So Tucker Carlson has finally bit the dust after years of spewing pro-fascist sentiments in which he encouraged white nationalism and supported fascist leaders. 

His message has suddenly stopped resonating with his embattled employer, Fox News, which terminated his contract on Monday morning, finally signaling that they’ve had enough of their home-grown fascist superstar – no surprise there as Fox got whacked last week with a bill for $787 million, payable to Dominion Voting Systems, for smearing the company as supposedly complicit in 2020 election “fraud.”

There is a history of Tucker Carlsons in American media. It should be no surprise that another member of that evil tribe has risen, crashed, and burned in a pretty stunning fashion.

The closest comparison to him is Father Charles Coughlin, who in his heyday in the 1930s had 30 million listeners a week tuning in for his weekly pro-Nazi rant.

Coughlin was enormously powerful, so much so that his own church was terrified of dealing with him as the powers-that-be knew he had millions of followers who had the capacity to seriously damage the stature of the Catholic Church.

Coughlin was a demagogue who explained away the Nazi atrocities of the 1930s, saying, for instance, Kristallnacht happened because the Germans had been attacked. He was a dangerous, evil character who would have prospered enormously if Hitler had won.

But the goodwill of the American people towards Coughlin faded over time. As the Nazi atrocities unfolded, and amidst the revelation that Coughlin was being paid by the German Nazi party to broadcast his hate, his popularity soon plunged.

It is incredible to think now that Coughlin was a guest at the White House where he met with FDR and other leading American political figures who were seeking to blunt his extremism but did not want to face him head-on.

They initially failed in their effort and Coughlin went on to become the face of American Nazism. He even had his own version of the Proud Boys, a group he called the Christian Front whose members regularly attacked Jews and synagogues.

At his height, Coughlin signed a lucrative contract with CBS to expand his radio show which gave a massive boost to his listenership. With the Catholic Church refusing to step in, showing a moral cowardice that was all too evident in their dealings with Coughlin, it was left to FDR to take the vital step.

He announced that Coughlin was being barred from the airwaves and could no longer broadcast his extremist views. Unlike Germany, Coughlin never built a movement capable of sustaining an armed insurrection and he soon faded from history.

But now comes Carlson with his own brand of hatred for everything not white, his continued attacks from the far right on immigrants, and his support for the January 6 insurrectionists. 

But now, even Fox News has had enough, and we were treated to the extraordinary spectacle of Carlson being booted out without even knowing his fate on Monday. And not a moment too soon.

Fox’s house is far from clean, and there are a few more hosts who need to be shown the door and probably will be – Judge Jeanine, anyone?

No doubt Carlson will eventually resurface and double down on his hate, and it will be fascinating to see what becomes of Fox News, purveyors of so much misinformation which they’ll be paying more for in the days ahead as other defamation lawsuits work their way to the forefront. 

So good riddance to Tucker Carlson. To most Americans, he won’t be missed.

*This column first appeared in the April 26 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.