I’ll allow that this headline might miss the mark with many of our more regular readers, who are anything but surprised at the revelations coming out of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show this week.
But for the rest of you, it might be just what you needed to see.
And for those of you who’ve missed perhaps the hottest topic in American media and politics this week, a quick explanation: on Monday, Carlson had a bombshell revelation to pass forward. It seems that he was contacted by someone he calls a “whistleblower” at the National Security Agency (NSA) who told him that agency intends to chase him off the air by leaking his emails, texts, and other communications.
Carlson’s interlocutor backed that claim by repeating information about a story Carlson’s team is working on, which, he said, could only be obtained by looking through his personal texts and emails.
Carlson said he’s filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the NSA and other agencies in an effort to get to the bottom of this revelation, but he doesn’t expect much in the way of an answer.
And once Carlson lit the fuse on that bomb and tossed it into the national conversation, the chattering classes went berserk.
Start with the formerly-conservative-but-lately-corporate-bought-and-paid-for Jonah Goldberg, who tweeted, “Spoiler alert: The NSA isn’t spying on Tucker.”
That led to the unwatched-and-unwatchable Brian Stelter of CNN, who retweeted Goldberg’s pronouncement and added, “Fox news contributor says Fox News host is full of…”
Stelter wasn’t finished. He then pressed the attack on Carlson, whose audience utterly and completely dwarfs his own, by declaring that “At a well-run network, Tucker’s claim would have never aired. Where’s the CEO, SVP, VP? Where’s the newsroom vetting the ‘whistleblower?’ Where’s common sense?”
Stelter and the rest of the CNN apparatchiks spent weeks promoting the Florida “whistleblower” Rebekah Jones, who was proven to have falsely claimed that state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis manipulated COVID case and death numbers. Jones is the subject of a criminal trial based on those claims, and she no longer frequents CNN’s broadcasts for some reason.
And of course the Carlson revelations brought out the usual trolls like Rick Wilson and Oliver Darcy for the usual trolling. Both of them picked up on the same non sequitur — namely, that Fox News’ brass hasn’t jumped on the Carlson allegations as a major news story worth covering, and therefore nobody at Fox believes Carlson.
Maybe that’s true. Or maybe they’ve been down this road before and have a damage control plan.
Let’s assume it’s the latter. That’s actually a safe assumption.
Why would we say that? Well, James Rosen worked at Fox News, didn’t he? And when Rosen worked at Fox News it was found that he’d been spied on. Court documents showed that the Obama administration was surveilling Rosen to find out the source of a leak regarding a story of his that involved North Korea and nuclear tests.
That was a very big deal, and the outrage that followed was bipartisan.
Rosen wasn’t the only one, you know. The Obama administration also went after Sharyl Attkisson, who at the time was an investigative reporter for CBS News, putting her under surveillance after she began reporting on the Fast and Furious weapons scandal. That surveillance continued for years, and Attkisson believes it was the Justice Department’s No. 2 man at the time, Rod Rosenstein, who ordered it. She’s sued Rosenstein and several others over the spying.
We know that the Obama administration spied on the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.
We know that the Biden administration is staffed in large measure by leftovers from the Obama administration, and we know that Biden’s handlers have more or less picked up where they left off when Trump took office.
There’s reason to believe the law enforcement and intelligence communities have been corrupted and turned on American citizens in relation to the protests/riots of Jan. 6, for which dozens of people have been imprisoned without trial.
Why would anyone not paid to doubt Carlson’s accusations disbelieve them?
If anything, they absolutely fit a sadly well-established pattern of today’s Democrat Party, which doesn’t believe there is such a thing as an abuse of power — and, given the freedom to say so, they commonly do. This goes all the way back to James Carville rifling through the FBI files of the Clinton administration’s political opponents looking for dirt, something longtime American Spectator readers were and are fully aware of.
But here’s the thing: Carlson’s interlocutor might have been a crank, and he might be baiting the popular primetime cable news host into beclowning himself. Maybe this whole thing is a hoax.
Maybe Brian Stelter and Jonah Goldberg are right about more than just how good the tater tots are at the Golden Corral buffet.
This is actually fairly easy to get to the bottom of. All we need is for the Biden administration to promptly respond to Carlson’s FOIA request — or, even better, disclose everything there is to know about files the NSA and other government agencies are keeping on Carlson and other conservative media personages.
Are there no such files? Sure, it’s hard to prove a negative. Then let’s see a verifiable commitment that there will be no surveillance of Carlson or any other dissident journalists or pundits by our federal government in the future. That ought to be relatively easy to produce, no?
Particularly when these people have been caught at this before. They don’t get the benefit of the doubt. Not anymore.
What’s easier to believe than that Carlson is lying or he’s been duped is that the folks ordering the spying have been doing this for quite some time, and no consequences have ever come from such patently illegal, unconstitutional, and abusive behavior.
Kevin Clinesmith, the sleazy FBI lawyer who was caught altering FISA warrant applications so the Obama administration could spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, will get his law license back in a year. He got probation and 400 hours of community service after he pled guilty, and so far Clinesmith is the only criminal casualty of the FISAgate probe.
When you let these people abuse their power and nothing is done to disincentivize that abuse, when it’s never punished, all it does is allow them to push the envelope a little further.
And then further again. And again. Until finally there are no limits to what they can do, and the Tucker Carlsons are no longer on the air.
But neither are the Jonah Goldbergs and Brian Stelters at that point. Naturally, they haven’t thought about that, have they?