From Where We Are

Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon ousted on the same day

USC students share their perspective on the news media following the shocking departures

Tucker Carlson standing and delivering a speech.

Just this morning, it was announced that Tucker Carlson would be leaving Fox News and Don Lemon would be leaving CNN. Both pillars of their respective networks, the news has brought up conversations about the trustworthiness of news. Kimberly Aguirre reports.

This morning, it was announced that Fox News program host Tucker Carlson will be leaving the network. The last episode of his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” aired on Friday

The exact reasoning for his departure is unknown, with the network releasing a statement saying they “have agreed to part ways” and thanking him. Some point to the lawsuit filed by former “Tucker Carlson Tonight” producer Abby Grossberg. She alleges that working for Carlson subjected her to a sexist and anti-semetic workplace. Grossberg also claims she was coerced to give misleading answers in the recent Fox v. Dominion defamation case. Just last week, Fox News settled the case for just over $780 million. Dominion accused Fox of spreading false information about their voting machines in the 2020 election.

A Dominion representative said Carlson’s departure was not a part of their settlement.

Rife with what many people say are conspiracy theories, racism and unfounded allegations, Carlson and his show had become the face of Fox News. His was the most watched cable news show not just on Fox, but on all cable networks. Time Magazine dubbed him “the Most Powerful Conservative in America” in 2021. Tucker Carlson’s departure today sent shock waves through the news media landscape.

Not long after the Carlson news, long-time CNN anchor Don Lemon was also let go. He’d been with the network for 17 years. In a memo to staff, the CNN CEO thanked Lemon and wished him well. Lemon was just on air this morning.

He had sparked uproar in February after saying presidential candidate the 51-year-old Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime.” Doubling down on this by saying women are in their prime in their 20s, 30s and 40s, telling people to “Google it.”

With two of the most recognizable faces on cable news coincidently being let go on the same day, talk about the news media and ethics are swirling.

In recent years, trust in media has declined with a 2022 Gallup poll saying only about one-quarter of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion on the news.

At Annenberg Media, we went out to ask USC students how they feel about today’s news media landscape.

Erik Mosteller, a vocal arts and opera student, has trouble trusting the news.

MOSTELLER: Everyone seems to have an agenda. And it seems like in order to get a news story to sell, people have to. I don’t know either reach to a very far side of the political spectrum or they have to say things that get reactions out of people as opposed to just reporting, you know, the news and the facts.

Alyssa Mirabal, a junior majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies, is cautious when consuming news.

MIRABAL: I feel like a lot of, like, news, like stations will have like some sort of bias in it, Like, it’s kind of, like, inherent. So there isn’t a way to kind of, like, avoid it. But I do try to be conscientious of that fact when I am receiving any type of news that there is going to be some form of bias in it to kind of just take that into consideration. So I’m not influenced in one specific direction per se.

Not all students feel the same way about the news. Freshman journalism major Katie Simons plans to continue to pursue journalism, seeing it as too important of a cause to give up on, even with public scrutiny.

SIMONS: To me, journalism has always been like a very integral part of democracy and like keeping conversations open and, like, flowing, I guess. And so I know I love writing and I think it’s a really important form of media that we can’t get rid of.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Kimberly Aguirre.