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Fox denies it has blackmail file on Tucker Carlson

Officials say a report by Rolling Stone that claimed the network had an "opposition file" on the former host is wrong.

Officials say a report by Rolling Stone that claimed the network had an "opposition file" on the former host is wrong.

Former Fox News Channel commentator Tucker Carlson attends an event in Phoenix, Arizona in 2014. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Former Fox News Channel commentator Tucker Carlson attends an event in Phoenix, Arizona in 2014. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Officials at Fox Corporation have denied a bombshell report published by Rolling Stone that claims executives have compiled a so-called “opposition file” on former commentator Tucker Carlson.

The file, according to Rolling Stone, contains a number of workplace complaints and other problematic material that Fox intends to release to the public if Carlson attacks the network in the future.

Rolling Stone claimed it spoke with eight sources who were familiar with the file, which may or may not exist. After the report was published on Tuesday, officials at Fox denied the existence of the file to Mediaite, a website that covers cable news.

Carlson was fired from the network on Monday in a surprise move that stunned the media industry. Carlson earned around $20 million per year through his agreement with Fox News Media, which included a daily prime-time commentary show on the Fox News Channel and special programming on streaming service Fox Nation.

In a statement, a Fox News Media spokesperson said Carlson and the network had “agreed to part ways,” but insiders at Fox News later revealed that Carlson’s departure was more of a firing than a mutual decision to end a working relationship.

Carlson still had about a year left on his contract, The Desk reported late Monday evening. Executives informed Carlson earlier in the day that he violated a non-disparagement clause in his contract when he wrote e-mails and text messages that slighted some Fox executives, management and on-air guests. The messages were made public through a now-closed defamation case brought by Dominion Voting System; Fox settled the case last week for $787.3 million.

Rolling Stone has faced strong criticism for some of its more-recent media reporting. Early last year, the magazine received a significant amount of attention after it published a story on a law enforcement raid at the home of ABC News investigative journalist James Gordon Meek, which Rolling Stone suggested was due to his reporting on national security matters. Meek was later arrested on child pornography charges; last month, NPR reported Rolling Stone and its top editor, Noah Shachtman, knew the raid was linked to a child sex investigation, but didn’t disclose those details in its earlier story.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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