Kevin Spacey Makes Surprise Return in Tucker Carlson Christmas Video, Pokes Fun at Netflix

The Christmas Eve episode of Tucker Carlson’s video series on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) featured a surprise appearance by actor Kevin Spacey in a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the presidential election.

Spacey, who has been out of the public spotlight the past half decade due to sexual misconduct allegations, appears to be playing Frank Underwood, his corrupt politician character from the Netflix series “House of Cards” (though he is never named in the video, thus avoiding any copyright issues).

The seven-minute satirical video, which had garnered 13 million views within 12 hours, is styled as “The Tucker Carson Interview,” with the host stating that the 2024 presidential campaign seems a foregone conclusion and wondering if there’s anyone “who could jump in at this late date and rescramble the calculus of electoral politics.”

Tucker then points to Spacey, who speaks with Underwood’s trademark southern drawl and affectations (including his penchant for turning toward the camera to address the audience directly).

“I’ve always believed nothing should be off the table in life or in art,” Spacey says with a touch of double meaning. “We need to get some adults back in the room.”

Amid a brief discussion of some of the candidates and the need to filter out the noise of social media, Carlson references previous Christmas Eve videos posted by Spacey in 2018, 2019 and 2020, before claiming the two of them have something in common.

“We both got canned by our network,” Spacey replies in agreement.

Carlson’s top-rated show on Fox News was canceled in April 2023 in the wake of lawsuits over coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Carlson subsequently started his X show as well as his own streaming service, Tucker Carlson Network.

Spacey was fired by Netflix in 2017 following the first claims of sexual abuse levied against him, just prior to the start of production of the sixth and final season of “House of Cards.”

“But they actually tried to kill you,” Carlson says, referring to “House of Cards” altering its storyline to have Underwood die offscreen in between the seasons.

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After some criticisms of the media landscape, the pair turn their attention toward Netflix.

Spacey, still speaking as Underwood, claims that Netflix’s iconic “tudum” logo sound was based on him pounding his fist on his desk at the end of season two of “House of Cards.”

“So it is bizarre that they decided to publicly cut ties with me on allegations alone,” Spacey says. “Allegations that have now been proven false.”

A British jury in July found Spacey not guilty of several sexual assault allegations.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Spacey continues, “Netflix exists because of me. I put them on the map and they tried to put me in the ground.”

“When are you getting back to work, by the way?” Carlson asks, seemingly addressing the question to Spacey more than Underwood.

“I’ve been back at work from the moment we started talking, Tucker,” Spacey replies, still in character though blurring the lines of reality a bit. “What’s true? What’s false? What’s life? What’s art? What’s real? What’s performance? I love it when these things intersect because then it gets interesting.”

Tucker then asks what role Spacey/Underwood sees himself in going forward.

“I will play whatever role the public wants me to play,” Spacey answers.

Spacey is slated to make his acting comeback in 2024 in the thriller Peter Five Eight, which was completed in 2022.

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Elon Musk Says Twitter Coming to Smart TVs

Twitter is working on an app that would make it easier to access the social media platform on internet-connected smart televisions.

Owner Elon Musk, when asked on the platform when there would be an app for smart-TVs, responded “It’s coming,” without elaborating.

CEO Linda Yaccarino, in an investor event last week, her first since leaving NBCUniversal to assume the chief executive position under Musk, reiterated the platform’s revised strategy of looking beyond digital advertising to content and streaming video for alternative revenue opportunities.

CNN Boss Chris Licht Stepping Down After 13 Months; Tucker Carlson Bows New Show on Twitter to ‘Huge’ Numbers

Warner Bros. Discovery June 7 announced that Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, has stepped down, effective immediately, just 13 months after being hired to rejigger the liberal-leaning news network in the face of plummeting ratings.

Licht had come under fire following media reports of his handling of a recent Town Hall featuring former President Donald Trump, among other issues.

As the company looks for a replacement, CNN’s interim leadership team will include Amy Entelis, EVP of talent and content development, Virginia Moseley, EVP of editorial, and Eric Sherling, EVP of U.S. programming, as well as David Leavy, chief operating officer, on the commercial side.

