Tucker Carlson says media are being bullied by Rep. Adam Schiff to not name the whistleblower. Actually, his own bosses told him not to do it.

On the November 6 edition of his Fox show, Tucker Carlson claimed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was bullying the media into refusing to name the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. In reality, as CNN reported yesterday, it is an executive at Carlson's network who circulated a memo to on-air personalities emphasizing that the network had not confirmed the identity of the whistleblower and instructing them not to speculatively name the person. 

Carlson compared the whistleblower’s action of filing an official complaint to giving his opinion on a talk show, saying it is “frankly, a little insulting to those of us who give our opinions every day kind of out there.” He also implied that the person keeping their identity anonymous is cowardly, saying, “If you have an opinion, stand up and be counted for it. This is America.”

In reality, the desperate right-wing media speculation about the whistleblower’s identity is total misdirection. The information about Trump asking the Ukrainian president for a quid pro quo isn’t coming from a lone voice — the complaint was validated by the intelligence community inspector general and the White House memo of the call, and there have been reports of more than one complaint

According to CNN, the Fox executive also “advised production staffers to ‘NOT fulfill any video or graphic requests’ related to the whistleblower’s identity.” Considering Fox’s failure to enforce its other stated policies, it seems the network’s executives are not confident that the on-air personalities will take their advisories very seriously. It’s also worrisome that the network’s leadership is relying on junior staff to be a check against their top talent’s on-air recklessness.

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Citation From the November 7, 2019, edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight


TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): American politics has once again ground to a halt, thanks to the action of a man who is being described as a whistleblower, a federal employee who disagreed with the president's policy on Ukraine. We know almost nothing about this person. We say man -- it could be a woman. Context is important. Is this person a partisan? How much access did he or she have? What exactly are his or her motives? It would be nice to know all of that as we assess the current impeachment. 

Congressman Devin Nunes sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is the epicenter of course of the impeachment inquiry, and he joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on. Why can't we know more about this person being described as the whistleblower, exactly?

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): You know, this is a very good question because as far as I'm concerned, the inspector general of the intelligence agencies is obstructing our investigation, which I think is a crime. It is not OK for only one party to know about the whistleblower. Furthermore, the Democrats on the committee and their staff who seem to know the whistleblower, they also won't tell us. Now here's what's interesting about the point you made. I know there's lots of speculation out there about who the whistleblower may be.


NUNES: I'm not a lawyer, but unfortunately I have to hang out with a bunch of lawyers. And I say that halfway joking and only halfway joking. But what the lawyers tell me is is that this would not be admissible in court. You cannot take hearsay from a supposed somebody who we have never met. We just can't take the word of some lawyer and the IG and the Democrats on the committee. This person has to have a name. They have to actually exist for this to be considered real evidence in an investigation.

CARLSON: Well, yeah, I mean, so the hyenas on television are jumping up and down, hyperventilating and telling us, you know, “How dare you want to know the identity? It could endanger that person.” Which, frankly, a little insulting to those of us who give our opinions every day kind of out there. You do it. Everyone knows your name. Everyone knows where you live, like, if you have an opinion, stand up and be counted for it. This is America. But it doesn't really answer the question: How can we assess the claims this person has made if we don't know who this person is or where he is coming from. If this person is, in fact, a hard partisan, isn't that relevant to the case? That's a sincere question.

NUNES: You've answered your own question. We cannot. We cannot even begin. This is why we continue to say that Adam Schiff and/or his staff, whoever has met with the whistleblower, they are fact foundational witnesses to this disaster, OK, to this now whole -- that is going to be a show trial.

CARLSON: OK, so then why are we being bullied by these people? Why are we in the news media --- OK, so like the truth as you know is that we have a pretty good idea, a lot of us do, and all of these news organizations are being bullied, in effect, by Adam Schiff, by the power of his aggression and the boldness of his claims. “You can't do that. You're putting a man's life in danger.” Really? Why don't you be quiet, you demagogue?

NUNES: Yeah.

CARLSON: Like, why are we allowing ourselves to be bullied by this guy? Seriously.

NUNES: And remember -- and let's just talk about the hypocrisy of this. It was only a couple of months ago that there was this supposed informant that was you know, extracted out of Russia, and you had all the major newspapers, you know, showing his name, going to his house, taking pictures. And so sometimes when the mainstream media wants to out a whistleblower because they thought -- or wants to out an informant because it's a Russian, who might have something bad to do with Trump, then they do it. But if it's somebody who clearly -- I think, look, they're telling us exactly what we need to know and that is that this -- whoever this whistleblower is, [they] must be an extreme partisan with lots of problems with their story. That's why that -- the whistleblower is not coming forward.

CARLSON: Well, it sounds like the whistleblower -- and I hate the term because if the person who is being identified as a so-called whistleblower is in fact that person, he is not a whistleblower at all. He's a guy who disagrees with Trump's foreign policy views. OK. So then that's not -- you know, that's not a whistleblower. But do you think that the person being described in some news stories and all over Twitter, is that the so-called whistleblower? Because if it is, that guy's a serious partisan.

NUNES: Well, look, regardless, the person that is being described, whether it's the whistleblower or not, we have no way to know, OK.


NUNES: The person who is being described that nobody wants to say the name -- that person has got to come and testify whether they like it or not.

CARLSON: For sure.

NUNES: They're going to come and testify. Now, if Schiff doesn't let that person -- and the Democrats in the House don't let that person come and testify to the House, I guarantee you, if they impeach, that person will have to be called to the Senate.

CARLSON: And you should.

NUNES: And I believe, I don't want to put words in [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell's mouth -- and he should. He absolutely should have to.

CARLSON: Yes. And I'm not naming him because I can't get anyone to confirm that it is really him. It sounds like it is him. But I don't want to say it unless I can get confirmation.

NUNES: Because --

CARLSON: But I mean, at some point, this is undermining people's confidence in the government.

NUNES: Because you can't say it -- exactly. But it goes back to what we were just talking about. Right now, there truly is no whistleblower, OK? There is only a whistleblower in paper. OK? There is no evidence right now, not until both parties -- we have a system in this country. I've been -- I've been doing this for a while now. I've been dealing with whistleblowers. You have to allow the whistleblowers, whoever that may be, to come to both parties.

CARLSON: Exactly.

NUNES: And if you're not doing that, there is something wrong. There is something tragically wrong here.

CARLSON: Exactly. “His life is in danger.” Oh, spare me. Live my life for a week.