Bill had a real nice way of conceptualizing every current event into a dog whistle-y kind of complaint about black culture. Tucker Carlson isn’t quite so smooth at explaining current events with racially biased undertones of white supremacy. Bill O’Reilly was a master at spinning Super Bowl performances, criticisms of police abuse, and any campaign for greater equality as some kind of destruction of American greatness. He was kind of a proto-Trump in that regard.”
Other Fox viewers are unhappy with Carlson’s less-developed propaganda instincts.
“You see, I think Tucker just makes it too obvious that he’s telling us conservatives what we want to hear,” said viewer Cheryl Hinters. “O’Reilly had a certain wise man sort of schtick where he would spout off his propagandized opinions and his cleverly skewed facts and charts with a kind of old man’s authority where I had no problem listening without engaging any critical thinking. Tucker, meanwhile, is just not so naturally smug. I find myself zoning out during his interviews when his Cabbage Patch doll face squints and stares at his guests like he’s crapping his pants.”
Many viewers, however, were willing to give Tucker Carlson some time to see if he improves.
“I’m hoping Tucker will grow on me,” said longtime Fox News fan Mark Thompson. “But I just feel talked down to a little bit. I don’t get the same serotonin rush that I used to from prime time Fox shows even though they’re giving me the same anti-liberal bias that I’ve become so addicted to. I honestly went through withdrawal symptoms when O’Reilly got canned. But I’m a life-long Fox man. I ripped out the power buttons on both my TV and remote control so that Fox News will never be turned off in my house. In fact, I even have the image of Bill O’Reilly yelling about Beyoncé literally burned on to my screen from one time when I went on vacation and accidentally left the screen paused the entire week I was gone. I never pause with Tucker on the screen—he hasn’t yelled about Beyoncé even one time.”