By Rick Manning
Tucker Carlson: Fox News’ firing of Tucker Carlson was the best thing that happened to his career as he is now firmly established as more important politically than the establishment which rejected him. With more than 100 million views of 2-seconds or more, Carlson’s interview on X with former President Donald Trump swamped the official Republican National Committee debate on Fox. What’s more his interview earlier in the month with the second place GOP contender Vivek Ramaswamy propelled the relatively unknown contender past other challengers into second place in many polls.
Streaming Services: Streaming is officially king and cable is in deep trouble as a business model. The highly publicized layoffs at ESPN and Disney’s desire to get out of broadcast media altogether were flashing red signs, but the democratization of viewer choice was cemented last night and those who have held the keys to electoral politics since the Nixon/Kennedy debates in 1960 have had the locks changed.
Donald Trump: The GOP needs Trump more than he needs them. And those who think the establishment’s political prosecutions of the former president will take him down are undoubtedly even more desperate today than yesterday as The Donald remains the single most compelling personality on the political landscape and it is not even close.
Elon Musk: The iconoclastic entrepreneurs opening up of Twitter (now X) to Carlson and others who have been cancelled is turning his bet on X formerly known as Twitter seem like a no-brainer as he attempts to transform the platform into the multi-purpose must-go destination. Musk faces a number of challenges in this journey but when one political broadcast is viewed by more people than voted for Joe Biden for President in 2020, legitimacy is not one of them.
Republican National Committee: The RNC hoped that Trump would be hurt by his decision to go it alone without them and take his case directly to the people. He wasn’t. They have just lost control of their own nomination process. Oops.
Fox News: The establishment takeover of Fox News leadership is officially a disaster. Cable is dying and Fox went to war with the dominant ratings driver on the right. This is not to say the personalities on Fox News are damaged. Dynamic personalities have the capacity to shift to individual streaming platforms that do much better financially than their current contracts pay and have more freedom, flexibility and influence. But building an individual streaming audience takes work and it requires breaking the habits of the past. Fox will still play a role in exposing new voices to its audiences, but it is no longer the only place that matters in the conservative media landscape.
Chris Christie: Whoever thought that making a racial slur against Vivek Ramaswamy was a good idea should be immediately fired. Christie’s cringy attempt to put down Ramaswamy due to his last name equating it to Obama disqualifies him. And Ramaswamy’s invitation for Christie to come give him a hug the way the former New Jersey Governor did with Obama reminded everyone why Chris Christie should never have been on the stage in the first place.
The election season is a long one and there will be many twists and turns, but the biggest story of the 2024 election season happened in the first presidential debate: the dominant establishment communications mediums have been usurped. This makes the battle to ensure that they become free of censorship even more important.
A free country demands a free exchange of ideas, and as the Biden administration continues to push censorship on health care, climate and government corruption, it becomes even more important that Americans demand that Congress act to pass Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) and anti-censorship legislation, the Free Speech Protection Act. We must not allow the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security to determine who becomes president and similarly, the Silicon Valley lords of the Internet cannot be allowed to break the law and become censor proxies for whatever masters they serve.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.