Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume compared former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. — and was swiftly set straight.
The conservative broadcaster linked to a Wall Street Journal column by William McGurn, who compared FBI surveillance of Page to recently revealed secret recordings of King made by federal agents under former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
But McGurn and Hume agreed there was little substantial difference between the two cases.
“The only difference is the media called the King surveillance ‘spying,’ and get the vapors when that word is used about Carter Page surveillance,” Hume tweeted.
The only difference is the media called the King surveillance “spying,” and get the vapors when that word is used about Carter Page surveillance —> What’s the difference between the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page and Martin Luther King? asks @wjmcgurn https://t.co/7S2gWOdntH
— Brit Hume (@brithume) June 4, 2019
But legal experts and others smacked down Hume’s claim as ridiculous.
One very important difference is that the wiretap of Martin Luther King was not authorized by a federal judge. The wiretap of Carter Page was authorized by a federal judge who reviewed evidence and concluded there is sufficient evidence to justify a wiretap.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 4, 2019
Anyone who can't figure out the difference between the surveillance of Martin Luther King and Carter Page is so deeply stupid it's honestly not worth having the conversation with them.
— Jake Ellison (@JakeEllison18) June 4, 2019
Um, 1978-Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – just guessing.
— Lisa Burke (@12thBurkey) June 4, 2019
Well @brithume, as a result of the FBI spying on MLK, Congress passed a statute in 1978 called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which sets up a probable cause threshold which must be approved by a federal judge before surveillance can begin. Sooooo…big difference. https://t.co/tShMXouTr4
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) June 4, 2019
Um, Brit, there is literally an entire statute called FISA that was created BECAUSE of the warrantless and unregulated spying on King. The surveillance of Page was conducted in accordance with that statute. https://t.co/10mrn9Kjdl
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) June 4, 2019
warrants, dingus. that's the difference.
— Willow (@RockShrimp) June 4, 2019
This is why the FoxNews viewers are so uninformed. SAD!!
— joe (@jgsgerard) June 4, 2019
Although the difference is pretty striking, I am fine with calling both "spying." It is spying.
Some spying is legal, and right. Carter Page, IMHO, fits this mold.
Some spying is legal, yet wrong. The broad NSA sweeps of all Americans qualifies IMO.
And theres illegal spying.
— Mark Collier 柯理怀 (@sparkycollier) June 4, 2019
I’m old enough to remember when Brit Hume had some credibility.
Yes. That means I am very old.
— Gerry Bannan (@gbannan) June 4, 2019
And to think you used to be a respected journalist. Seriously, if you don't know the answer to this question, you need to retire, stat. And maybe get a thorough medical checkup, because this is something that is not rocket science.
— Ban the Nazis Sandra Swan (@damianaswan) June 4, 2019
Someone's never heard of FISA, apparently
— Stephen Tignor (@SameSteveTignor) June 4, 2019
MLK was targeted through unusual/improper channels *to see what they might get on him*, whereas FBI had *cause* to question Page's actions and loyalty and followed its own investigative procedures. See the difference? Of course you do. #hallmarkdisingenuousness
— Dave Baron (@davebaron) June 4, 2019
They had reason to surveil Carter Page before he was ever a part of the Trump campaign AND they waited until he was off the campaign. This is an insane take.
— Bentalope (@behaviorben) June 4, 2019
Oh, come-on Mr. Hume.
— Lauri Thompson (@mc911lkg) June 4, 2019
Just a hunch, but I think you’re asking this in bad faith, because it’s a little hard to believe you could be this uninformed about the difference. I think you’re spreading disinformation for propaganda purposes because, after all, you work for Fox News, aka State Television.
— ♂️ (@Gayer_Than_Thou) June 4, 2019