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As the “least paranoid,” “sunniest,” “most optimistic” person he knows, Fox News host Tucker Carlson never thought in a million years that the U.S. government would abuse its powers to illegally spy on him.
And so when he learned through sources that the National Security Administration had allegedly spied on emails he’d sent while trying to secure a perfectly legitimate interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for a second he wondered whether he’d gone mad.
“I’m concluding things and saying things out loud that I, just three years ago, would’ve thought, ‘Oh, that’s paranoid, that’s crazy,'” he said during an appearance Wednesday on conservative radio show host Glenn Beck’s program.
“I think I’m the least paranoid, sunniest, most optimistic, naive person I know. And I never assume bad motives on the part of any American,” he added.
Plus, he’d been raised to respect America’s intelligence agencies.
“My dad worked for the federal government. He worked with the CIA. I applied to work at the CIA when I graduated college. I thought it was a totally honorable thing. We understood … the U.S. government and our intel agencies and our military and our federal law enforcement [were] designed to protect us, and honorable,” Carlson explained.
And then all of a sudden the majestic vision he had of the government was shattered in an instant when he learned that the NSA had allegedly been reading his emails with Russian officials and was planning to leak them to make him appear like a traitor.
“It actually scared me. I’m not normally rattled by stuff, but that’s so over the top,” he told Beck.
Unsure what to do, he then contacted an unnamed U.S. senator and asked for advice. The senator urged him to “go public with it” because he had no power, no defense save for his actual words.
“You don’t have actual power. The only power you have is to talk, and you need to do that right away,” the senator said, according to Carlson.
The advice left the Fox News host wondering for a second whether he’d lost it.
“I felt like kind of a lunatic. You don’t want to go on TV. I mean, would you want to go on the air and say, ‘They’re spying on me?’ No, you sound like a nutcase, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice,” he revealed.
And indeed that’s exactly how the entire mainstream press treated him when he publicly opened up about the allegations in late June. They rushed to the NSA, obtained a statement denying the allegation, and then immediately set off mocking him and accusing him of being “anti-American.”
Mueller ‘pit bull’ Andrew Weissman: It’s ‘anti-American’ for Tucker Carlson to complain about big gov’t spying https://t.co/V4wx3mI3rU
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) July 10, 2021
“Corporate media outlets largely sided with the NSA, mocking Carlson for being conspiratorial and even accusing him of fabricating a story,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald noted in a recent Substack post.
“One might think that journalists would have more interest in finding out whether the NSA was abusing their powers to discredit a journalist than cheering the security state for partisan reasons, but one would be wrong. Disdain for Carlson’s claims were widespread in media circles,” he added.
Mainly because Carlson is a conservative — one absolutely despised by the demonstrably left-wing American press.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 1, 2021
Judging by what Carlson said next on Beck’s show, it appears this reaction from the press greatly annoyed him.
“Well, I don’t think it’s a scandal. I mean, it’s totally, you should have the expectation when you live in America, if you criticize the regime, then they read your email. I mean, so I thought that was illegal and un-American and an assault on civil liberties,” he said sarcastically in anger.
“But I learned from The Daily Beast that actually, if you complain about it, then you hate America, so shut up and accept it. You have no privacy. The war on terror has been turned against American citizens, but you deserve it because you’re a white supremacist. That’s what I’ve been told,” he added.
The evidence that’s emerged since Carlson first spoke out suggests that he has a valid reason to be raging mad.
In late July, confirmation was obtained that the NSA had unmasked Carlson. Then just this week, the NSA’a internal watchdog announced an investigation into the whole affair.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 11, 2021
Yet once again, the media predictably jumped into action and started claiming that this doesn’t prove anything and that the investigation will show that Carlson was lying.
“The National Security Agency’s internal watchdog confirmed Tuesday an investigation into the conspiratorial claims of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who in June alleged a ‘whistleblower’ had come forth to disclose a plot by the Biden administration to sabotage his career—purportedly by leaking materials obtained via an illegal wiretap,” reads what’s supposed to be a serious “news” piece at Gizmodo.
“Tucker Carlson Will Vilify NSA’s Watchdog No Matter What It Finds,” reads the piece’s headline.
“A vast conspiracy to kill Carlson’s career reads like fiction, but he’s unlikely to admit he was wrong,” reads its sub-headline.
It’s not clear who’ll get the last laugh, but knowing Carlson’s track record thus far, it’s not looking good for the press.
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