In a recent interview on Steve Krakauer’s “Fourth Watch” podcast, Brian Stelter, the former host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” delved into the intriguing dynamic between himself and Tucker Carlson, the ousted Fox News host. Their relationship, which began as a cordial camaraderie, has since soured into one marked by mutual animosity.
Stelter vividly recalls his admiration for Carlson during his “Crossfire” days, when Carlson’s unpredictable libertarian streak and youthful energy set him apart from the traditional conservative commentators of cable news. However, Stelter attributes Carlson’s transformation into the controversial figure he is today to his meteoric rise at Fox News and his pursuit of a radicalized audience.
The Stelter-Carlson relationship reached a new low when Carlson disparagingly referred to Stelter as a “sad little moron.” Stelter, who was fired from CNN in 2022, admits to finding Carlson’s statement relatable, having experienced his own dismissal. However, he emphasizes that Carlson’s firing from Fox News was not solely attributed to the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit, as some have speculated.
Stelter counters this theory by highlighting Carlson’s positive stance towards Dominion in November 2020, when he expressed skepticism about Sidney Powell’s claims and even played a role in her eventual downfall. In fact, Stelter commends Carlson for “doing the country a favor” by exposing Powell’s unsubstantiated allegations.
While Dominion may not have been the direct cause of Carlson’s firing, Stelter suggests that it likely contributed to the decision. He likens the situation to a breakup, where multiple factors, not just one, lead to the end of a relationship.
Despite their strained relationship, Stelter maintains that he has not interviewed Carlson in years and that he ceased responding to Carlson’s increasingly hostile text messages in 2020. This evolution from friendship to foe highlights the complex and often unpredictable nature of human relationships, particularly in the charged world of media and politics.