Journalist indicted for Carlson Leak

Journalist indicted for Carlson Leak
6 de mar. de 2024 · 3m 36s

Timothy Burke, a former journalist, has been indicted on 14 federal charges related to the alleged hacking and leaking of embarrassing behind-the-scenes footage of Tucker Carlson, according to an indictment...

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Timothy Burke, a former journalist, has been indicted on 14 federal charges related to the alleged hacking and leaking of embarrassing behind-the-scenes footage of Tucker Carlson, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday. The charges against the 45-year-old include one count of conspiracy, six counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer, and seven counts of intercepting or disclosing wire, oral, or electronic communications. Burke's arrest on Thursday morning in Tampa, Florida, comes after a Justice Department criminal hacking investigation that began last year when previously unaired videos from Carlson's former Fox News show were leaked online. The leaked footage included a clip of Kanye West making antisemitic remarks to Carlson, which was posted by Vice in 2022, and embarrassing behind-the-scenes footage of Carlson making crude remarks while joking with staff and denigrating the Fox Nation streaming service, which was released by the progressive watchdog Media Matters after Carlson's firing from Fox News. The leaks baffled media observers, who speculated about the source of the footage. Some, like former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, even suggested that the right-wing network itself might have been behind the leaks to humiliate Carlson following his termination. However, the grand jury indictment alleges that Burke and an unnamed second individual used "compromised credentials to gain unauthorized access to protected computers" and then "obtained and stole" the desired information. Although the indictment does not explicitly mention Carlson or Fox News, it refers to "Network #1" as "a multinational media company headquartered in New York City, New York that produced and distributed content through multiple brands." Moreover, a letter sent by the Justice Department to Fox News last year confirmed that the probe was connected to the leaked Carlson clips. Burke's lawyer, Mark Rasch, had also acknowledged that his client's Florida home had been searched in connection with the case. In a statement to CNN, Burke's attorneys, Mark Rasch and Michael Maddux said that their client denies any legal wrongdoing and has been "devastated by the charges, not only professionally and emotionally, but financially as well." They argued that the investigation began after Carlson heavily edited out racist and antisemitic remarks made by Kanye West during an interview and that Burke's "intrepid – and perfectly legal – reporting" exposed these reprehensible comments through information he found in public sources and on websites accessible without user IDs or password credentials.
Fox News declined to comment on the indictment, and Carlson did not respond to a request for comment. The case against Burke raises important questions about the boundaries between journalism, whistleblowing, and illegal hacking. While the leaked footage undoubtedly served the public interest by exposing the behind-the-scenes conduct and editorial decisions of a prominent media figure, the means by which the information was obtained may have crossed legal and ethical lines. As the case progresses, it will be crucial to examine the evidence and determine whether Burke's actions constituted a legitimate form of investigative reporting or an unlawful breach of privacy and security. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the future of journalism and the balance between the public's right to know and the protection of confidential information in the digital age.
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