Updated Aug 23, 2023, 5:52pm EDT

Fox’s Tucker Carlson blackout

Lindsay Dedario / Reuters

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If you get your news just from watching Fox News, you might be surprised to learn that Donald Trump will not be attending Wednesday night’s debate in favor of an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A survey of the last week’s Fox News programming on the TV monitoring service Critical Mention confirms that the network has not directly mentioned that Trump will be forgoing the debate in favor of an appearance on Twitter with Carlson, the former Fox host who was fired by the network earlier this year.

Trump’s appearance with Carlson has only been noted in two instances. During a broadcast of Fox and Friends on Monday, host Steve Doocy alluded to the interview, but did not mention that he was skipping to appear with the former Fox host.

“It sounds like the opposite — he might drop an interview that was taped earlier last week and they would run that,” Doocy said. “Unclear how long that would be or where it would run or any of that stuff.”

In an appearance on Fox on Saturday, Trump surrogate Rep. Anna Paulina Luna raised Trump’s decision to skip the debate, saying it was her understanding that “President Trump will not be attending the debate, but he’ll be doing a sit-down with Tucker Carlson around the same time.


“I’ll say this as a candidate who ran for office and attended and not attended certain debates: I think he actually made the correct decision,” she said.

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Tensions remain high between Fox and Carlson, whose abrupt departure from the network sent shockwaves through conservative media.

After Carlson announced that he was launching an interview series that would stream on Twitter, Fox sent Tucker Carlson a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that he stop posting videos on the social media platform.

The letter from Fox lawyers said that the conservative television host violated the terms of his contract, which the New York Times reported runs until early 2025 and limits his ability to appear on non-Fox media outlets. Carlson’s lawyer dismissed the letter in a statement saying Fox was trying to silence the former host.

Xan Aird contributed to this story.