Fox News host Tucker Carlson came under heavy fire from many Democrats and some Republicans last week for airing previously unseen footage of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 that upset the carefully crafted narratives of what went down that day, but this is far from the first time that Carlson has been attacked by the Washington D.C. political establishment.
In a recent interview, Carlson recounted and shared more details behind a 2021 incident in which he alleged that he was spied on and intimidated by the federal National Security Agency while attempting to arrange an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Western Journal reported.
NSA spied on Tucker Carlson
Recall that in late June 2021, Carlson informed his viewers that he had been informed by a “whistleblower” that he’d been spied on by the NSA and was warned that the agency intended to leak his communications with the intent of having him removed from the air — an accusation that the NSA then seemingly denied in a carefully-worded statement.
Axios soon confirmed at that time through its sources that the NSA had learned of Carlson’s efforts to arrange an interview with Russian President Putin and that the NSA statement, though it denied that Carlson had been specifically targeted and that it intended to have him removed from the air, did not deny that it had somehow come into possession of Carlson’s communications.
Carlson’s accusation was seemingly further confirmed even later by the cybersecurity website The Record, which reported that its own sources had revealed that Carlson’s plans had likely been discussed by third-party individuals being surveilled by the NSA and that Carlson’s identity had been “unmasked” by government authorities for some unknown reason, though most likely just to gain the full context of what the other individuals had discussed.
“If you have no privacy, you have no freedom”
Fast-forward to last week, when Carlson shared more details about the incident during an interview with the hosts of the “Full Send Podcast.”
The Fox News host revealed that he had been working on arranging an interview with Russian President Putin but stopped when he learned that the NSA had broken into his Signal account, which is purportedly a heavily-encrypted messaging app that is secured against government surveillance.
He went on to describe how a trusted high-level source in D.C. had quietly informed and warned him that the NSA was aware of his plans to interview Putin, even though he hadn’t told anybody else about it aside from his producer, likely through intercepted messages sent to the intermediaries he was going through to arrange the meeting.
“And so immediately I was intimidated, I’m embarrassed to admit, but I was. I was completely freaked out by it,” Carlson said. He went on to describe how he shared the news with a Republican senator and his viewers and how Congress began asking questions, at which point the NSA eventually admitted to Congress that, yes, it had spied upon and collected the communications of the Fox News host, albeit for an unspecified “good reason.”
“If you have no privacy, you have no freedom. Freedom is predicated on privacy,” Carlson concluded.
Tucker Carlson admits the NSA hacked into his Signal messages after he was planning a trip to Russia to interview Vladimir Putin.
Tucker, please don’t let the NSA intimidate you — we desperately need this interview! pic.twitter.com/siXVETMWGm
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) March 10, 2023
Unlikely to be any accountability
Of course, Tucker Carlson’s critics and haters will undoubtedly say that he deserved to be spied on and that the NSA was right to do it, especially with regard to his planned interview with Russian President Putin.
Yet, what is alleged to have happened to Carlson was a gross violation of his rights as a citizen and fundamental expectation of privacy as a human being, for which there must be some measure of accountability.
Unfortunately, that seems unlikely, given the fact that, as Carlson himself alluded to in that interview, both Democrats and Republicans, to a great extent, are part of the same corrupt political establishment and care not one bit for the trampled privacy and personal rights of anybody, much less a prominent media figure who is typically unafraid to publicly call out that same corrupt establishment.