On Tuesday afternoon, Tucker Carlson reappeared on Twitter for only the second time since he was exiled from Fox News to announce his next move… to Twitter. Brow furrowed and poorly lit in what appeared to be one of his wood-paneled homes, Carlson said he would be relaunching his show—or some version thereof—on Elon Musk’s increasingly right-wing-friendly social media platform. It was the latest indication that Carlson will drape himself as a free speech absolutist, a foil to the corporatist Murdoch regime, and that he is betting on himself, as the kids say these days—all while informally allying with perhaps the second most powerful conservative in America, a 51-year-old online edgelord who would almost certainly be running for president if he hadn’t been born in South Africa.
Musk, however, quickly offered a series of clarifications. Most notably, he said, there was no deal with Carlson—the former cable news star, whose Fox contract paid him some $25 million a year, would be a “content creator” like any other, “subject to the same rules and rewards” as any of the high-profile personalities Musk hopes to lure from other digital video platforms like YouTube, with the promise of some still-in-the-works advertising rev share deal. “I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform,” Musk added.
Tucker’s camp doesn’t appear put off by the lack of monetization infrastructure. “We are launching the new products exclusively to Twitter,” a person familiar with his plans told me, adding that conversations between Carlson and Twitter were mostly focused on the technical ability of the platform to host longform video content and how it will evolve. “We will be able to figure out the revenue easily!”