Fox News’ parent company Fox Corp. sent a cease and desist letter to Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog, regarding its publication of leaked videos showing former host Tucker Carlson making crude and offensive comments off the air.
Attorneys for Fox Corp. wrote in a letter on Friday (May 5) that the company wanted to “clarify any misunderstandings” Media Matters could have “regarding previously unaired footage” Media Matters had been releasing in a series of articles titled “FOXLEAKS.”
The letter asserts the unaired footage is “Fox’s confidential intellectual property” and that the network had not consented to its publication or distribution, nor did the network consent to its “further distribution or publication.”
Lawyers for the network explained the videos were given to the liberal media watchdog “without Fox’s authorization” and demanded the watchdog “cease and desist” from distributing, publishing, and misusing Fox’s “misappropriated” material, which they had been notified had been illegally obtained.
Angelo Carusone, head of Media Matters, told The Hill in a statement Friday that reporting “newsworthy leaked material is a cornerstone of journalism.”
Carusone added that Fox’s claim to the contrary is “absurd,” further dispelling the pretense that Fox is a news operation.
The head of Media Matters suggested that if he told Fox the material comes “from a combination of WikiLeaks and Hunter Biden’s laptop,” that would ease their concerns.
In recent days, Media Matters has released a series of videos of Carlson, fired from his Fox show, making sexist and crude comments about women and complaining about the network while on the set of his popular show.
In one video, Carlson called a woman “yummy,” and in another, he asked a female makeup artist if women have “pillow fights” in the restrooms.
The leaks come as Carlson’s leaked private text messages, which form part of a defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems that the network recently settled for $787 million, contributed to his ouster, including messages in which he disparages the behavior of female executives at the company.