When FOX News issued a statement yesterday announcing its sudden, unceremonious firing of Bill O’Reilly, most of America stopped reading after the first paragraph and erupted uncontrollably into revelatory song and dance.
Had we kept reading the statement, like our friends at the Daily Show did, however, we would have come across a second, more comedic bit of news. Buried in the second paragraph, FOX News announced that, to fill O’Reilly’s coveted prime time slot, its executives had chosen the one, the only, Tucker Carlson.
We know what most of you are thinking: “Who?” The rest of you who are familiar with Carlson’s ‘work’ are probably asking the same question we are: How did the douchebag rich guy in every 80s and 90s teen movie end up with the highest rated show in cable news?
Carlson made a name for himself playing the role of ‘token conservative crazy guy’ at CNN and MSNBC. His greatest career accomplishment was that time Jon Stewart went on his CNN show “Crossfire” and called him a “dick” to his face.
After failing at those networks, Roger Ailes threw him a lifeline in 2009 to play for the home team. He hopped around the various opinion shows as a talking head contributor for a few years before landing a seat on the couch of President Trump’s favorite source for hard hitting, analytical news, “Fox and Friends.”
Somewhere on this rise to mediocrity, he even found time to appear on “Dancing with the Stars,” where he was the first ‘star’ eliminated that particular season.
Then he got his big break when Megyn Kelly left the network in the Roger Ailes sexual harassment fallout last year. Kelly had been sexually harassed by Ailes, something she revealed to internal investigators that helped convince FOX to part ways with its long time chief in July of 2016, though she didn’t go public until much later. Veteran news anchor Greta Van Susteren followed Kelly out the door at the network, creating two coveted prime time vacancies Fox execs had to fill. Tucker Carlson got the call-up to the varsity.
Now, thanks to O’Reilly’s sexual harassment-related departure, Carlson gets to sit in the big boy chair at FOX News. The Daily Show, as stunned over Tucker’s rise to the top of cable broadcasting as anyone, wanted to know who he beat-out for the job.
Luckily for all of us, they found the audition tape (sort of). The Daily Show tweeted it out today with the note, “Congrats @TuckerCarlson for beating out some stiff competition!”
LEAKED: Fox News 8pm anchor audition tape. pic.twitter.com/k7JHKSDgAt
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 20, 2017
Congrats from us at Occupy Democrats as well, Tucker. You give mediocre media lifers everywhere hope that, one day, they too might find themselves working for a company where sexual harassment lawsuits take down enough people above them that executives have no choice but to put them in front of a camera.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.