There have been many theories and speculations about why Fox News would take its highest-rated host, Tucker Carlson, off the air: it felt vulnerable after settling the Dominion lawsuit, because of a lawsuit against Carlson for creating a hostile work environment, or because his viewership declined when viewers found out he had different personal views than he was saying in front of the camera.
Turns out the real reason could be something as simple as Rupert Murdoch getting revenge on his ex-fiancee. A source close to Rupert Murdoch told Vanity Fair that Carlson was fired for using extreme religious language during a Heritage Foundation speech that echoed language Murdoch's ex-fiancee Ann Leslie Smith used during a dinner both had with Carlson right before Murdoch ended the engagement.
During Carlson's speech on Friday night, he couched issues like abortion and transgenderism as a battle between good and evil, and suggested people pray for the country. "Maybe we should all take just 10 minutes a day to say a prayer about it. I’m serious. Why not?"
According to the source, “That stuff freaks Rupert out. He doesn’t like all the spiritual talk.”
It was the same journalist who said Murdoch, 92, called off his engagement to Smith, 66, in April over her own religious talk.
The source recounted a dinner attended by Carlson at Murdoch's house during which Smith pulled out a Bible and reportedly read from Exodus.
Murdoch also observed Carlson and Smith speaking about religion, the source said.
Carlson's show was Smith's favorite, and it may have just been too much for Murdoch to bear.
The Vanity Fair source's comments dovetailed with comments Glenn Beck, a former Fox News host who left the network in 2011, made about Murdoch's dislike of religious talk.
On his show Wednesday, Beck said that Murdoch repeatedly told him not to talk about God and faith, and after a few months of shows, told him disdainfully that he had said God's name 92 times.
Some of Vanity Fair's sources also said that Murdoch has been making erratic decisions of late, and that firing his top-rated host could be one of those.
They speculated that the $787 million Dominion lawsuit settlement may have been agreed to because the board feared Murdoch's testimony would reveal his diminished mental state.
But the source that spoke about his broken engagement and dislike for religious talk disagreed and said Murdoch was ready to testify and was not acting erratically.