An absolute bombshell from last night’s show — which has been otherwise completely ignored by the network as I write this at 11:30 ET.
Tucker Carlson claims he is being monitored by the NSA, including his personal texts and emails pic.twitter.com/YDLvbEJTYh
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) June 29, 2021
There’s no way to confirm or debunk what he’s alleging given the paucity of information, obviously. But if someone inside the government was able to recite information from Carlson’s own texts and emails, that’s hair-raising. The only “innocent” explanation I can think of is that someone whom Tucker’s been chatting with forwarded those texts and emails to the “whistleblower,” who’s now trying to deceive Carlson for unknown reasons into believing that he got them from the NSA instead.
It would be bad but not surprising if the U.S. government were snooping on reporters’ communications to try to sniff out a leak. That happened in the Obama and Trump administrations. But it was the DOJ, not the NSA, that was responsible in those instances. As Tucker says, the NSA isn’t supposed to be accessing American citizens’ communications. (Although it sometimes pick up those communications “incidentally” if an American is in contact with a foreign person whom the agency is surveilling.) And no government agency is supposed to be scheming to leak those communications in order to ruin a political enemy, needless to say.
That wouldn’t be a scandal, it would be a mega-scandal. It would destroy Biden’s image as the kindly old compromiser just trying to heal the partisan divide, as his administration would be guilty of partisan ruthlessness that even Trump’s didn’t stoop to. The head of the NSA would need to resign over it, for starters. And any political operatives in the White House who ordered it should resign and face criminal charges as warranted.
A scoop like this is the story of a lifetime for a hard news reporter, and luckily for the Fox News news division, their most highly rated anchor just dropped it in their laps. If they can run it down and confirm it, it’s potential Pulitzer material.
So why is the rest of the network so disinterested in the story?
If any reputable news network confirmed the NSA was spying on one of its top employees, as @TuckerCarlson claimed, it’d be a huge story. But I searched Fox’s transcripts for this morning and don’t see any of the network’s shows covering it — not even “Fox & Friends.” Says a lot.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 29, 2021
I checked the FoxNews.com homepage at 11:30 and found this:
An alleged scandal that might end Biden’s presidency if it could be connected to the president himself isn’t mentioned. Even the small video highlight from Tucker’s show that’s featured on the left focuses on a segment about the suburbs, not the claim that the U.S. government is breaking the law by spying on a prominent critic in hopes of destroying him.
Does Fox’s news division … not watch Tucker’s show? A WaPo reporter remembered today that the last sensational claim made by Carlson, that the FBI may have surreptitiously ring-led the January 6 insurrection, has also gone largely unnoticed by the professional reporters at the network. It’s curious that they’re so incurious about major “scoops” being delivered to their doorstep by their network’s biggest star.
Evidently Carlson has believed for awhile that his communications are being monitored, even back when Trump was in office. Last October he reported that a packet of documents about the Biden family had mysteriously gone missing while in transit from New York to L.A. via UPS. Was it an innocent mix-up or did Biden operatives intercept the documents? A Salon reporter contacted Carlson to ask him about it:
When I asked him about that in a text later that night, he told me that “of course” he had made other copies.
“Hi, Tucker, it’s Roger,” I wrote. “Did you make copies of those documents? Or did anyone take photos?”
“Of course,” Carlson replied. “The point is, someone’s reading our texts,” he said, suggesting that the package was intercepted because his communications were being monitored.
Another big story potentially, left unexplored by the Fox News news team. (UPS ended up locating the missing documents, by the way.)
A glaring possibility here is that the news side of the network just doesn’t believe the sensational claims Carlson makes. They file it away under “sh*t Tucker says,” maybe, and then forget about it. I’m reminded that when Carlson was sued for slander last year, the network’s lawyers argued in court that he hosts an opinion show and therefore “facts” on his show shouldn’t necessarily be treated as, you know, facts:
Just read U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil’s opinion, leaning heavily on the arguments of Fox’s lawyers: The “‘general tenor’ of the show should then inform a viewer that [Carlson] is not ‘stating actual facts’ about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in ‘exaggeration’ and ‘non-literal commentary.’ ”
She wrote: “Fox persuasively argues, that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statement he makes.”
Vyskocil, an appointee of President Trump’s, added, “Whether the Court frames Mr. Carlson’s statements as ‘exaggeration,’ ‘non-literal commentary,’ or simply bloviating for his audience, the conclusion remains the same — the statements are not actionable.”
Is that the news division’s position about last night’s bombshell too? That he was just “bloviating for his audience”? They should at least want to speak to the alleged whistleblower to get a sense of his credibility in case he’s telling the truth.
I’ll leave you with this from natsec lawyer Brad Moss, who’s worked with many whistleblowers before. If there’s anything to Tucker’s claim, it should be pursued legally.
This is an open offer to the alleged NSA whistleblower –
If in fact you have evidence of improper or unlawful collection of the comms of @TuckerCarlson call me and I will see if I can assist you in making proper, lawful disclosures through the approved channels.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) June 29, 2021