Rumors are swirling that Tucker Carlson’s sudden “vacation” from his Fox News show was actually a suspension, with some even suggesting that Ben Shapiro could ultimately take his place.

Carlson faced a firestorm of criticism following his assertion last week after two mass shootings that paranoia in America over white supremacy was a “hoax” and that the country faced far bigger problems.

He then announced he would be taking a short holiday.

“By the way,” Carlson told viewers on Wednesday last week, “I am taking several days off – headed to the wilderness to fish with my son.”

Fox News claims that Carlson’s vacation had been planned before the contentious remarks and that he will return on August 19.

However, as CNN noted, there is a long history of Fox News hosts taking sudden vacations when they are embroiled in controversies, including Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine, Sean Hannity, Jesse Watters and Bill O’Reilly, who never returned.

Numerous high profile individuals at Fox News have also refused to comment on Carlson’s “vacation.”

Journalist Patrick Howley even suggested that Ben Shapiro was being lined up to replace Tucker.

“The establishment is determined to move Shapiro into 8 o’clock instead of Tucker, and they figure the conservative movement is too stupid to notice the difference. That’s what they think of you. They think of you as sheep. They hate you,” he tweeted.

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