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"Everyone is scared of Fox": Why Mickey Kaus quit the Daily Caller

Blogger Mickey Kaus.
Blogger Mickey Kaus.
Stephen Kaus

A well-known blogger has quit his job at the conservative website the Daily Caller — because his employer wouldn't let him criticize Fox News.

Mickey Kaus announced his departure earlier today, and Politico's Dylan Byers was the first to get the scoop on his resignation. "I wrote a piece attacking Fox for not being the opposition on immigration and amnesty," Kaus, an opponent of granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants, told Byers. But, he said, Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson took down the piece, saying, "We can't trash Fox on the site. I work there," and adding that this was a rule.

Kaus argued that this was a symptom of a larger dynamic in the conservative movement, telling Byers, "Everybody is scared of Fox. ... Fox is their route to a high-profile public image and in some cases stardom. Just to be on a Fox show is a big deal. And I think that's a problem on the right, Fox's monopoly on star-making power."

Kaus came up in the world of liberal policy journalism, with stints at outlets like the Washington Monthly and the New Republic, before becoming one of the first well-known political bloggers. He worked at Slate for much of the 2000s, and gradually grew more conservative, harshly criticizing the Democratic Party on topics such as the influence of unions. (He challenged Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA] in a primary in 2010, but ended up with just about 5 percent of the vote.)

In his past few years at the Daily Caller, Kaus has increasingly focused on his opposition to a path to legalization for unauthorized immigrants, criticizing "amnesty" supporters on the left and right. Check out Byers' piece for more on how Kaus' exit went down.