Chris Licht

“I have great respect for Chris, personally and professionally,” David Zaslav, president/CEO of  Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. “The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy, especially at a time of huge disruption and transformation, and he has poured his heart and soul into it.

Licht assumed his position in May 2022 after a stint as EVP of special programming at CBS and executive producer and showrunner for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Prior to that, he was VP of programming for CBS News and executive producer of the network’s morning news program, “CBS This Morning,” which he helped launch in 2012. Prior to CBS, Licht was the co-creator and original executive producer of MSNBC’s morning news show, “Morning Joe.”

“While we know we have work to do as we look to identify a new leader, we have absolute confidence in the team we have in place and will continue to fight for CNN and its world-class journalism,” Zaslav said.

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Separately, former conservative Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson launched his new solo show, “Tucker on Twitter,” with a 10-minute episode that reportedly generated 27 million views on the Elon Musk-owned social media platform. While the tally would appear to greatly exceed the 3 million daily viewers of his former Fox show, the Twitter tally reportedly counts anyone whose social media feed includes Carlson — regardless whether they actually watched the video.

 

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis to Announce 2024 U.S. Presidential Run on Twitter in Conversation With Platform CEO Elon Musk

Twitter CEO Elon Musk plans to hold a conversation with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis May 24 at 6 p.m ET to announce the latter’s run in the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Musk posted the news May 23 on his social media handle, which claims more than 140 million followers.

DeSantis joins a GOP field of candidates that includes former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, current U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, also from South Carolina, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, among others.

DeSantis, who is considered the strongest challenger to Trump for the GOP nomination, brings a significant presence to Twitter, which is openly courting conservative politics and opinion after Musk acquired the platform last year for $44 billion. The platform also plans to launch the return of former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose show was removed from the network in April.

NBCUniversal Chairman, Ad Boss Linda Yaccarino Eyeing Twitter CEO Position

Following Elon Musk’s May 11 social media disclosure that he has hired a female CEO to assume his role at Twitter in about six weeks, media reports suggest that new executive is Linda Yaccarino, current NBCUniversal chairman and advertising boss.

While both Twitter and Yaccarino have made no official announcement or confirmation of the move, Yaccarino posted a glowing tribute to the social media platform from last month’s MMA Global POSSIBLE confab in Miami, in which she shared the stage with Musk.

“We heard very clearly this week that Twitter is committed to freedom of speech (not freedom of reach), accountability, and ultimate transparency. Those are things we can all get behind,” Yaccarino posted on her Linkedin page.

Since Musk acquired and became CEO of Twitter last October in a $44 billion transaction, the mercurial entrepreneur restored several controversial Twitter accounts, including former President Donald Trump, in addition to launching ad-revenue sharing plans with content creators, and instituting a monthly $8 Twitter “blue check” verification fee, among other revenue proposals.

Yaccarino, in her Linkedin post, said she was determined to help “Twitter 2.0 take flight” as a platform “beloved by hundreds of millions of people around the world — all our consumers and fans.”

“Personally, I’m committed to keeping this conversation going and working with Elon, the entire Twitter team, teams across NBCUniversal, CMOs, publishers, tech partners, and more,” she wrote.

Blockbuster Video Puts Reboot Into Space On Hold

Blockbuster Video’s short-lived attempt to resurrect its disc rental retail legacy in outer space apparently lasted just three minutes. Or about the length of time it took for the April 20 liftoff of SpaceX’s Starship rocket near Brownsville, Texas, to explode over the Gulf of Mexico.

“@Blockbuster We’re exploring putting the first rental store in space. We were going to hitch a ride on a SpaceX flight to start looking at locations, but given how things went this week, we may wait a bit longer.”

While the Blockbuster video store franchise shuttered in 2014, leaving a lone independent store operating in Bend, Ore., the brand lives on as a humorous, tongue-in-cheek social media influencer making fun of itself. @Blockbuster has more than 207,000 followers on Twitter, and the website recently went active with the tagline: “We are working on rewinding your movie,” a homage to the brand’s VHS roots.

