Media consultant Timothy Burke’s name has been linked to the alleged hack of Fox News that produced outtakes of ousted host Tucker Carlson commenting before his popular show went to air, during breaks, and after the show had ended.
That’s according to a bombshell report by the Tampa Bay Times that referenced a letter sent to Fox News by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Trezevant, who works for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
“An FBI search earlier this month at the home of media consultant Tim Burke and his wife, Tampa City Council member Lynn Hurtak, stemmed from an investigation of alleged computer intrusions and intercepted communications at the Fox News Network,” the newspaper reported. “The Times obtained a letter Thursday that a Tampa federal prosecutor sent to Fox News, which describes an ongoing criminal probe into computer hacks at the company, including unaired video from Tucker Carlson’s show. The former primetime host was dropped by the network in April.”
“The letter does not mention Burke, but the Times confirmed with two people close to the investigation that the matter relates to the May 8 search at his Seminole Heights home,” the article said.
Burke declined to comment, but Hurtak said in a statement that the search appeared to be solely related to her husband’s work as a journalist. A phone and computers belonging to Burke were reportedly seized, along with other equipment.
More from the Times:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Trezevant wrote the letter asking that Fox News preserve information and records related to the investigation for a period of at least 90 days. The government views the network “as one of the potential victim-witnesses” of the alleged criminal conduct, Trezevant wrote.
The investigation, according to the letter, concerns allegations of unauthorized computer access; interception of wire, oral or electronic communication; conspiracy; and other federal crimes. Trezevant is assigned to the criminal probe and is listed on court filings related to the search at Burke and Hurtak’s home.
Burke is a former Deadspin and Daily Beast writer who uses the Twitter handle @bubbaprog — the Times stressed that he “has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”
The Tucker Carlson videos were released to the public through Vice News under the heading “Watch the Disturbing Kanye Interview Clips that Tucker Carlson Didn’t Put on Air,” and through left-leaning Media Mattters in a video series titled “FOXLEAKS.”
Carlson has accused Fox News of purposely leaking his private communications, and former Fox News host Megyn Kelly was even more specific in her beliefs — ironically, the leaked videos did not have the impact Carlson’s detractors may have been expecting, with some suggesting that, if anything, the footage bolstered his image among conservatives.
Naming Irena Briganti, senior executive vice president of Corporate Communications at Fox News, Kelly laid out her theory on her May 2 podcast.
“It’s not going well for Fox News at 8 pm, at all, which is the understatement of the year,” she said. “Meanwhile, Media Matters for America releases another mysterious outtake of Tucker onset speaking frankly. This happened last week. Two videos were released. By whoever could it be, Irena [Briganti]?”
“So they first leaked to The New York Times: This is my supposition, for the record, because it hasn’t been yet confirmed, but I know it’s them,” Kelly continued. “And I know it’s Irena Briganti, who runs coms and f**king hates Tucker. Sorry. She hates his guts. And it’s mutual. He doesn’t like her, either. None of us do. Nobody likes Irena.”
Kelly blasted the network she worked at for so long again two days later.
“Fox News decided it knew better and it wouldn’t show its audience even the courtesy of telling them why — never mind Tucker — why he was being fired, [why] they were canning their number one host,” she said on her podcast. “And since then they’ve gone completely jihad on the guy. I mean, they are engaged in a sustained campaign to destroy — it’s not going to work, Tucker’s audience sees what they’re doing.”
“What I have said before is what I believe, a campaign orchestrated from within most likely by Irena Briganti, who hated Tucker, is working with the mainstream to just demonize him even further as a racist lunatic who needed to go,” Kelly said, before citing reporting from various media outlets.
Fox News refuted the claim, with a spokesperson saying in a statement, “This is completely false and an outright lie.”
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