It has been nearly two weeks since Fox News announced that it had decided to "part ways" with top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson, and since then there has been a series of leaks of off-air footage of Carlson that were clearly intended to make him look bad and smear his reputation with the general public.
However, a major poll conducted in the aftermath of Carlson's ouster from Fox News and in the midst of the post-exit smear campaign showed that the now-former host is viewed favorably by a plurality of Americans, Breitbart reported.
Between April 29-May 2, The Economist/YouGov surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults with an unspecified margin of error and, among a multitude of other questions, asked respondents whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Tucker Carlson.
Overall, a combined 41 percent said they had a "very" or "somewhat" favorable view of Carlson compared to a combined 37 percent that had an unfavorable view, with 22 percent who weren't sure either way.
And, for anyone who thought that the leaked video clips had damaged Carlson's image or hurt his favorability with his predominately right-leaning base of viewers, the poll revealed that they were sorely mistaken.
His combined favorable/unfavorable numbers among Republicans stood at 68-16 percent, among conservatives at 66-18 percent, and with Trump 2020 voters at 72-15 percent. Carlson even drew a plurality of favorability with all registered voters, 45-40 percent.
The seemingly coordinated leak-based smear campaign against Carlson has mostly been led by The New York Times and the virulently far-left progressive and anti-Fox organization known as Media Matters for America.
The Times recently reported on a leaked text message that supposedly exposed Carlson to be a racial supremacist but actually revealed him to denounce mob violence and showed him humanizing a political enemy who had been on the receiving end of a violent physical assault.
Media Matters, on the other hand, has published a series of brief video clips of Carlson on-set but off-air that ostensibly featured him making misogynistic and offensive jokes but in reality simply portrayed him as a regular guy engaging in humorous and playful banter with colleagues and guests.
There has been some unconfirmed speculation that Fox News itself, or at least certain individuals at the network, have been behind the leaks to The Times and Media Matters as part of an effort to smear Carlson on his way out the door.
However, the New York Post reported on Friday that attorneys for Fox News have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Media Matters that demanded its retraction of the leaked video clips and threatened further legal action if it continued to publish any unauthorized material from the network in the future.
"That unaired footage is Fox’s confidential intellectual property," the attorneys wrote to the head of MMFA. "Fox did not consent to its distribution or publication … [and] does not consent to its further distribution or publication."
"This proprietary material was given to you without Fox’s authorization," the letter continued. "Fox demands that Media Matters cease and desist from distribution, publication, and misuse of Fox’s misappropriated proprietary footage, which you are now on notice was unlawfully obtained."
The Post further noted that Fox News attorneys also filed a motion of opposition to a request from multiple media organizations for the judge who oversaw the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against the network to unseal and expose the sealed records in that settled case, which reportedly includes a voluminous amount of private conversations and text messages of network employees obtained by Dominion during the discovery process.