Producer fired after calling Biden ‘wannabe dictator’

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A Fox News producer has been fired after briefly showing an on-air statement criticizing President Joe Biden as a “wannabe dictator” in the aftermath of his predecessor Donald Trump’s indictment last week.

Alex McCaskill, a longstanding employee, posted to Instagram on Friday to confirm his departure from the site, writing that he had “asked them to let me go.”

While he could not explain why he left, McCaskill’s former boss, ex-Fox personality Tucker Carlson, said the decision was influenced by a chyron that aired lately on the network, which read: “Wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested.”

“Those words were up for less than 30 seconds, but the effect was immediate,” Carlson wrote on Twitter on the most recent broadcast of his show, adding that the banner “panicked” Fox management.

In the broadcast, the former commentator did not name McCaskill, but did say he was “scolded” before being fired. While the producer allegedly offered to stay for the “customary two weeks,” Carlson claims he was told to “clear out his desk and leave immediately.”

Fox later issued a brief statement acknowledging the situation, just stating that the chyron was “taken down immediately” and that the issue “was addressed,” though it did not specify how.

The phrase “dictator” showed onscreen on Tuesday night as part of Fox’s coverage of the 37 criminal charges filed last week against former US President Donald Trump. He has been accused of inappropriately storing confidential materials, including vital military and nuclear documents, after leaving the White House in 2021.

Trump has dismissed the claims as a “hoax” and a “political hit job,” comparing them to two failed impeachment investigations during his presidency. He has denied all wrongdoing, instead blaming President Biden of keeping classified information at his personal residence and offices.

When asked about the Fox caption during a daily briefing this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “There are probably about 787 million things I could say about [the chyron] that were wrong… but I don’t think I’m going to get into it.”