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By Rachel M. Emmanuel,

It’s not the mind-blowing destruction of corporate media that many have painted it to be, but Tucker Carlson notched a solid victory over his former employer on Wednesday.

Fox News, which fired Carlson in April, hosted the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 campaign Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

The GOP front-runner, former President Donald Trump, skipped the event, citing his large lead in the polls.

Eight of the other candidates took the stage at the Fiserv Forum to try to make their case to Republican voters, with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum moderating.

According to Neilsen, the debate brought in 12.8 million total viewers, Mediaite reported Thursday.

This figure might initially appear impressive for a GOP debate without the party’s No. 1 figure.

However, it fell short of the viewership achieved by Trump himself the same night.

The former president sat for an interview with Carlson that was posted to the social media platform X just before the debate.

As of Thursday, the episode of “Tucker on X” with Trump had 14.8 million views, according to Mashable — topping the debate viewership by 2 million.

While undercutting the network that fired him gave Carlson plenty to smile about, his interview with the former president didn’t draw more viewers than any TV show in history — despite such claims on social media.

Mashable noted that “many people believe, falsely, that the video of Carlson’s Trump interview received 220 million views more than it actually received.”

“The video itself was actually played only 14.8 million times, for at least two seconds of the more than 46-minute interview — or just over six percent of the total 236 million times someone saw the post on X,” the outlet said.

Confusion about the metric led many to conclude Carlson’s show had more U.S. viewers than the moon landing (125 million to 150 million) or the last Super Bowl (113 million).

Though not quite as epic as that, Carlson’s viewership victory over the company that fired him can’t be dismissed.

Fox News was the go-to for conservatives for almost three decades because it provided them with content and opinions that were relevant to them as traditional news networks took a sharp left turn in the 1990s.

But the landscape has shifted again.

Conservative-oriented online shows are now stepping in to offer content that often doesn’t find its place on network TV due to bans, and Fox News appears to be gradually deviating from its foundational conservative principles.

This could perhaps explain why Fox reportedly chose to limit the reuse of debate content by other platforms.

It’s desperately trying to hold on to its audience — and its relevance.

But that train might have already left the station.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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