On Wednesday night, Fox News' Tucker Carlson brought on a guest, Darren Beattie — a former speechwriter for the president — to slam NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny for her story on harassment campaigns that Donald Trump supporters have conducted online. And NBC News, in an official statement issued on Thursday, struck out to "vigorously" defend Zadrozny.
NBC News said, "Over the past several years, journalists from news organizations around the world have put themselves at risk in order to shine a light in the dark corners of society and the internet — specifically, in the realm of conspiracy theories and online extremism. Last night on Fox News Channel, Tucker Carlson dangerously and dishonestly targeted one of those journalists: Brandy Zadrozny. Brandy represents the best of investigative journalism and of NBC News. She is relentlessly well-researched and sophisticated in her understanding of disinformation and conspiracy theories on the internet and within some social media communities."
NBC News went on to say, "Fox News has chosen to smear Brandy. In doing so, they have shamefully encouraged harassment and worse. Fortunately, any effort to intimidate Brandy is doomed to failure. NBC News couldn't be prouder of Brandy, and we will continue to vigorously support her work."
Beattie left the White House in 2018 after CNN reported that in 2016, he had attended an event that included white nationalists. The former Trump speechwriter has accused Zadrozny of using "data search engines to dox the personal information of anonymous Trump supporters online." But Ben Collins, one of Zadrozny's colleagues at NBC News, tweeted that Beattie seriously distorted Zadrozny's reporting.
On Wednesday night, Collins tweeted, "Tucker Carlson is devoting an entire segment to attacking my colleague, Brandy Zadrozny, for doing actual reporting, like using public records to confirm identities of people who create harassment campaigns. It's disgraceful. She's the best reporter I know. I'm with her 1000%."
Collins, in a Twitter thread, went on to say, "That was a hideously unethical segment by Tucker Carlson, framing using basic reporting tools like public records searches as some sort of evil act. To do it to a mom, and one of the best people I know, is disgusting. I won't forget it."