Fox News is letting Tucker Carlson pretend he’s some kind of Deep State martyr, even as the network tacitly acknowledges he’s full of it.
Media Matters has a good rundown of Carlson’s latest lies:
Tucker Carlson’s week-old claim that the National Security Agency is illegally “monitoring” his “electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air” finally made it to another Fox program when he gave an interview to Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. The Fox star’s incendiary allegation last Monday night had brought widespread news coverage, a rare denial from the NSA, and demands for investigations from congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). But one party remained notably silent about the host’s description of a government plot to destroy his show until this morning: Fox.
Carlson’s colleagues and bosses don’t seem to buy his NSA claims. No other Fox News or Fox Business program had mentioned his allegations since he first offered them last Monday, even as Carlson returned to the topic the following three nights. That is significant because Carlson is the face of the network and his program’s “reporting” often becomes grist for shows up and down the Fox lineup. Meanwhile, reporters asking Fox to comment on Carlson’s claims have come up empty. That silence is particularly extraordinary given that Carlson is alleging that the Biden administration is illegally targeting the network’s employee in order to destroy its 8 p.m. broadcast. If the Fox brass believed that was happening, they’d presumably shout it from the rooftops.
Here’s what probably happened, via Eric Boehlert’s Press Run:
Here’s the Keystone Kops chronology of events. In the spring, the Fox host turned to intermediaries to open lines of communication with the Kremlin regarding an interview request, which is a very strange thing to do. I guarantee you when Wallace and Kelly scored their Putin Q&A’s they didn’t do it by emailing shady figures in Putin’s orbit. We can assume they did it by following traditional channels of communication via the State Department. Not surprisingly, Carlson likely ended up communicating with foreign agents close to Putin whom the NSA was monitoring. They probably knew they were being monitored, but never told Carlson his communications were being incidentally collected.
As for the dastardly leak? There’s still no proof it happened, other than Carlson’s untrustworthy word. He could easily provide evidence but he won’t. And specifically, he won’t provide proof that the emails were leaked to journalists directly by the NSA. That’s key because it’s possible Carlson’s email pals — Putin’s cronies — decided to share the contents of the emails with others inside the Beltway.
Fox famously avoided a libel verdict last year by successfully arguing that no reasonable person would believe what Tucker Carlson says.Yet the network continues to promote him as a truth-teller. The show’s website and Carlson, himself, state that his show is the “sworn enemy of lying.” Worse, the network has him providing so-called documentaries. Or as Carlson put it in an on-air tease, “expand[ing] the amount of reporting and analysis we do in this hour.”
And while Fox alternately presents Carlson as bloviator or authoritative, depending on which is more expedient, Lachlan Murdoch calls his pal “brave.”
Nothing could be more cowardly.
(Carlson image via screen grab)