Bret Baier: “There Were Concerns” About Tucker Carlson Doc That Led To Contributor Resignations

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Concerns about a Fox Nation series that led to the resignations of two high-profile conservative contributors at Fox News Channel extended to the cable network’s news division.

The controversial series “Patriot Purge,” which was produced as part of Tucker Carlson’s programming deal with the subscription streaming service, suggested that the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol may have been a “false flag” attack meant to allow the government to persecute conservatives.

That insinuated alternate history led to the resignations of long-time contributors Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes last week. “Fox News still does real reporting, and there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis. But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible,” they wrote in a piece explaining their decision.

On Monday Bret Baier, one of Fox News’ most high-profile news anchors, confirmed that the news division had issues with Carlson’s series. On Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show, Kilmeade discussed Patriot Purge, and asked if Baier was bothered by it.

“Brian, I don’t want to go down this road,” Baier responded. “You know, I mean, there were concerns about it definitely… I think that the news division did what we do we do when we covered the story.”

Baier’s comments to Kilmeade came after a report by NPR’s David Folkenflik that Baier and Chris Wallace had expressed their concerns with Fox News executives.

The Fox host also lamented the resignations of Hayes and Goldberg, saying he was “sad” that their voices would not be represented on his weekday program Special Report. “I think it was a tough choice but one that they made on principle,” he added.

A Fox News executive told THR that the channel had no intention of re-signing the two contributors when their deals came up for renewal in 2022. Goldberg tweeted in response to that comment: “Did they forget to tell the first two reporters who asked for comment? Did they have a meeting 14 months before my contract was up and decide to not renew me?”

The Fox executive said Tuesday that they stand by their initial comment.

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