By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
Fox News host Tucker Carlson made an explosive statement on his Monday night show: that he learned from a whistleblower that the National Security Agency was spying on him and planned to leak his communications in an attempt to remove it from the waves.
“The Biden administration is spying on us,” Carlson told millions of Fox viewers. “We confirmed it.”
But Carlson’s own colleagues don’t seem to buy what he’s selling.
Barring unusual circumstances, if a reputable news organization had confirmed that the NSA – or any branch of the U.S. government – was spying on one of its key employees, it would be a story with far-reaching consequences.
When the Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times recently learned that Justice Trump seized his reporters’ files, the revelation led to weeks of coverage and a commitment from the Biden administration put an end to such practices.
Carlson not only alleged that the NSA was spying on him, but conspiring to take him off the airwaves and engage in that conduct for “political reasons.”
But the morning after Carlson delivered his explosive claim, none of his colleagues covered it.
A search of Fox’s transcripts revealed no coverage on Tuesday morning. Even “Fox & Friends,” the right-wing morning show on Fox News that hooked on to several of Trump’s conspiracy theories, passed the story on. And the Fox News website didn’t appear to cover Carlson’s request, either.
Senior Fox executives, such as CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace, also had not released statements condemning the NSA’s alleged behavior on Tuesday afternoon. In contrast, the editorial staff of the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post strongly condemned the actions of the Justice Department as soon as they learned it was secretly obtaining the files of their reporters.
A Fox News spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on why the network was not covering Carlson’s claim that he had confirmed that the federal government was actively conspiring to kick him off the airwaves. The spokesperson also did not respond to questions about why Fox executives remained silent.
An NSA spokesperson declined to comment.
Carlson, Fox’s highest rated host, has a history of peddling conspiracy theories as a fact to its viewers. He recently claimed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation orchestrated the Jan.6 insurgency – a claim that has since is thoroughly checked.
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