“I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it,” he wrote. “Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be.”
After all, he wrote, “Somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed.”
“If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?” he wrote.
The text message came to the attention of Fox’s board of directors and even some senior executives only last month, on the Sunday before the trial was set to begin, according to two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations. At the time, Fox’s negotiators were entering discussions about an out-of-court settlement ahead of the swearing in of what was shaping up to be a diverse jury.
The next day, the board told Fox’s leadership about its plan to have the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz investigate Mr. Carlson. That disclosure set up the possibility that there could be a continuing investigation into what was behind Mr. Carlson’s messages at the same time as a trial, and as he was serving as its top host in prime time.
Fox has not commented about Mr. Carlson’s ouster last week beyond an initial statement announcing that they “agreed to part ways” and thanking “him for his service.” It did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday on the contents of Mr. Carlson’s redacted message.