The space exploration foray came as a result of @Blockbuster looking to find the funds necessary to obtain the blue checkmark signifying it’s a verified Twitter account.

@Blockbuster tweeted “Since we can’t afford to pay for our blue checkmark going forward, we have come up with a few partnership ideas to barter with. DM for more details.”

This was followed by a direct plea to Twitter owner Elon Musk: “Can you please make an exception for us? Our accounting team left us a long time ago …”

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Another recent business proposal included launching a branded crypto currency. “@Blockbuster New business idea: We’re going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVDs as currency. Time to go visit your mom.”

Through it all, @Blockbuster remains grounded in its legacy.

“As much as we like to make fun of Blockbuster now, there was something kind of nostalgic and charming about it. It was a simpler time, when the biggest decision of your Friday night was whether to rent Die Hard or The Terminator. So, here’s to you, Blockbuster Video.”

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Elon Musk Closes $44 Billion Twitter Acquisition, Fires Top Executives

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and founder/owner of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, has reportedly closed his controversial $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, one of the world’s largest social media platforms.

“The bird is freed,” Musk tweeted late Oct. 27.

Musk, who had an Oct. 28 deadline to close the deal (or face litigation) that would return Twitter to private ownership, reportedly fired the San Francisco-based company’s CEO Parag Agrawal; CFO Ned Segal; Vijaya Gadde, the platform’s main legal policy executive; and general counsel Sean Edgett.

Gadde is reportedly best known for pushing the executive decision to permanently ban former President Donald Trump from Twitter.

It wasn’t immediately clear who is formally running the company, but Musk has changed his moniker to “Chief Twit,” leaving little doubt who is in charge.

In a tweet to advertisers, Musk said he purchased the platform to provide “a common digital town square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner without resorting to violence.”

Musk warned that Twitter cannot become a “free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said without consequences!”

The billionaire is expected to hold a company town hall today addressing Twitter’s 7,700 global workforce.

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Elon Musk Acquiring Twitter for $44 Billion

Twitter April 25 announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion.

Musk, who owns the Tesla car company, among other assets, is paying for the transaction through a secured $25.5 billion of fully committed debt and margin loan financing, and is providing an approximately $21 billion equity
commitment. There are no financing conditions to the closing of the transaction.

Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company. Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction.

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The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter.

“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, said in a statement.

Musk said the transaction underscores free speech as a bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans,” Musk said. “Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Twitter Reportedly Close to Accepting Elon Musk’s $43 Billion Acquisition Offer

Social media platform Twitter is reportedly finalizing a deal that would see Tesla founder and world’s richest man Elon Musk acquire the company for $43 billion in cash. Several media reports — citing sources familiar with the situation — say the transaction, which would make Twitter a privately held platform, is in the final stages as participants iron out details. However, the transaction could still fall through.

Musk April 14 announced an unsolicited offer to acquire Twitter, which prompted the platform’s board to enact a “poison pill” anti-takeover stance that would make the deal prohibitively expensive — even for Musk. Last week, Musk announced he had secured in excess of $46 billion in funding for the deal — prompting the Twitter board to reconsider a deal that values the company’s stock at a 12.5% premium.

Musk wants to lift existing limitations on Twitter, including provisions that currently exclude former President Donald Trump and others from using the platform.

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“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in a statement earlier this month. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

Elon Musk Offers to Buy Twitter for $43 Billion in Hostile Takeover

Social media giant Twitter April 14 confirmed it has received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from entrepreneur and Tesla founder Elon Musk to acquire all of the company’s outstanding common stock for $54.20 per share in cash, or $43 billion — a 12.5% premium on Twitter’s market capitalization.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in a statement. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

Twitter said its board of directors would review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all of its stockholders.

The move comes after Musk, who owns 9% of Twitter’s shares, declined to join the platform’s board.

Twitter has 186 million daily active users and 38 million users in the U.S. The platform generated a net loss of $1.1 billion on revenue of $3.7 billion revenue in 2020.

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