Fox News backs away from defending Tucker Carlson after NSA spying claims
Fox News host Tucker Carlson claims that his emails have been read by the NSA and that they will use those emails to humiliate him and get his show canceled. The NSA released a statement saying that Carlson isn’t the target of an investigation and that they only look into international crimes and are prohibited from spying on Americans.
NPR media Correspondent David Folkenflik noted that Carlson’s antics are typically supported and promoted by Fox and other hosts on the network. This one, however, is different.
“Fox News has notably not reported on Carlson’s allegations within its news programs, according to a review of transcripts. Not on Fox News political anchor Bret Baier’s show. Not on Fox anchor John Roberts’ afternoon news program. Not even on the often conspiracy theory-friendly morning show, Fox & Friends,” wrote Folkenflik.
Carlson was probed about the evidence he has, only revealing that it came from a “whistleblower” and that people will just have to trust him. It’s a difficult ask given Carlson has spent the last several months “reporting” conspiracy theories like the COVID-19 vaccine don’t work, people are dying as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the FBI orchestrated the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S Capitol. There are only so many times someone can cry wolf before they’re laughed off the air, critics tweeted.
Even Fox lawyers argued in court that no “reasonable” person could believe anything Carlson says.
“Online, Fox News has published two brief posts — one without a byline — simply rounding up what Carlson said but offering no new reporting,” Folkenflik observed. He explained on the air Thursday that often “Fox & Friends” will promote whatever Carlson said the night before. That hasn’t happened in this case either.
He sent Carlson a text asking for proof or any kind of verification.
“My word. Why would I make something like that up? Doesn’t help me. I’ve got enough drama,” said Carlson, revealing he has no proof.
“But it’s true,” he added. “They haven’t denied it, including tonight. The NSA was reading my email. That’s absolutely confirmed.”
Given that the NSA has said that Carlson isn’t the target of an international investigation, it’s clear that if the NSA read his emails then he was emailing someone who is part of an international investigation. It could be anyone from Rudy Giuliani to the Trump family members, Michael Flynn, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) or anyone known for potentially illegal behavior.
“Carlson did not answer NPR’s questions of whether he was in contact with people in Russia or Ukraine over the 2016 elections, the president’s son Hunter Biden or any related matter,” Folkenflik said.
One assumption from some online is that Carlson knows he has a scandal coming and is trying to give himself cover before the news drops.
Already, House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has assigned Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) to investigate the claims by Carlson using taxpayer dollars.