A post on social-media site Parler appeared to signal that Fox News host Tucker Carlson would be ditching the network for Newsmax, a conservative broadcaster that’s enjoying a viewer surge surrounding the election. As PolitiFact noted, the claim was bogus, originating from the Parler handle @TuckerCralson. Yet enough people were sufficiently hoodwinked to make inquiries to the show, to the point that Carlson himself addressed the situation on Monday. “Before we get to the next segment, a quick note about this show. Over the weekend, we got a lot of calls asking if we’re leaving Fox News,” said Carlson.

Then came the bad news: “Ironically, at that very moment, we were working on a project to expand the amount of reporting and analysis we do in this hour across other parts of the company.”

Did Carlson mean the “reporting and analysis” that led him to allege that white supremacy is a “hoax”? Or the “reporting and analysis” that led him to field allegations that China manufactured SARS-CoV-2 to spread “damage”? Or the “reporting and analysis” that led him to claim that Karen McDougal had “extorted” Donald Trump? Or the “reporting and analysis” claiming that Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is a “symbol of America’s failed immigration system”? Or the “reporting and analysis” arguing that immigrants make the United States “dirtier”? Or the “reporting and analysis” that led him to spin a misleading account of land policy in South Africa? Or the “reporting and analysis” that resulted in him inaccurately characterizing a rape case against two undocumented immigrants?

If so, the “other parts” of the company that play host to the new reporting and analysis of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” will experience a boost in the divisive and often baseless information that they peddle to the Fox News nation. The company has various properties — including the streaming service Fox Nation and FoxNews.com — where Carlson can exert greater influence. When asked about the expansion, Fox News didn’t provide any information beyond what Carlson disclosed on his show.

Remember: All the racism and division highlighted in the list above don’t much trouble the Murdoch family, which oversees Carlson and his network. The important consideration for them is ratings, and it’s here where “Tucker Carlson Tonight” excels. In October, for example, the program averaged 5.36 million total viewers, a cable-news record according to the network. The second quarter of 2020 was also record-breaking territory for Carlson.

With those numbers comes leverage. “The show is not going anywhere; it’s getting bigger,” said Carlson on Monday night. “The people who run Fox News want more of it, not less, and we are grateful for that. We’ll have specifics soon.” If hatred sells, more hatred sells more.

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