Fox has been highly critical of the decision to criminally charge former President Donald Trump
A producer at Fox News has been dismissed, after briefly displaying an on-air message denouncing President Joe Biden as a “wannabe dictator” following last week’s indictment of his predecessor Donald Trump.
The longtime employee, Alex McCaskill, took to Instagram on Friday to confirm that he would no longer work with the outlet, noting that he had “asked them to let me go.”
While he did not state his reasons for leaving, McCaskill’s former boss, ex-Fox host Tucker Carlson, said the decision was linked to a chyron recently aired on the network which read: “Wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested.”
“Those words were up for less than 30 seconds, but the effect was immediate,” Carlson said on the latest episode of his show on Twitter, adding that the banner “panicked” Fox executives.
The former pundit did not name McCaskill in the segment, but said he was “scolded” before being terminated. While the producer purportedly offered to stay on for the “customary two weeks,” Carlson said he was told to “clear out his desk and leave immediately.”
Fox later acknowledged the incident in a brief statement, only saying the chyron was “taken down immediately” and that the issue “was addressed,” though it did not say how.
The “dictator” text appeared onscreen on Tuesday night as part of Fox’s coverage of the 37 criminal charges against former US President Donald Trump, unveiled last week. He has been accused of improperly retaining classified files after leaving the White House in 2021, including sensitive military and nuclear documents.
Trump has rejected the allegations as a “hoax” and a “political hit job,” comparing the case to two failed impeachment inquiries while he was president. He has denied all wrongdoing, instead accusing President Biden of holding secret documents at his personal home and offices.
Asked about the Fox caption during a daily briefing this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment, only saying “There are probably about 787 million things that I could say about [the chyron] that was wrong… but I don’t think I’m going to get into it.”
June 17, 2023 at 11:21AM